Last Saturday, we had a Haymarket House Christmas party, complete with secret Santa gifts and carol-singing around the tree. One of our housemates suggested that we compose our own "Twelve Days of Christmas." There were twelve of us, so we went around, composing verses as we sang. What we came up with sheds some light on co-op living:
Day 1: A blender that doesn't break down
there are thirteen of us living in this house, and most of us like
smoothies, blenders get heavy use, and break fairly often. Our current
blender has a five-year warranty, and looks pretty industrial. We're hoping it lasts a year.
Day 2: Two legal egresses
house was recently (right before Heather and I moved in) renovated to
comply with city code, much of which has to do with fire safety and
Day 3: Three empty cook days
there are thirteen of us. Since we each cook twice per month, this
means that some days, there is no one scheduled to cook dinner.
Day 4: Four elemental bathrooms
are four bathrooms in the house, each one named for an Aristotelian element (there is also a mysterious fifth "Heart Bathroom")
Day 5: Five-week-old seitan
is a wheat-based meat substitute. It is easiest to make in large
batches, when it can then be used for meals. This bulk process means
that sometimes the seitan gets real old.
Day 6: Six make-up chores
a co-op member doesn't get their chore done on time, they have to do a
make-up chore in addition to the chore that they neglected. No one ever
racks up six at once, as far as I know.
Day 7: Seven awkward silences
so many people around the dinner table, conversations inevitably split
apart and recombine in interesting patterns, sometimes resulting in
everyone in silence at the same time.
Day 8: Eight alarms alarming
the renovations, a state-of-the-art fire alarm system was installed.
What that means is that, if one alarm is triggered, the whole floor,
then the whole building is triggered with blaring alarms. Sometimes,
even when the situation is under control, the system continues to sound.
Eight is not a stretch.
Day 9: Nine bakers baking
of people in the house like to bake. All stereotypes of co-ops to the
contrary, "bake" is not a euphemism for marijuana use in this lyric. It
actually refers to cookies, cakes, etc.
Day 10: Ten kinds of beans
Pinto, Garbanzo, Black, Red, White, Green, Kidney, Navy, Coffee, and the dog named Bean who used to live here. Beans are important when you aren't eating meat.
Day 11: Eleven socialists protesting
We live in a house named for one of the most famous workers'-rights happenings in U.S. history. And one of our housemates is a community organizer.
Day 12: Twelves rooms named for spices
Each bedroom is, in fact, named for a different cooking spice. Heather and I live in Crushed Red Pepper.