Previous installments: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Also check out the official Livin' Large FAQ, Cast List, Flow Chart 1.0, and Flow Chart 2.0.

For the next few days, I was still stunned by from Mat's near fail-out-of-school experience. The whole situation was bizarre to me: the dude hadn't been going to class, turning in homework or taking tests. And yet, against all reason, he'd been allowed back into all his courses with a "C" so long as he attended "most" of the rest of his classes and did his homework. It was cheating. It was wrong.

It's also the way the world works, which is a lesson I had to learn sooner or later. We live in a society where, for example, a professional athlete can receive a mere slap on the wrist for running down a meter maid in a car with marijuana in it. Simply put, there are different sets of rules for different kinds of people. And right then, Mat was the kind of person for whom the rules were extra bendy.

Meanwhile, I watched one of my fellow non-athletes get kicked out of freshman calculus for missing three classes despite the fact that he was pulling a solid "B" at the time.

Now, it was true that I hated the Heineken light, the constant sexcapades, the fact that Mat stayed up all night while I was trying to sleep, etc. However, I was beginning to realize that the primary reason I didn't like my roommate was because his very existence violated my sense of right and wrong. Mat wasn't evil. He wasn't drowning kittens or drop-kicking babies. (Not as far as I knew anyway.) But he was perfectly content to lie, cheat and/or steal to get what he wanted regardless of who got hurt...which was exactly the opposite of how I was trying to live my own life. In the words of Dr. Perry Cox, Mat was a bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling. This point was driven home shortly after the near fail-out.

I had been wondering how Mat was able to call Shelly long distance so often. I was working about 20 hours a week for the dorm's food service and I could barely cover my long distance calls to Aimee (along with a few other petty expenses). Mat wasn't working at all. Sure, he'd gotten a handful of cash gifts from "concerned" alumni, but he was always buying things. How could he afford it all?

Petty larceny, that's how.

At the time, the dorms at my college assigned each student a long distance security code through AT&T. This code could be used on any phone at any dorm. Whenever you dialed a long distance number, the phone system prompted you to enter your 10-digit security code. At the end of each month, you received the bill based on the calls made using that code. If you didn't pay, the service was cut off.

Well, unbeknownst to me, Mat had maxed out his own long distance service the first month of school and simply hadn't paid the bill. Suddenly, he couldn't call his girlfriend in California (or his girlfriend in Conneticut, or his friends and family in Holland, etc.). So what's a ballah to do?

Here's what: he stole somebody else's security code. Not mine. I would have figured that out almost immediately. So if it wasn't me, then who? Well, remember when I bailed on Mat on Labor Day weekend and he had some guy from down the hall "fill in" for me? Sometime after that incident, Mat was hanging out with him in his room and, you know, snuck off with the guy's security code card.

Apparently, this guy didn't make many long distance calls, so it took him a while to realize there was a problem. When he finally opened his bill, it was several hundred dollars. Naturally, he freaked. The guy called AT&T and reported that his security code had been stolen. This initated an investigation into the calls that had been made...a few of which (short ones) had been to Holland. To his credit, the guy was able to put two and two together, so he called off the AT&T hounds and confronted Mat directly.

At first, Mat flatly denied doing anything. But when the guy threatened to report the theft of his security code to the campus police, Mat quickly agreed to pay the bill. (Of course, he had to use the poor guy's code one last time so he could call his parents and ask for the money.) Mat seemed a little shaken up by the incident, possibly because it happened right after he'd almost failed out of all his classes (which would have resulted in the loss of his scholarship).

Once he'd recovered a little, Mat said (mostly to himself I think), "I gotta get my shit in order." At first, I took that to mean he was going to start, I don't know, working hard and acting more responsibly. (Getting a job was supposedly out of the question; he claimed that his scholarship restrictions prevented him from seeking employment.) I really should have known better by that point.

Here's what Mat did about his money situation. First, he told Shelly she was gong to have to make all the phone calls from now on. He did the same thing for anyone else who called him long distance. Mat also asked his parents for a little cash influx, and he got Jennifer to make some of his semi-regular purchases.

With the money problem solved, Mat turned his attention to his studies. There was no way to get out of attending his classes, but he apparently had no intention of doing his homework. Like, none at all. So Mat found a handful of little workarounds. For instance, he traced a picture out of a comic book to complete an art class assignment. He copied -- word-for-word -- the lyrics for a song out of a Dutch rock album to complete a poetry assignment for his English class. He found a few girls willing to complete his math homework and various other assignments. These girls even did their best to mimic his clumsy scrawl.

