Is This the Grossest NYC Roommate Story Ever?


In a tale that reeks of urban legend, or perhaps just reeks, there is this: Fashion blog Refinery 29 has the distinctly un-fashiony story of a roommate, another roommate, and a “roommate” that the first one never knew about — until he did, discovering it horribly and by accident — made of old Chinese food and dressed in actual clothing. Confused? It gets worse.

Our poor wannabe subletter, the writer of this story, had broken up with a girl and needed a place to stay. In his search for housing, he ventured to the Lower East Side, where “Doug” had a spare room at a “super-low price.” (First lesson of NYC real estate: If it’s cheap, there’s something wrong. There’s probably something wrong anyway.)

Doug, being an honest sort, confessed what was wrong to the wannabe subletter. (Lesson two of NYC real estate: Lie. When you can’t lie, blame it on Craigslist.) Apparently, Doug had found his former roommate, “Jack,” on the site, and lived with him a few months amicably until a rainstorm hit while Jack was away and his window was left open. Doug went into Jack’s room to close the window. (Lesson three of NYC real estate: Never do this.) That’s when Doug found a disgusting scene of stacks of Chinese food containers, “some 10 boxes high, some already toppled, with their half-eaten contents strewn on the floor.”

Stop reading here if you have or have ever had anything resembling a weak stomach. We will quote the rest verbatim, because it’s the only way.

Then he saw the boot.

Doug leaned over to pick it up, knowing what the contents were before his fingers even made contact. Spilled out from the tops were strings of Lo Mein noodles, and hard pieces of dried rice. Doug was sure he could see crusted-over mounds of meat and hardened sauce. Sickened, Doug sat down the shoe, and as he did so, he noticed a shadow in the shape of a human body beneath the twin bed.

With absolute trepidation, Doug lifted the bed and slid it a few feet away, knocking over a pile of takeout boxes. What he uncovered wasn’t — to his immediate relief — a real person. But it was a person’s shape, with a hooded sweatshirt attached to gloves and a pair of jeans, with the other boot tucked into the leg. Coming out of the seams were remnants of noodles, rice, and meat, grease stains pooling through the fabric and onto the floor, spoiled scraps of food filling the hoodie to the brim. Doug scanned the body — and…yep, there it was. Noodles oozed out of the unzipped fly; a glory hole that Jack had ostensibly been taking advantage of all spring long.

Enough said. Doug had the locks changed and kicked Jack out. The wannabe subletter did not sublet. And someone, somewhere in New York City, can top this. Will it be you? Email us. (Lesson four of NYC real estate: These stories are meant to be shared.)

We confirmed, by the way, that the tale is, according to its editor, “100 percent true.”


Meat Lover! The Scariest (True) NYC Sublet Story You’ve Ever Heard [R29]