So unfortunately the last time I was drunk and writing this blawg, apparently I said something ridiculous about posting one every week and the two people that read it got all pissy with me for not meeting my intoxicated-induced deadline, and that is why you are being forced to suffer through another one of these narcissistic stories about my life. If you don’t like it, take it up with Michelle Crouse and Nate Cook. Bastards.

ANYHOW, it’s another episode of “Where The Buffalo Roams” brought to you by Hungry-Man dinners. If you’re lazy and don’t care that your body looks like a bloated bovine carcass that has been rotting in the sun for a few days, try Hungry-Man. Huzzah! Let’s hear it for American ingenuity and obesity!

Speaking of food, as Michelle so graciously pointed out, I forgot to mention in my last blawg that The Buffalo regularly brings me canned food from the Food Bank here in town. Specifically, black beans and pears. You might be asking yourself: Well, Dale, are black beans and pears your two favorite ingestible items? Perhaps you have a mouth-watering recipe for black-beans-and-pear pie. Nope. Pears creep me out because of their grainy texture (it feels like I’m eating fruit-flavored dirt) and as for black beans, well, I’m just an old-fashioned racist at heart who doesn’t like anything with the word “black” in it.

(Boulderites, before you call the NAACP, that was a joke. I love black people… Now Jews on the other hand!)

(Haha, also a joke. Zay moykhl.)

I have no idea why The Buffalo brings me black beans and pears, but I currently have…

(pause while I count the jars in my solitary-confinement-like apartment)

…seven cans of pears and…

(pause for a second count because I’m not very good at math and didn’t think I could remember the first number while I was counting to figure out the second number)

…twelve cans of black beans. That’s right, I said TWELVE. That is a ridiculous number of beans for one person to have, I don’t care what color they happen to be.

Yesterday, The Buffalo showed up with two more cans of black beans and said, “Could you use some more beans?” Which is always his question. I said, “No.” Which is always my response. And then he stood in my doorway awkwardly until I took them.

When I was a kid, we used to have this Siamese tomcat named Leroy who would go out hunting all night long and the next morning he’d leave a dead mouse at the front door. I would be headed off to school, tra-la-la, and then, oh, a dead rodent on our Welcome mat, how nice. And I would pick it up by the tail and chase my sisters with it all the way to Yuma Elementary School, Home of the Little Indians!

I kind of think that’s what The Buffalo is doing. It’s some sort of offering he makes, although I’m not sure what exactly it is for. It’s his strange way of saying that we’re friends. Which is completely cool but also weird and unnecessary.

Michelle asked me why I keep taking these pears and beans, and I honestly don’t know, except that it seems like I would be breaking some sort of code if I refused them. I guess my logic is that if The Buffalo ever decides to go all John Wayne Gacy on the world, I want to be on his good side. One day he might freak out about quality of the janitorial services in the building and start chopping up all my neighbors. If that happens, I’ll barricade myself in my room and blawg about it while surviving off of my endless supply of black beans and pears.

As I’ve mentioned before, there is a man who lives in my apartment building who calls himself the Buffalo. He is a big man, a talkative man, and a man who would prefer not to wear shirts. He is not ashamed of his body, thank you very much. Although he probably should be.

Fortunately, the Buffalo is also a computer-less man, and since he only leaves his apartment to do laundry and purchase Hungry-Man Dinners, I can safely assume that he will never ever read this blawg.

I am simultaneously awed by and frightened of the Buffalo. I constantly want to have conversations with him, and yet whenever he does start to converse with me, I have an overwhelming impulse to scream and run out of the room. This is also kind of how I feel about Lady Gaga.

