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Commentary: Secret roommate could have been worse

September 25, 2013

dorony.4@osu.edu
Some OSU students living on 13th Avenue recently discovered a stranger was living in their basement. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

Some OSU students living on 13th Avenue recently discovered a stranger was living in their basement.
Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

“Dude, there’s been a guy living in our basement.”

I was expecting more of a “Hey man, what are you doing tonight?” from my housemate, Mitch, when I saw him standing outside our house talking to another few friends of mine one Friday evening.

After I was able to wrap my head around what Mitch said, I went to check out what I thought was a gas and utility closet. Turns out it was a full carpeted bedroom where an unknown man was able to make himself a home.

Books, a mattress, a mini fridge and basic cable television all accompanied the unknown man we grew to assume was an OSU student named Jeremy, for free.

It could be argued Jeremy was in a better, more comfortable living situation than half of my roommates — including myself — at no cost.

I was in shock, to say the least, that this could have happened without us noticing. Our lease space takes up the second and third floors of the our 13th Avenue house and the first floor belonging to another set of tenants. This left the basement for Jeremy.

As the days passed, my roommates and I were able to ease up a bit and joke about the situation, thinking this would make top news in Columbus.

It did a little more than that.

A group text between my nine roommates and I mainly has consisted of links to different articles covering our story, originally from The Lantern, over the past few weeks. USA TODAY, ABC News and “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno have spread the news around the country and the world.

After my housemate Mark’s text about Jay Leno including our story in one of his monologues, my housemate James went ahead and replied that we’ve hit our peak of news attention. But my housemate Shaun and I still have dibs for an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “TODAY,” we’re just waiting for that phone call.

BuzzFeed decided to give a funny twist to our story, a tale of what we always thought was a ghost turned into a student living in our basement. At one point, we joked there was a ghost opening kitchen cabinets, but we ended up deciding it was one of us sleep-walking (most likely me) since nothing was stolen.

All kidding aside, we were fortunate to not have someone different in the basement that had other intentions, such as looking to steal any valuables. All it ended up being was an extra roommate that stayed in the room from a previous lease and all he wanted was a roof above his head. When we asked him to, Jeremy moved his stuff out without hassle and life has gone on.

If anything can be learned from this ridiculous story, it’s that instead of doing the traditional tasks upon moving into a new place of taking photos of marks on the wall and taking note of whatever the house is missing, check things out beyond that and make sure to hold your landlords accountable once moved in.

Even give that creepy basement a look, because there might just be something unexpected around the corner. In our case, we got an extra bedroom and an extra roommate.


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  1. SquareState says:

    Your extra roommate reminds me of Lazlo Hollyfeld in “Real Genius,” another cellar dweller.

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