Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Judy Pooty Wham-Bam BaHooty

Judy was my landlord in college. She and her husband and two kids lived in a middle-class but handsomely maintained three-story home on Brookside Place in New Rochelle, NY. For two and a half years, various roommates (first Jake, then Ned, then Mike) and I lived in their tiny basement apartment for the paltry sum of $200/month. It was a perfect location, equidistant from the Hagan School of Business and the numerous bars located on North Ave.

I've got many fond memories of Brookside Place (as we called it). Watching MTV for hours a day while trading endless bong hits with guests. Watching the snow pile up in the tiny windows for the first time each season. Making grill cheese sandwiches with a toaster and a microwave, and feeling rich that we had tomato soup to go with it. Watching Ned walk around naked. Writing papers on my first computer with a 40Meg hard drive (and feeling lucky to have that much). Doing secret loads of laundry in Judy's washer and dryer while she was away. Having Judy bring us down hot food when there were leftovers.

My roommate Jake had a theory that Judy had a crush on me. Many times in the morning she'd be down on "her" side of the basement doing laundry when we'd leave for class. She always insisted on giving me a big wet kiss on the lips almost every time she saw me. Being from Texas, I found this a little strange (we don't do that there--we hug), so I wrote it off to yet another New York custom with which I wasn't familiar but obliged nonetheless. I never noticed, but Jake apparently never got a kiss. Not one. He also suspected this was why we got away with many of the things we did, as well as never having had our rent raised.

One night Jake and I were coming home from having a few beers at one of the bars up the street. As we approached the house, Judy was sitting out on the porch having a cigarette. It was obvious she wasn't a smoker by the way she held it awkwardly in her hand. We knew she had been drinking from the first word that left her mouth.

Judy: [Slurring] Well it's about time you boysh got home. A lil late, isn't it?

Me: Yes, mother, we're sorry.

Judy: Well, don'tletithappenagain, ok?

Me: Yes, mother.

Judy: Well come up here and give yer mother a kissh before bed, then.

Me: I think I'd better just...

Judy: NOW goddamnit!

Jake, always the quiet one, looked at me and knew her persistence was meant for me. He paused and gave me the "Go do your duty so we can continue to live comfortably near campus while smoking pot in the house and illegally using her washer and dryer" look. I obliged. Not 30 seconds later, at the top of stairs, Judy's tongue shot straight into my mouth like a warm, fleshy dagger. I sat straight up, completely shocked. My only hope was that Jake didn't see.

Judy: Atta boy. Now get your ass in bed.
Me: OK, um, goodnight, Judy.

As we entered the basement apartment I headed over to my side of the room and crashed on my bed, stunned. Jake stood in the middle of the room and took a hit off the bong. After a long period of silence, he set the bong down on the TV tray and looks me straight in the eye. With both fists clinched and arms bent, he thrusts his elbows back and pelvis forward to each syllable and screams:

"Judy Pooty Wham Bam BaHooty!"

From that moment on, Judy had a new name.


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