As he cobbled together his little system, I was equal parts disgusted and amused. Disgusted at the academic dishonesty and amused by the fact that he was expending almost as much energy cheating as it would take to just get everything done himself.

While all this was going on, I received a jarring bit of news: Susan had started dating somebody. Like, seriously dating. His name was Rick, and I hated him sight unseen. I had no right to feel this way, of course. It's not like I'd done, well, anything at all. Susan wasn't someone who was going to remain single for very long, so I'm not sure what I expected. Still, her sudden attached status combined with the chilly relations with Aimee did a number on me. I was totally bummed.

That night, I asked Nathan if I could use his computer. I logged on and started chatting with Latrisse. Aimee didn't come up. The chat lasted so long that Nathan and his roommate Ron went to bed about halfway through. (Nathan told me I could continue using the computer as long as I wanted.) The chat became very flirtatious, particularly after Latrisse showed me how to chat in a private room. Flirting led to a little game of roleplaying. I don't remember all the details, but I do remember that her "character" was dressed as Shanna the She-Devil. That and the roleplaying became a wee bit naughty.

Eventually, the computer lab Latrisse was using kicked her out, so I started browsing the newsgroups, which I had only recently discovered. I was about two pages into a particularly steamy story when Nathan's voice drifted down from the darkness of his loft.

"Matt," he said, "I know what you're doing. I understand why you're doing it, and I admit I've done the same thing. However, those newsgroups are bad for your mind and soul. I would strongly advise you to stop reading them."

I turned off his computer and slunk out of the room without a word. I didn't ask to use his computer again for a few weeks.

The next evening, I was in the room working on a paper about medieval witchcraft when I got two phone calls.

The first call was from Aimee. "Latrisse was telling me you guys chatted for a couple hours last night."

"Oh...really?" I said. All Latrisse and I had done was some naughty flirting (and it was actually pretty innocent by today's standards), it wasn't out-and-out chat sex or anything, but I still felt guilty.

"Yeah," she said, and it became clear she wasn't upset or angry. If anything, she sounded sad. "It made me realize that...I miss you. I miss you a lot."

"Uh, that'," I said.

"Cool, right. Anyway, can we please start talking again?"

Please? She was asking me to please start talking to her again?

"Yeah, I think we can do that," I said.

"Yay!" she said in a girly squeal.

So we caught up on recent events -- she was thrilled to hear Susan was dating someone -- and then, shortly before we hung up, she said, "Matt, I do love you, you know."

I was floored. "I...I love you too."

"I probably won't say it all the time or anything, but I wanted you to know," she said. "Anyway, I need to study. Talk tomorrow?"

"Yeah, yeah for sure," I said, and we hung up.

I was still recovering from that call, just sitting at the desk and staring into space, when the phone rang again. It was Cindy.

"So," she said, sounding as if she was working up some major courage, "would you be interested in going to a dance with me?"

Part 16

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Blogger chris said...
You've given us so many cliffhangers, at some point, a parachute will be required equipment to read your blog. :P Well done, Matholomew.

Anonymous Daniel said...
You had more poon throwing itself at you than popular guys did in college. No more sympathy for you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"i´m not a player, i just crush a lot" - little matt

Anonymous Daniel said...
I also like how Aimee dropped the L bomb to stave off losing your interest, much like dudes usually do to gain entry to the pants.

How is it possible to love someone you've never even kissed?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
chris: A parachute just simply isn't enough. I've used mine so many times it just gave out. Now I'm stuck in "I've fallen and can't get up" mode.

AnacondaHL: I see you added the links to the next part. Nicely done great Duke AnacondaHL of Flowcharts.
I look forward to your graphical representation of the newsgroups. Perhaps a little Mutombo finger wag to go next to Nathan is in order as well. At the rate this is going, your flowchart is going to have to be 16000 x 12000 resolution.

Bawful - Welcome back. Hope your flight in from NY was better than the one to there.
I'm curious, did Mat ever try to get you to do his work, or did he not bother at all because by that point he comprehended that it would bother your moral code?

Blogger mati said...
t'ings... dey dun git betta dan dis.

