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Punk House at Impasse as No One Can Agree What Constitutes “Garbage”

OAKLAND, Calif. — Tenants of a local punk house are locked in a bitter discourse of what actually constitutes garbage, despite weeks of living amongst their own growing filth, frustrated neighbors reported.

“I knew this chore wheel would bite us on the ass one day. Every time it’s someone else’s turn to take out the trash, we all get stuck on the definition of ‘trash’ and suddenly it’s six hours later and nobody feels like addressing it. We all get that it has to be done but if we’re really sticking to our DIY ethos, then any of these empty beer cans and takeout containers can be repurposed for something. We’re just not sure what yet,” said Jim Callahan from a chair made of pizza boxes and milk crates. “I know this shit’s piling up and we’re inhaling toxic fumes and mold, but I don’t think we’re going to agree on what has to go anytime soon. At least not while we have a literal load-bearing tower of phone books.”

While the tenants were careful to not rush to conclusions, their landlord has been growing increasingly impatient with the accumulating refuse.

“I can accept them flooding the bathroom, cigarette burns on the walls, and illegal basement shows since all that damage can be painted over. But I have been getting nonstop complaints from the neighbors about the goddam smell. Just put the shit on the curb and someone will take it! How fucking hard is that?” said Sal Wilkins. “Every week they rope me into their debates about the ethics of not contributing to landfills while I try not to projectile vomit. I don’t care if they built a ‘guest house’ out of soiled mattresses in the back, if the HOA reports it I’m going to get fined out the ass.”

Conflict mediators stepped in to deliver a quick and sanitary resolution for the deadlocked residents.

“I specialize in hoarder situations, but this is the first time I’ve seen four in the same house. I started by asking them to separate everything into piles of what was necessary and what they can live without, and they just threw some expired antibiotics at me so I guess there’s my answer,” said Mary Kelly. “Assigning arbitrary value to junk is a root cause of not throwing anything away, but I don’t think it’s a mental illness issue as much as it’s just pure laziness.”

At press time, the roommates agreed that anything that said “bill” or “past due” can be thrown away immediately.