If the Buffalo was either evil or good, it would be a lot easier to make up my mind about him. I could simply classify him in a category and then treat him accordingly. For instance, if he were evil, I would say that he’s got a real Jeffrey Dahmer-type vibe and all those hours in the bathroom are probably spent carefully peeling off the tips of his fingers so that he won’t leave any prints on his  victims, a la Kevin Spacey in “Se7en” (and, yes, that is technically how the name of that movie is supposed to be spelled–I looked it up on  Or if he was good, I would say that he is more of the Quazimoto type, a deformed creature that has been rejected by society because of his outward appearance, but inside that extremely hairy, man-boob chest there beats a heart of gold.

But the Buffalo is a complicated guy and he cannot be so easily defined. There is goodness in him and there is evilness (if that is actually a word).

PEOPLE’S EXHIBIT A: There used to be a young Mexican man named Juan who cleaned our kitchen and bathroom. Since there is one kitchen and one bathroom for the entire floor, those facilities have to be used by seven people, and since those seven people are lazy slobs, management has to pay a man to clean up after them once a week, and since management is cheap and doesn’t want to pay minimum wage, that man needs to be willing to work for very little cash paid under the table. Juan was such a man. He wasn’t exactly great with a mop and dustpan but then again he never complained about the insane people who made his job miserable, so everyone decided to ignore his janitorial shortcomings.

Everyone except the Buffalo.

The Buffalo told management that Juan was lazy and then Juan was fired. Let me repeat that: The guy who doesn’t have a job and has never had a job complained that the guy who cleans up after him was lazy.

Okay, so that’s the Evil Buffalo. However, hold on to your knickers, there’s also the Good Buffalo.

DEFENSE EXHIBIT B: I have another neighbor who steals my mail. Well, to be fair, she steals everyone’s mail, not just mine. I guess it’s like her thing or something. Some crazy ladies have cats, some crazy ladies collect campaign buttons; this crazy lady steals mail.

You see, there’s only one mailbox for the entire apartment building. What! you say. Only one mailbox! Why, that’s absurd! Yes, dear reader, it is absurd and I appreciate the exclamation points in your hypothetical reaction. The mailman simply drops all the mail on our front porch like a zookeeper throwing a pound of chum into a shark tank. For the first two months that I lived here, I couldn’t figure out why my Netflix movies never arrived. I found out later that Crazy Lady was stealing them. She waits for the mail and then she takes all of it to her room, where it disappears into a dark vortex of stuffed animals and ceramic figurines. Since I actually have a job, I can’t wait around all day to prevent this woman from taking my “Diff’rent Strokes: Episodes 1-5” DVDs. That would be insane.

I told the Buffalo about this problem and he immediately sprang (well, oozed) into action. Every day, he sits on the front stoop of the building until the mailman comes and he carefully looks at every letter three times to make certain that he has all my mail. Afterward, he either shoves my mail under my door immediately or, in the case of packages, squirrels them away in secret hiding places in his room until I come home, and then he promptly delivers them to me. It’s like having a butler. A butler who lives down the hall, and talks too much about “Unsolved Mysteries,” and doesn’t wear a shirt, and refuses to do any actual work aside from delivering postal products. So not really like a butler at all, actually.

ANYHOW, that’s the situation. Evil Buffalo vs. Good Buffalo. Who shall win the day? If Good Buffalo prevails, I will continue watching crappy sitcoms from the 1980s while writing this blawg. If Bad Buffalo is victorious, you will probably find me in a duffel bag along with numerous cans of well organized food products.

The Buffalo does not like to wear shirts. That is the first thing I learned about the Buffalo when I moved into this apartment approximately one year ago. There is no air conditioning in this building, you see, and the Buffalo is “a fat bastard,” as he once described himself to me whilst clipping his toenails at the dining table in our community kitchen. He has diabetes and high blood pressure. He needs to keep his core temperature cool. This is why he does not like to wear shirts. Some people in the past have complained about the Buffalo walking around shirtless, but the Buffalo does not understand these complaints. This apartment building is the Buffalo’s home, after all, and if the Buffalo wants to walk around half naked in his own home, well then the Buffalo believes he should be allowed to do so. If the other tenants don’t like it, well, too bad. It’s a free country. Besides, the Buffalo has a note from his doctor.

