Week One: Moving in and Monopoly


Friday 4th September 2011

The day has finally arrived. I am moving back down to Southampton to begin my second year of living away from home. My mother has asked why I’m going down so early, when term doesn’t start for another month. I told her it was to look for a job. I’m surprised at her naivety when she shrugs and goes ‘OK’. If the word ‘job’ has changed its meaning to ‘laze around and drink beer’, then I think I wouldn’t feel as bad for blatantly lying to my mother.

The journey down from Coventry is long; a three hour journey turned into six because of an accident on the A34. Finally, the signs for Southampton roll into view and all is well again. As I drive past Montefiore, a pang of sadness hits me. I will never again sleep in those halls. Unless a drunk Fresher takes me back with her. Which is unlikely.

After I’ve moved my stuff into the house, which is inconveniently placed on the third floor, the dulcet tones of Johnny Foreigner are heard through the door. We are the first to arrive. Johnny embraces me in one of his Eastern European bear-hugs, and I think I hear a rib snap.

I am up in my room when Johnny comes knocking at my door. ‘I’ve locked my keys in my room,’ he says with an air of sheepishness. I am not sure how he’s done this, as our room locks are specifically made to not lock upon leaving them.  Once again, he has defied physics to complete an act of stupidity. After trying my keys on the door, to no avail, Johnny decides the only logical explanation is to kick the door down. I explain to him this will probably break the lock, which may be quite expensive. ‘No worries,’ he says, ‘My Dad will fix it.’

When I point out that his door is protected by a specialist lock that would be hard to fix, he simply replies with ‘My Dad’s Polish’, before launching a kick at the door and shattering the lock.

Fair play to him though, I have to agree with his logic.

Sunday 6th September 2011

After a barely remembered night at Orange Rooms, I hear a knock at my bedroom door. It’s Johnny. He comes in to inform me he pulled. I look at my phone. It’s seven A.M. While I am happy for him and his conquest… IT IS SEVEN A.M.

I vow to lock my door after every night out to avoid this ever happening again.

Tuesday 8th September 2011

It’s a quiet Sunday. Johnny asks me if I will help him put up a shelf from home with him. Because I’m a nice guy, I happily oblige.

We hit our first stumbling block very quickly. We have no screwdriver. No matter. Johnny, ever the improviser, goes to the kitchen and comes back with… A spoon. I think to myself that this is the first time I will use the words ‘spoon’ and ‘screw’ together outside of an intimate conversation.

While Johnny gets to the job in hand, assembling the cupboard’s frame, I decide a sandwich is in order. So, while Johnny toils away, much like a Polish builder, I sit around eating a sandwich, much like an English builder.

Ah, racial stereotypes. How accurate you can be.

Thursday 10th September

With no internet, boredom hits the household quite quickly. Johnny and I decide to alleviate the boredom, by inviting some friends around to play Monopoly. Not just any Monopoly however; World Cup 1998 Monopoly. Five men in a house playing a Monopoly game focused on football can only get ugly.

After the initial ridiculousness of the game’s premise is forgotten (transfer fees have to be paid even though the game is based on international football, physiotherapist bills costing more than the amount it is to buy Scotland… Which actually might not be that ridiculous come to think of it…), the beers start flowing and the mercenary behaviour of a few individuals. Johnny is cut from the game brutally after landing on Poland and owing one of our guests £1000.

The irony of this is not lost around the table. Johnny’s trademark moan of ‘OH MY GOD’ echoes through the house.

It would not surprise me if they heard it back in the land of his forefathers.


The arrival of Barbie and Worzel forces Sam and Johnny to clean up their act, an impromptu decision to buy a litre of vodka has terrible consequences, and Reflex turns out to be the greatest nightclub in Southampton.


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