By Katie Collins & Isabel Monaghan
“Two dollars and we’ll show you our vermin.”
The speaker is Emily Evans ’13—one of five students currently residing in the large white house on High Street. Though her offer is not particularly tempting, the wide variety of art, décor and yes, rodents, suggest that the house has plenty of personality.
The housemates are Evans, Tyler Banas ’13, Pippa Nardie-Warner ’13, Alexa Reynolds ’13 and Alec Maliwanag ’13. Though four of them moved into the house at the beginning of the summer, the house on 1008 High Street has only recently received its name.
“The inspiration came when we were hanging out at a local water park,” Evans reminisced.
There was originally some disagreement over the naming of the house—it had been a toss-up between Applebee’s Club, Versailles, Stoop, and Box Hole—but the architectural similarity between their home and Buckingham Palace was too striking to ignore. Hence, the F*ckingHAM was born.
Upon entering, one is immediately confronted with a large, glittering mass known to the housemates as ‘The Leviathan.’ It is constructed primarily of glitter, chicken wire and paper-mache. This winding sea monster was originally rescued from behind Grinnell’s public library.
“We saw this glittery thing coming out of the dumpster,” Evans said.
“So we hung it up in the entry way,” Reynolds concluded.
Though now it lies dormant (due to an incident with a less-than-sober partygoer), the group hopes to return The Leviathan to its honorary position in the near future.
Another focal point in the house is a large, teal, framed painting that Reynolds has appropriately dubbed ‘Iowan Surrealism.’ It is a classic painting of a dog in the snowy woods with a surreal twist—the dog, thanks to Evans’ artistic compulsions, spews fire. Another such improvement can be found in a painting of a rolling landscape, which now incorporates a surprisingly nondescript purple dinosaur.
Although decorative innovation is a major part of the F*ckingHAM (there is a statue of a cat sporting a hat from P-Diddy’s fashion line, a vase with peacock feathers and much more), the foundation of the house is found in the housemate’s traditions.
“So, we have the spirit guide of the house,” Evans said. “We have a rat that visits the kitchen at night…we have a tradition of screaming ‘RAT!’ ”
The housemates also enjoy lounging on their porch and handing out advice to naïve passerby. Just this week, they assisted a passing cyclist with a dilemma involving beer, flip-flops, and a lack of common sense. Banas likes to think that the F*ckingHAM has become ‘a house of wisdom exchange.’
Their embrace of wisdom has come in handy at other times, too.
“We did have somebody chew our couch,” Banas said.
In a model of true wisdom and self-governance, the student predator was confronted in regards to his behavior. He promptly cleaned up and disposed of the mangled couch.
Though Maliwanag added, “I think I saw him eating it while he was throwing it away too.”
The heroic encounters with rodents and orally-fixated students have strengthened the bonds between the friends of F*ckingHAM.
Nardie-Warner, whose favorite tradition is the Thursday night “family dinners,” exclaimed, “I love everyone in our house!”