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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Cribs: Shaq Shack shacks up in a shack of shacks

You could make a variety of assumptions about the residents of 1030 East St. from the large white angel statue hovering just outside the front door and the various sheds and shacks scattered throughout the yard. Who lives there—a religious fanatic? A psychotic murderer?

Shaq Shack. Photograph by Avery Rowlison.

As it turns out, Carly Riley ’13, Emma Baker ’13, Madeleine Garvey ’12, Alenka Figa ’12 and Gertrude Chong ’12 are neither religious fanatics nor mass murderers, but merely had the luck of finding a comfortable and convenient house that had been previously owned by someone quirky, to say the least.

“When we first visited, the real estate agent told us that the previous owner was sort of a kook,” Chong said. “We have a bunch of shacks in our back yard and the locks around this house. … There are a bunch of locks everywhere.”

While locks normally add a sense of security to a house, this peculiar exorbitance was rather discomforting for both the tenants and the realtor, who had to have several of the locks removed before showing the house. The shacks around the yard serve as an even more compelling source of speculation and conjecture about the house’s previous owner.

“There are a couple of gazebo shack-things in the back yard and one of them still has body-sized lockers in it,” Figa said. “We don’t get access to it, like we don’t have a key to it. … One of them is open and you can see in it, but the other one could totally have a corpse in it.”

Choosing to focus on the less morbid, the house’s name “Shaq Shack” refers both to the various shacks and to the house’s shared passion, Shaquille O’Neal.

“Also Clark Gable,” said Garvey, referring to another house mascot. “He’s in the bathroom across from the toilet.”

Clark Gable’s face is one of several photographs across from the toilet, perfectly at eye level for a seated guest.

“Madeleine’s mom was here and she was in this bathroom and she saw the Clark Gable picture in particular I think,” Figa said.

“She laughed so loudly, we all heard her in the living room,” finished Riley.

Several other laughable quirks line the rooms of the Shaq Shack, including chicken curtains in the kitchen, a Narnia closet in Figa’s bedroom, and several other strange openings and crevices that appear to be architectural misjudgments on the part of the engineer.

“There’s also a border wallpaper in the bathroom that’s like cats on outhouses, … or is it chickens? They really liked chickens,” Garvey said.

“I actually like the chicken curtains,” Chong asserted. “What I really didn’t like about this house was the really creepy angel theme.”

In addition to the statue guarding the front door, the house was also bedecked with angel stickers bearing slogans and blessings. Though the house has an angel theme, not everything that goes on in the Shaq Shack is sanctified.

“Gertie’s favorite thing to do when we drink is to do jumping jacks and then run around the house,” Riley said.

Chong seems to have the most raucous habits of the five house members and is also the house member likely to be wearing fewest clothes at any given time.

“I don’t wear pants often. … I don’t think it’s right to wear pants,” Chong said. “Most everyone’s seen me mostly naked.”
Among other house customs is Carly Appreciation Day, which comes approximately once every month.

“We tell her that we appreciate her repeatedly. We literally just say, ‘Oh, it’s Carly Appreciation Day,’” Figa said.

“We don’t really like try to do anything, we just kind of note the fact that it’s her day today,” Chong said.

Another beloved honorary member of the house is the droopy one-eyed dog that lives next door and receives attention, care and occasional jokes from Shaq Shack members.

“He’s really slobbery, so when you pet him, he slobbers all over your hand,” Figa said fondly.

“I think he’s the closest thing to the [house] mascot. Him and Shaquille O’Neal,” Chong said.

There is, however, a less adored neighbor across the street from the Shaq Shack who heckles Chong as she leaves and enters the house.

“Every time I come home, or like at least maybe once a week, he just says, ‘HEY!’ and then I turn around and he doesn’t say anything else,” Chong said. “And then Dane [Haiken ’12], he ran across him as well when he was leaving the house, and the dude said, ‘HEY! You with the face!’ and then didn’t say anything.”

This rather disturbing man does not aggressively greet any of the other members of the Shaq Shack. Perhaps he caught a glimpse of Chong with her pants off at some point through the chicken curtains and now feels compelled to say hey.

“Luckily, though, we have 10 locks on all of our doors,” Riley said.

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