The World’s Most Difficult Housemate

by Joey deVilla on November 28, 2007

Craigslist is eating newspaper classfied ads sections’ lunches not only because it’s free, but also because you can write a really long classified ad. Instead of having to resort to shorthand, the way have to with newspaper classifieds like the example below…

WANTED rmmate for 2 bdrm 2 bath apt. No smkrs, pets ok. Avail Dec 1 – call 555-1234.

…you can write a magnum opus that clearly explains what you’re selling or seeking.

Case in point: here’s an ad for the San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist for a guy who’s having so much trouble keeping a roommate that he has to sweeten the deal with a $1000 bonus. He’s got some rather odd rules for living with him — he might make an awful roommate, but he’d be a really interesting TV character.

The ad has just been removed from Craigslist, but in the interest of preserving the historical record (or sharing the joke in the very likely chance that the ad is someone’s idea of a prank-cum-creative-writing-exercise), I’ve repeated the ad below. Enjoy!


I am seeking out a roommate. I’ve had several the past 3 months that did not work out so well and am hoping to find “the perfect housemate.” I think it can be done!

I am a plastic surgeon, single straight male, and am wealthy but rather lonely. I could keep this house to myself, and have for about a year, but I’ve realised that life is much better when it’s shared with people who are conscious (as opposed to my clients and my nursing staff!). (This is not to say that my nursing staff is unconscious – obviously they are not! It’s just very difficult to become friends with a staff that is somewhat dubious of my methods. I’m no rogue, but I do have Eastern-influenced techniques that some find odd and/or disconcerting – but I do have a 99% success rate! In any case, it doesn’t make much sense to mix business and pleasure.)

I do have a dog, Basil Ironweed (yes that is his name, people seem to be confused that I have given him a full name like a person and some kind of laugh, but I assure you I take my dog very seriously and treat him with respect, and I ask that you do the same). It would actually be ideal if you have a female dog of pure pedigree (I’d need to see the papers though, for breeding purposes) and I’d prefer her to be a medium-sized dog (I will consider most breeds except absolutely no Australian Kelpies and no American Water Spaniels, please! The colouring of the mating dogs’ possible kin would be horrendous if this were the case! Also, Basil is a Border Collie in case you were wondering!) If you do not have a dog, that is also fine. All other pets will be considered except: no cats unless they are of the outdoor variety, no arthropods, and all avians must be salmonella-free, clipped toenails, and tagged.

My house has only a one-car garage. It used to be a two-car one, but I decided to convert half of it into a micro-personal gym as I am rather health conscious. (I do have a gym membership, but my gym is not 24-hour, and sometimes at night I really need to get on the bowflex to burn off some of my energy since I have a lot of it! Also, after meals it’s inconvenient for me to run off to the gym, and that is why I need one at my disposal. The gym membership is because they have a pool there, and swimming is really good for the joints. Just in case you were wondering.) That said, you’ll have to use street parking, but I assure you that my neighborhood is quiet and safe, and there is usually a spot right out in front of my house! (The only time the spot is taken is when the lunch truck comes for the construction workers that are on the corner of my street. It only sits there for about 20 minutes between 1 and 2 pm during the week, depending on how chatty the boys are that day.)

Anyways, I have a few rules that need to be followed, but other than that, we should get along fine!

  • I request that you listen to all music via headphones. I have mild tinnitus and the sounds from most Hi-Fi equipment sans headphones really irriate me. I am open to discussing music, but sadly we cannot directly share it as my ears can’t handle rapidly changing frequencies. (If you’d like to share lyrics, I’d be more than delighted to oblige!)
  • If you are going to cook, please do not use the following spices: curries, paprika, anything Cajun, and dill. The smells of these things turns my stomach. (If you have any scents that you’d like to avoid, by all means let me know and I’ll do you the same honour.)
  • You must brush your teeth at least twice a day. If there is anything I cannot stand it’s filthy teeth. (Believe me, I’ve had a couple roommates who just could not handle this simple routine – your gingiva may not mind, but I certainly DO.)
  • If you are going to watch tv, please let me know in advance which programs you’d like to watch. I do have TiVo, by the by, and I have certain shows that I simply must watch when they originally air. I cannot be too flexible with this because I cannot stand to wait to see my programs. You have to understand that I simply have to watch them when they originally air or I will get a little batty. Most of my programs are on public broadcasting and do not tend to run during prime-time spots.
  • I do not appreciate unannounced house-guests. I need to know at least two days in advance that company is coming – I need to know the duration of the stay, and the nature of the visit. But, I am open to any and all visitors, I just need to know the specifics involved.
  • I have reduced rent drastically because I realise that some of my requests might seem slightly stringent. I will pay the bulk of the rent in exchange for your understanding, your commitment to the house, and your humouring of my quirks.
  • You must be ok with my upholstery hobby. On every third Tuesday of the month I request that you vacate the house between the hours of 4 pm – 11:45pm while I upholster various pieces of antique furniture. I am a perfectionist and require complete silence in the house. I’ve tried this with housemates who’ve promised to stay in their rooms, but this proved impossible as bathroom habits demand a regular schedule that interrupts my artisan work. That said, I will give you a small stipend on these days if it will assist you in finding something to do with that block of time.
  • No newspapers or magazines. The ink gets everywhere and the gloss irritates my eyes. Sorry! You are free to read them on the front porch, but they must be stored outside of the house (perhaps in your car?)
  • This is not to sound discriminating, but, if you speak either French, Urdu, or Afrikaans, I kindly request that you not speak them in my vicinity as the cadences used in these languages are grating to the ears and nerves, for me.
  • I have fresh produce delivered from an undisclosed location to my home every Wednesday afternoon. Please do not purchase fruits or vegetables and bring them home. You can request any that you desire and I will add them to my order queue. (I am fastidious about potential-GM produce and pesticide usage – I will not tolerate either!) Also, if you insist on preparing red meat dishes in the home, do cook the meat thoroughly. IT MUST SIZZLE.
  • No cellphone tones in my home! Please use silent mode only!
  • You are not to use paints in the home. The noxious odours will aggravate my allergies!

That’s the summary of my requests! I do actually have a handbook which I will provide for your perusal during our interview (yes, there will be an interview for final-stage candidates) that outlines all of my more particular requests.

If you are interested, please email me the following information:

  • Name
  • Occupation
  • Age
  • Allergies
  • Favourite author


[Found via Reddit.]

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

asdf November 28, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Creative… riding??

Joey deVilla November 28, 2007 at 2:23 pm

@asdf: Eek! I meant creative writing. Perhaps I was thinking about my bike when I typed that in.

Thanks for spotting that mistake!

Kim Scarborough November 28, 2007 at 6:40 pm

This is off the subject, but… did you know that your site’s description is set to “Pardon me while I get this thing set up”? Dunno if that’s intentional.

Mary November 28, 2007 at 7:30 pm

I just made some beef paprikash tonight. The no-dill requirement would be a dealbreaker for me, sadly.

Rohan Jayasekera November 29, 2007 at 1:48 am

“IT MUST SIZZLE”: did you write that ad yourself by any chance? :->

Chris Taylor November 29, 2007 at 11:33 am

Hell yeah no arthropods. Nematodes for the win!

Logical Philosopher November 29, 2007 at 8:37 pm

I was going to say he had me at “hello”, but then I read further. He *really* had me at “stipend”.

hmm December 10, 2007 at 5:24 pm

Hey, this was posted on the LA craigslist like, back in ’05:

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