I remember when I was living with five other guys in college. While it was full of fun noises and we could be as messy as we wanted to be, there is a point where, I believe, every college man asks himself the same question: "Are my roommates stealing my food?"
You know the scenario -- you come home one day, excited to try the new Chef-Boyardee ravioli you've been saving for a special occasion (you passed your Physical Science mid-term with a 68% - Boo yeah!!!) and when you get home you can't find it anywhere in the one small cupboard section that you were allotted when you moved in (six guys take up a lot of cupboard space). You can't remember eating it, but the can is gone and now all you have left is a bag of old potato chips and a moldy onion.
Now, your thoughts may immediately assume the worst and you begin to suspect your roommate who doesn't ever seem to go grocery shopping, or the freeloader who doesn't even live in your apartment, but manages to sleep on the couch every night and mooches off your Ramen sometimes, but what if you didn't have any roommates?
Such was the case with a man in Japan who lived all by himself in a tiny one-story house in Fukuoka. The 57-year-old lived a quiet and normal life until, one day, he noticed that some of his food was missing from his cupboard. Now, he didn't have any roommates at the time, but he more likely than not went to college at some point in his life and, therefore, figured that it was stolen.
He set up a video camera so he could get the culprit red-handed. One of the cameras captured someone inside his home one Thursday after he had left and transmitted the images to his mobile phone. He called police, fearing a burglary. When the police officers arrived, however, they found that all the doors were locked and all the windows were closed. Now, I know what you're thinking, because I thought the same thing: Hungry ghosts!!!
The police, the unbelievers they are, searched for a more logical explanation. And they found one. . .hiding in the closet. Police spokesman Hiroki Itakura said, "We searched the house ... checking everywhere someone could possibly hide. . .When we slid open the shelf closet, there [Tatsuko Horikawa] was, nervously curled up on her side." The 58-year-old homeless woman admitted that she had snuck into the man's house OVER A YEAR AGO when the man had left his apartment unlocked and she had lived in his closet during all that time!
This was no luxurious walk-in closet, either. Horikawa was living in a shelf in the closet that was only 50 cm high! She had moved a mattress into the small closet space and apparently even took showers while the homeowner was away. Police spokesperson Itakura even called the woman "neat and clean" which is the differentiating factor between Horikawa and the majority of college roommates.
So the moral of the story is: if you want to steal your roommates' food, all you have to do is clean up your mess after you eat. It'll take them a year to figure out their food is missing and, by then, you'll have moved on to mooch off of another apartment.
And for those of you living on your own, if you can't find that block of cheese that you swore you bought the other day. . .check your closet, you might have a small, homeless Japanese woman living in there.
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