Todd “Ship” Shapiro —
I tried to use other means, but the name is in too much use and database searches don’t really help me lock things down. So here we go.
It shouldn’t be a big surprise that I am a Hell Roommate. Within a short time you figure out that you made a really bad mistake renting an apartment with me. In fact, after college I stopped living with anyone else and rented my own places except for a short interlude out of financial necessity that was, in its own way, also a disaster.
In the case of college, of course, you don’t have much choice in roommates, so the blazing hades of being my roommate was imposed upon, in order, Ben, Chris and Todd. Under “it seemed like a good idea at the time” we also have Mike, Scott, and (somewhat) John and Eric.
Todd was the longest-term college roommate, subjected to me for all of Freshman year at Emerson College. How he put up with me I’ll never know, and most markedly we ended up designing the absolute perfect layout for our dorm room, splitting up the bunk beds and arranging it so, if we wanted to, we could almost never see or hear each other.
He called himself “Ship”, played some basketball, and was going to Emerson for broadcast journalism and radio, with the intention of becoming a sports announcer. It is likely he dropped “Shapiro” later if he in fact went into that field. One side-effect of going to a school with such an entertainment bent is that a lot of people change their names professionally as needed. I mean, look at me, for example.
Anyway, so at one point, during a particularly gruesome fight, Todd said something that struck me enough that 18 years later I still remember it.
“You know, you better become fucking famous, so there’s something that made all this shit worth it.”
I’ve been in Wired, USA Today, the New York Times. I’ve been on NPR, on the CBC, and stuff I’ve written has been read by something in the range of many hundreds of thousands of people. I’ve had a film play on Comedy Central and Sundance. I’m in the IMDB, and I get the occasional fan mail.
I’m not A-list, B-list or even D-list, but in my little sphere, my little area I scoped out, I’m a celebrity.
I did my best, Todd!
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I got the BBS Documentary for Christmas, so you’re a celebrity to me.