The Mangler

30 Sep

Two years ago I was living in a two-family home with five friends.  It was like a frat house minus the bros, rape and shitty beer.

My friend and roommate at the time, joeb87, noticed one morning that someone had taken his block of pepper jack cheese out of the refrigerator, gnawed on one corner, and replaced it in the deli drawer.  We laughed, wondering who the hell would be that much of a dirtbag.

Throughout the next two weeks, there were another three or four attacks.  The culprit hit the pepper jack again, hard, joeb87’s jar of peanut butter got hand-scooped and there was a mysterious disappearance of a bag of Doritos.  We began referring to said monster as The Mangler and joeb87 and I began a Hardy Boys-esque investigation.

The Suspects:

Our other roommate downstairs was the only one in the house who was actually making enough money to buy food, not to mention the fact that all he really ate was Kraft mac & cheese and cereal; not a likely candidate for mangling.  We moved our investigation upstairs.

The second floor was Timbo Slice, the Don and the man they call Bradley (who has since vanished without a trace).

We ruled the Don out almost immediately.  Though he is a cheese enthusiast, he’s known for slowly and precisely cutting thin slices of his overpriced organic cheese for artisan breakfasts or deluxe sammies.  He’s also about 6’2″ and 150 lbs…not a Mangler’s build.

Timbo was a possibility.  After 9pm he was guaranteed to be hammered and/or stoned.  Then we thought, Timbo is the type of tart who would wake you up at 3am with headphones around his neck playing Funkadelic and ask you if he could borrow some cheese for a three course meal he was making.

The man they call Bradley…his midnight snacks were mostly comprised of ice cream and anything Entemann’s.  Clearly he had a sweet tooth, but could he also have a tooth for the savory?  But Bradley, thanks to a girlfriend, was not home on some of the nights in question and the mangling seemed to be the work of one man.

One night, after about three hours of turning out straight hundos in Rock Band with roomies and friends and slamming a 12-pack to my face, I ventured into the kitchen.  I opened the refrigerator looking for another beer, realized it was a bad idea since I had to work the next day, then grabbed one anyway.

I moved into the pantry sipping on the beer.  My eyes met a bag of pretzel rods.  I myunched one down.  Then I saw the peanut butter.  I needed it.  I needed pretzel rods dipped in peanut butter.  It was then that I realized…I was that filthy beast, The Mangler!

Since then, there have been many blackout nights followed by waking up shellacked in peanut butter, or sweeping Pringles from my bedsheets, or combing congealed cheese out of my beard.  And every time, I tell myself, “you’re better than that.”  I’m not.  When I’m vertical, I’ve got cheese on the brain, and I just can’t help myself.


One Response to “The Mangler”

  1. the_organicmechanic October 1, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    It should be noted that the peanut butter in question was organic and freshly ground.

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