--Big Mat Three Thumbs Up from the fat-ass MMA circuit.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
you just moved up a notch in greatness for quoting scrubs. best show ever.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
big pimpin! play on playa

Anonymous Shrugz said...
yeesh bawful
I'm starting to feel more sorry for the girls that were the subject to your complete ignorance of their feelings LOL

International students can work only 20 hours per week and only on campus. It has to do with their immigration status. Also, if a US citizen and a foreign kid apply for the same job on campus, the US kid has advantage.

Blogger chris said...
NarSARsist: Lifealert FTW.

As for AHL's chart, I can imagine that requiring a second computer monitor at some point. (Yes, I am old enough that one of my first instincts was to type that out as "CRT.")

Blogger Steve Lee said...
Bawful, you are a naughty devil. You knew how to play the game even before knowing that a game existed.

Looking forward reading about your dance with Cindy, where Aimee shows up with a hatchet.

Anonymous Marc said...
Just when I thought I couldn't become more embroiled...

Anonymous Jon said...
Im feeling that "Fuck dem both" advice coming soon.

Blogger chuck_wagon said...
Damn, I used the 1992 Finals Michael Jordan clip too early the other day.

Anonymous Liam said...
Damn Cliffhangers ¬¬

How far into the story are we at this point?

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I love how dated this series feels, and yet everyone personally connects with the drama as it's still perfectly relevent in modern times. alt.* Usenet (today it's IM/sexting), long distance calling (today it's cellphones/Skype), computer rooms and borrowing your dorm neighbor's computer (today it's like everyone has more than 1 computer).

Anonymous Adrià said...
Will you open a new blog to continue your story when the next season would start?

If it's too much for you, you can leave it to the commenters (and, of course: WY, AHL, chris, BD and ET among others) for a while. They care about keeping everyone updated (lebron/nike/dumbass affair, marbury bubbles, etc) by now.

That's a good point, bawful, seems like you taught the manners and now people are using them :D

I just said that because you love to last your stories for ages, but it would be awesome to do both things (NBA & Matt vs Mat) at the same time, I don't want you to cut Livin' Large, it's great.
Even though you couldn't update it daily!

Thanks for your patience.

PD: Ostertag Hall of Lame!

Anonymous JollyRench said...
I'm going to go out on a limb, and guess that you find some nerdy way to eff up getting laid with Aimee. It's ok, it's happened to most of us.

Anonymous Adam said...
Big fan of the series, but this is one of the weaker efforts. No expounding upon "I love you" at all? The best ones have had a little bit more story to them (and a little bit more detail) before the requisite cliffhanger.

Blogger The Fairlady said...
We need more Cindy/Aimee and less Mat.

Great story btw, love it!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- I have surrounded the story with pillows for you to fall on.

Daniel -- No, I didn't deserve any. Also, we had kissed a couple described in previous installments.

NarSARSist -- Thanks. It was pretty sweet....Evil Ted and I got upgraded to first class, where we acted like first class schmucks. Mat never asked me to help him with anything.

Raymond Blitzfucker -- Thanks for the info. All of this story is based on memory, notes, journals of things I experienced or Mat told me. I'm not necessarily researching whether what he said was fact or fiction.

Liam -- It's almost the end of October. The story lasts through the first of January.

AnacondaHL -- Totally dated. Telling these stories makes me feel aged.

Adria -- No, this story will wrap up before the season starts. Soon we'll be back to NBA every day. However, I'm going to do a few things to continue story telling with standard NBA coverage.

Adam -- I agree. This installment is shorter and not as well fleshed out as the others. Part of it is because I'm still recovering from jet lag, part of it is 'cause BadDave is visiting from Scranton and we're having a bro down.

HOWEVER...I did not expound on the "I love you" part because I'm intentionally waiting for the next story.

Blogger Caleb Smith said...
I have to say, I think I like Mat more than I like Aimee. That girl sounds horribly manipulative.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
I love how she explained she wouldn't be saying it much. If a guy said that, there would be no end to the wrath he would receive from his woman.

What's up with the two people who are far past High School going to a dance? Was it a square dance? An early rave?

I can't wait to find out.

Anonymous Baguete said...
"But he was perfectly content to lie, cheat and/or steal"

I thinks its safe to say now that Mat became EDDIE GUERRERO!


Blogger Victor said...
Oh man that must have been awkward with Nathan. That was just one notch below him catching you spanking it.

"It made me realize that...I miss you. I miss you a lot."