The Buffalo is my neighbor. He lives three doors down from me and he is a shut-in. The only time he ever leaves the apartment is to do laundry or purchase groceries. Otherwise, he is here. All the time.

We call him the Buffalo because he believes he was a buffalo in a former life. Here is how he came to that realization: he was listening to the “Dances with Wolves” soundtrack one day and he got a very strong feeling that he was a buffalo in a former life. The end.

One day shortly after I moved into the building, I was cooking a pot of rice in the kitchen and the Buffalo entered in a state of excitement. He held out what appeared to be a brown rock the size of a tangerine and insisted that I guess what it was. I guessed that it was a rock.

“No,” said the Buffalo. “It’s a piece of petrified buffalo feces.”

Let me remind you that we were in the kitchen and I was cooking food.

“How do you know it’s petrified buffalo feces?” I asked while putting a lid on my pot of rice. “It looks like a rock.”

Apparently, this was the wrong question to ask. The Buffalo’s face darkened and he proceeded to tell me all the reasons why this thing that he was holding in his hand was indeed a chunk of excrement.

“Okay, but how do you know it came from a buffalo? Couldn’t it have just as easily come from an elk or a deer?”

Also the wrong question. I received another long lecture on the color and texture of buffalo excrement as compared to the color and texture of elk and deer excrement. Apparently, only an idiot would think that buffalo excrement resembled elk or deer excrement. Their dietary habits were completely different. Also, was I forgetting that the Buffalo had been a buffalo in a former life? And if you were a four-legged bovine that had been reincarnated as a human man, don’t you think you’d recognize the excrement of your own species? Well, don’t you?

The Buffalo plays the Freddie Mercury power ballad “We are the Champions” at full volume at least once a day.

The Buffalo spends at least four hours a day in the bathroom.

The Buffalo only eats Hungry-Man dinners.

The Buffalo believes he has telekinetic powers. One day, when he was a young man living in Florida, the Buffalo was sitting on the couch watching television. The family dog scratched on the front door and whined, indicating that it wanted to be let outside. The Buffalo did not want to get off the couch. Therefore, he concentrated very hard and suddenly the door sprang open on its own. The dog ran outside. The Buffalo concentrated again and the door swung shut again. This is why the Buffalo believes he has telekinetic powers.

The Buffalo wears a straw hat whenever he leaves the apartment building.

The Buffalo organizes his soup cans according to size and color.

The Buffalo watches reruns of “Unsolved Mysteries” every day.

The Buffalo was not breast fed as a child. About a month ago, I was in the kitchen minding my own business when the Buffalo entered the room and started pouring a gallon of milk down the sink.

“You want some milk?” he asked me.

“No, thank you,” I said.

“This is two percent; that’s why I’m dumping it out,” he explained. “I only drink whole milk.”

“That’s nice,” I said.

“I drink about a gallon of milk a week. I’m not sure why I drink so much milk. I think maybe it’s because I wasn’t breast fed as a child.” He then exited the kitchen without saying goodbye.

The Buffalo thinks he has social anxiety disorder.

The Buffalo thinks he has obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The Buffalo thinks he has a ghost in his room.

The Buffalo does not have a job. He receives seven-hundred dollars a month from the government because of his “social problems” and that’s what he lives on. Sometimes the Buffalo uses his food stamps to buy me canned pears. I don’t know why. I have never expressed a preference for canned fruit of any kind, much less pears. However, I accept them graciously whenever they are offered because, to be perfectly honest, I am a little bit afraid of the Buffalo and I want to keep on his good side. I want to be a good neighbor. I want to build a relationship based on friendship and trust. Because, if he ever goes Jeffrey Dahmer on us, I am hoping he will remember the bond we’ve developed over canned pears and petrified feces and will refrain from turning my skull into an ashtray.

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