A Butt House Divided

Jack O’Malley, Copy Editor
omalleyj17@grinnell.edu

Clockwise from top left: Austin McKenney ’15, Isabel Monaghan, Jeca Kaplanovic, Willa Collins and Kate Strain (all ’16) teeter on the border of the Nation of Two. (Photo by Tela Ebersole.)

Clockwise from top left: Austin McKenney ’15, Isabel Monaghan, Jeca Kaplanovic, Willa Collins and Kate Strain (all ’16) teeter on the border of the Nation of Two. (Photo by Tela Ebersole.)

To the casual observer, 1226 Broad St. may look like a normal house with no major divisions between the residents. This, however, is simply not the case. The residents of this house are Kate Strain, Isabel Monaghan, Jeca Kaplanovic, Willa Collins, all ’16, and Austin McKenney ’15.

Even the name of the house is a contentious issue. Some refer to 1226 Broad St. as “Butt House,” while others maintain that it should be called “Moody Booty.” It is unclear the meaning behind either name.

“I would like to go on record saying that I don’t like any of the names,” Monaghan said.

Beyond the name of the house, two of the residents, Strain and Collins, have established a separate political entity inside the house.

“Upstairs, Kate and I live in what we like to call the Nation of Two. We have a distinctive culture,” Collins said. “We’re like Quebec or Catalonia.”

This separatist faction, however, has not broken away entirely from the remainder of the house.

“We are a house united, but we are sovereign states,” McKenney said of the status of the two house factions.

The Nation of Two seem to have tighter rules regarding how their part of the house is run. For an unknown reason there was an emphasis on the fact that they did not recognize bank holidays, but this may be related to the fact that there are no banks located in the Nation of Two.

“We have some pretty strict ground rules upstairs—no bats, no weirdos and no one is allowed to take our toilet paper,” Strain said.

The residents who are not included in the Nation of Two do not seem to mind the separatist tendencies of their fellow housemates.

“I’m fine with the Nation of Two as long as trade stays open,” McKenney said, speaking as a border resident to the Nation.

Instead, they are more focused on larger issues such as being a place where friends of the housemates can crash whenever they please. Some of these guests were in the house as we spoke.

“We have a lot of practically honorary home members,” McKenney said.

“There are always people here,” Kaplanovic added.

Other quirks of Butt House/Moody Booty include some of the residents’ eating habits, particularly the consumption of egg and sour cream.

“The consumption of eggs is all them, and it’s dazzling,” Collins said.

The pattern of consuming large quantities of eggs began during the residents’ first year while they were all living in Loose together. It was in Loose where the housemates all got to know each other and become friends.

“One time we made a whole carton of eggs … I have no idea why,” Strain said, reminiscing on her first year experiences.

“Whenever I would get upset … we would use eggs as a stress reliever. Also we would have a hammer and all get out on our floor and we would steal a lot of fruit and then throw them and hit them with the hammer,” Kaplanovic said.

Kaplanovic is also notorious for her love of sour cream, adding it to just about everything and anything she can. Her housemates have graciously accepted her despite her eating habits.

“She’s not eating sour cream with her hands yet,” Monaghan said.

“It’s a Serbian thing,” Kaplanovic said, in defense of her eating habits.

Despite their differences in diet or political boundaries, the residents of 1226 Broad St. all try to make time to have fun together, despite balancing the commonly intense and busy workload of a Grinnellian