doug_palmer (doug_palmer) wrote,

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Software as a Share House

With a considerable debt owed to He Died with a Felafel in His Hand1

Free Software

is the control-freak vegan. She insists that the dog is fed lentils until it can fly around the room at mach-1. She throws a massive tantrum every time she comes home and can smell sausages. She keeps on trying to insist that the household should buy a complete new set of saucepans, just in case the old ones have been used to cook meat. She's an "artist" and is "working on a big project". She posts the list of house rules on the fridge and monitors the kitty. She can explain the reasons for her decisions in detail and will do so until your ears bleed. Her inflexibility attracts cohorts of teenage boys, who think she's cool.


is free software's boyfriend. Pretty easy-going, he spends a lot of time acting as a sort of buffer between his girlfriend and practically the entire universe. He's a cabinet maker and lots of people want his work, since it's very solid. His girlfriend insists on co-signing all his work, on account of her "creative input." You'll often find him sleeping on the couch, when he's got fed up with the monotonous diet and has snuck out for a steak.

The Open-Source Collective

A labyrinth of rooms at the back of the house, some smelling of bong water, some pumping out viking metal at hazardous volumes and some containing desiccated corpses, contains a floating artists commune pumping out endless paintings, group shows and installations. Everybody is sleeping with everybody else. The collective is on pretty good terms with Linux and borrow his power tools all the time, returning them polished and sharpened. Free Software's teenage admirers usually get sucked into a room, after a while.


is an immaculate clubber, always perfectly dressed and stepping carefully over the left-over food on the floor in the living room. His room is exquisitely decorated and perfectly clean. At least, that's what the rest of the household see when they sneak a look through the door, since nobody is allowed in the room. Ever. Occasionally, he brings people back from outside the house. They vanish into his room and are never seen again. He never does the washing up, claiming that he has a private dishwasher in his room.


is a monogamous couple of bank tellers. They spend their time oscillating between telling the rest of the household to "get a real job", ostentatiously ignoring them and being barely aware that they're in a share house. Grossly overweight, they spend their time on the couch, watching TV and eating off trays. One of the collective secreted a webcam in their room one night and filmed them having sex; the rest of the household spent a lot of time sniggering over the result, but everybody watched it. His mother occasionally shows up and tries to force the rest of the house to move out. They're the only ones with any real money.


works at the same bank as Microsoft, but in the IT department. She wears a short skirt and a long jacket and is a bit older than the rest of the household. She moved in after her marriage broke up and was short on cash.

1 The fun book, not the dreary movie.
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