LOUIS BURKE | Culture | CONTACT
Glen Mathieson (25) and his two share house companions deeply regret the day Jared Hobley (25) became their new housemate.
Sure, they needed a fourth person to cover the rising costs of rent and bills. But if the last few months has convinced them of anything, it’s that they’ve taken in Australia’s stingiest housemate.
“He works from home so he’s using more power and heating than any of us, but he refuses to pay his fair share,” Glen told The Advocate after his latest run-in with the stingy housemate.
It is alleged that Glen made it clear to Jared when he moved in that the costs of rent, bills and internet were equally shared. Despite this, each month Jared incessantly argues over the precise percentage of what he has and has not used, to the point where the very meaning behind words themselves becomes the topic of debate.
“When you say I haven’t paid my ‘fair share’ of bills,” Jared says to Glen after being told to pay his portion of the bills, “what exactly do you mean by ‘fair’ and in what sense, if any, does the concept relate to the term ‘share’?”
“That’s bullshit, Jared,” replies Glen as he picks up the latest power bill and shows the stingy man the maths. “Equal amounts, see! There’s four of us who live here and we all pay 25% each. Enough said.”
“Yes, but when you use the term ‘us’, it makes it seem like we’re one family unit when the truth is we all come from different families. And while we do ‘live here’ as you say, such words ignore the deeper truth that we also ‘live’ internally, through our conscious beings, our minds, which are not ‘here’ in any physical sense at all.”
“None of that matters, Jared,” explains Glen, pulling a clump of his own hair out. “We told you we split bills equally and you agreed to that.”
“Split bills? I assumed you were talking about us going out for a meal, that we’d ‘split the bill’ equally. That’s how the phrase is more commonly used. But even then I thought it would depend on the venue’s policy whether they accept split bills or not. It’s their call, not yours or mine.”
Frustrated, Glen sighed in a mixture of disgust and defeat, why does it have to be this hard seemed to be running through his mind given his pained expression.