Translation: It made me realize that... I want you. I want you because other people wanting you makes you more desirable.

Classes that take attendance are the worst. Does Bawful's school still have classes like this? I think think of only a handful of my classes that even took attendance. Anyway, kids, go to class. It's good for you!

Blogger Dan B. said...
Wow, Aimee dropped the L-bomb without hesitation just to control you... That's cold. Every single update I become more and more frustrated by her. But at least you were getting back at her by working your mojo on three girls at once, so it all evens out a little.

CAPTCHA: gollycap

Blogger BJ said...
(gags at the thought of touching Mat's creamy center)

Blogger chris said...
You know, I'm more and more amazed that Big Mat got so much leeway considering how little he produced on court. Not saying that the under-the-table stuff is ever justified, so much that it is even less so with someone so prone to mediocrity at the one thing he came to school for...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I love you. I won't be saying it much, but you know right?"
The dated aspect just makes it better. I had the Larry Legend video myself and was hopelessly in love with a high school crush that only kinda liked me back. I did not, however, have a Heineken light tan like you my freshman year.

Blogger truegrit said...
I'd like to preface my comment by saying, Bawful, you're a gifted storyteller and writer. However, Livin' Large has jumped the shark for me (and some of my friends). Somewhere along the way, it went from an entertaining story about a clownish athlete and his hapless roomate to a reminiscing of Bawful's love life during his first year of college with brief interludes of the athlete.

I realize it's your blog and you'll write what you damn well please and that, judging from the comments, plenty of people love the series, but a talented ringmaster knows that it's not about him, it's about the show.

Blogger chris said...
Dan B. - "But at least you were getting back at her by working your mojo on three girls at once, so it all evens out a little."

It seems like, it took a few years for Matholomew here to REALIZE he was playing the role of nerd Romeo. So only in retrospect was it a nice move of vindictiveness...

Anonymous Rob said...
Bawful -- I just discovered this site today and let me tell you that I love Livin' Large. I think so many people can relate to it and the story itself is addicting. I hope that once you get back to the NBA, you continue to provide us with some Livin' Large from time to time!

Anonymous Jake said...
Long time reader/first time commenter. Man you're really outdoing yourself with this series, bawful. I can't tell you how hard I laughed when you said you were in a chat room with Latrisse talking dirty (a prototype of sexting, I assume) and then felt guilty about it when she told Aimee. So I guess she was trying to make Aimee jealous? This is getting even more epic with every installment..if that's even possible.

Blogger Jebron Lames said...
Can I just say, Bawful, that I love reading these Livin' Large stories. I used to look forward to finding out who the future NBA star was. But this is just flat out entertainment, man.

Great Stuff.

Anonymous Less Inflammatory Name said...

I love you, Livin' Large, and your NBA converage....I just can't say it that much, but it's there


Captcha: mycutat as in mycutat humor sucked....I'm sorry

Anonymous Replicant said...
Another fan from the UK, just wanted to say that this is among the small group of genuinely good and worthwhile blogs out there, keep it up!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I just found a weird article on human psychology, and found it strangely relevant to the events in this story. Page 2 in particular describes why there are so many hos around Mat to tell what up: because polygymy benefits more females, while monogamy benefits more males.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
AnacondaHL - Thanks for the read.

If it took toast burning for Big Mat to remember "Cindy from Kokomo", wouldn't it take a whole pot roast for Mat to wrap his head around the idea of being monogamous?

It's pretty funny that they talk about Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty bearing 1,042 kids, and then followed that by saying "but he was by no means qualitatively different from other powerful men, like Bill Clinton." President Bill Clinton the Bloodthirsty! Beware of his dangerous saxophone and cigars!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
so let me get this straight... from august thru september you were completely ignorant when it came to girls, and no in october you finally start to play it cool like most people do. I mean you cant be as bad as you make it sound when you're balancing 3... well now 2 1/2 girls at once. so between now and january, when big mat either gets kicked out or buckles down (because why else would the story end there), you are going to finally show your colors when it comes to the ladies? alright sounds good lol.

This story is awesome please keep them coming!!!!!

Anonymous Wormboy said...
Ouch. Aimee just lost any sympathizers she may have had.

Blogger DocZeus said...
So Latrisse turns out to be completely crazy, right? I mean what girl actively woos her roommate's significant other (even in a sort of/kind of/not really)? I know some women are absolutely ruthless when it comes to screwing over their frenemies for men but Latrisse seems borderline Jennifer Jason Leigh-ish in Single White Female to me.

