What would you do if you had to choose between living with a drunk or a stoner? Would you a) go for the person who drags home road signs, is sick in the kitchen bin and then leaves the oven on all night? Or b) the one who never changes their manky grey tracksuit trousers, monopolises the telly and sleeps for more hours than they’re actually awake?
Sounds simple, right? But having lived with a few weed smokers, I’d warn that just because someone is catatonically placid half the time, doesn’t mean they won’t find ways to get on your nerves. Whether they’re the afflicted, thinking-man stoner type; the life-on-hold procrastinating stoner; or the spiritual stoner who sort of just smokes on principle – there are certain clichés in pothead behaviour that almost always ring true.
The words you will hear
Weed colloquialisms. ‘Zoot’, ‘tens’, ‘benz’, ‘shotgun’, ‘bifta’, ‘blunt’ – all of these are inexcusably silly, and yet none surpass what I like to call the ‘dealer voice’. This is the persona adopted when your flatmate – who is from the Home Counties but watched all five seasons of The Wire – calls their dealer and says, ‘Hey JT, can you shot me an eighth tonight, bruv?’ Your very presence, making a camomile tea in ear range as this happens, will add another layer of irony.
The fridge situation
The age-old cliché of living with a stoner is that they will steal all your food out the fridge and fail to replace it. Firstly, this is true of any dickhead flatmate, they really don’t have to be a stoner. Secondly, I do see the risk the other way round...
Being creatures of habit, stoners know that munchies are an inevitability, and they will prepare accordingly by filling your cupboards with deliciously juvenile junk food. I don’t care whether nobody ought to consume Nesquik and potato smiley faces after the age of 22, or if they’re the kind of shit that would make Gwyneth Paltrow’s eyes roll out of her head, how could you not be tempted to pinch them? They taste amazing whether you’re high or not. In fact, now that they’re there… in the house… haven’t you kind of got the munchies?
The music you will hear
Depending on how much of a basic stoner bitch your flatmate is (and yes, I’m talking about the boys), you’ll either wind up with entry-level reggae (All. Year. Round.) or obscure, misogynistic hip-hop. To be honest, both of these infinitely are better than living with a stoner who fancies themself as some kind of bedroom-studio wunderkind, loudly composing songs on Garage Band until four in the morning. Which brings me on to…
The hours they keep
You might have surrendered to a nine to five but your stoner flatmate hasn’t quite figured out what they want to do with their time yet. That, or, they have found themselves… in the bottom of a bong they picked up in Jaipur.
This means that they’re not going to get it when you passive aggressively point out that your washing is drying and, as long as they're smoking that blunt at the kitchen table, your work clothes will smell like a back alley in Marrakech.
Plus, they’re really not going to get it when you suggest that they try to get some aspirations beyond watching a whole film trilogy in one day and, you know, get themselves on a pay roll somewhere. You might even get some anti-capitalist drivel in response. Way to feel like you’re a slave to the man.
They’re always there
And so to conclude, stoners really don’t get out much. With no real commitments outside of Just Eat’s delivery hours, they tend to go to sleep when you wake up and rouse around the time you get in from (a really hard day at) work. Yep, they’re pretty much always there.
When you get in at night. When you’ve got friends round. When you’re cooking your boyfriend dinner. They’re like a red-eyed elephant in the room. Occupying the sofa like Wall Street.
And what is it that they’re industriously doing? Getting a lap dance from a stripper on GTA. Cussing into their Call Of Duty headset. Sniggering at a video on YouTube. Watching Arrested Development or 30 Rock.
‘Is that on Netflix?’ you say. ‘Would you mind doing it in your room?’
And yet, even when they’ve shuffled off, they’re still sort of there. Maybe not in body, but in the form of the Bob Marley paraphernalia you find in the bread bin, the bong that smashes in the dishwasher, those grey trackies lumped in with your whites in the wash.
Even when they move out, the smell still lingers. Are you high off the residual fumes? Or just happy they’re gone?
Follow Amelia on Twitter @MillyAbraham
Illustration: Hisashi Okawa
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.