No man would ever attempt to steal his friend's girlfriend. Man law forbids it. I feel even Big Mat would obey that golden rule of men.

"Bros Before Hos."

Anonymous Iziekiel said...
Im really loving this story, think its because I can relate it to my own experiences of first entering college, the feelings and emotions that I went through, and how I can almost remember every event from the first semester because it was all so new, exciting and scary!

I know a few people have mentioned about this story becoming a book or a film, was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on who would play little Matt in the movie? At first I thought maybe that kid who played McLovin in Superbad, but having second thoughts now since Little Matt is becoming more and more of a ladies man, maybe Emile Hirsch? Also any suggestions for Big Mat?!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Will be showing some of this story to my kids some day to teach them how to live. If it's a girl: "see what aimee is doing, that's how you act like a bitch. don't do it." If it's a boy: "Don't be as clueless as this guy." Only question is what age to show it to them?

Blogger TheJourneyBegins said...
Been following along, I like the writing and I don't know why I care so much! Maybe its because I miss my girlfriend right now but I feel engaged with your story. Can't wait to see what happens.

Blogger Wally Xie said...
"No man would ever attempt to steal his friend's girlfriend. Man law forbids it. I feel even Big Mat would obey that golden rule of men."

DocZeus, I'm afraid that we may be living in a different age then. Amongst my circle of friends, I've seen horny dudes ditch their bros for their hoes at least four or five times over the course of my freshman year at a certain other Big Ten school.

On another random note, my captcha was $25remorse. What an odd combination.

Blogger chris said...
Wally Xie: "$25remorse" is probably what Taco Bell Jennifer felt after realizing that it was a one-way relationship.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Please Bawful!! Clear up the situation with Jennifer. You clearly stated that she didn't want to be with Mat anymore and that her heart was broken. So why is she still around helping Mat and everything!!

Anonymous winter said...
True Grit - I think you're way off, its not about the show, its about the audience. Bawful knows his audience. I would say 95% of us shared these same experiences and to have them so colorfully and artfully brought to life brings us all back to a more innocent, happier time.

Anonymous PK said...
"DocZeus said...
So Latrisse turns out to be completely crazy, right? I mean what girl actively woos her roommate's significant other (even in a sort of/kind of/not really)? I know some women are absolutely ruthless when it comes to screwing over their frenemies for men but Latrisse seems borderline Jennifer Jason Leigh-ish in Single White Female to me.

No man would ever attempt to steal his friend's girlfriend. Man law forbids it. I feel even Big Mat would obey that golden rule of men."

I always laugh when guys bring up this rule. While everyone tries to stick to the rule, the rule like all rules gets broken just as many times as it gets stuck to.

Bawful, I think I know the Aussie version of Aimee. Either that or she's emigrated. Damn boat people!!

Anonymous BuzzBuzzard said...
"No man would ever attempt to steal his friend's girlfriend" is about the most naive thing I've ever read. I've seen best friends steal each other's wives. I'm guessing you're young?

Dandruff102, work on your reading skills. The segment on Jennifer made it very clear that Bawful was skipping forward (for just that once) and telling us the tale of how Jennifer and Mat split.

Blogger DocZeus said...
I stand by what I said. You are not a man if you steal your friend's girlfriend.

Blogger Unknown said...
Dude, you really need some pictures of the babes. Other than that, great job. This really should be turned into a screenplay. Jonah Hill would be a great Matt and the dude from 3 O Clock High would be an awesome Mat.

Anonymous ray1981 said...
Livin' Large really showed me why you have a blog pointing out the flaws of high-profile athletes.

Without Mat's constant superdickery we probably wouldn't have the (imo) most exceptionally funny basketball blog around...

I'm really curious as to when you'll finally get (/got) some poon too. and with who. It can't be far off at this point in the story :-D

As the season is creeping closer, so is the end of this brilliant series. I'll really miss my Livin' Large...

Blogger ZSE said...
I just happened to be turned onto this blog yesterday and have not been able to leave my computer until I was completely caught up in the series...Now I find myself checking back 5 or 6 times every hour, just hoping the next installment has been posted.

This is an outstanding story, and you should seriously consider turning this into a screen play. This would be a great movie. it has all the elements for a great comedy: nerdy, endearing character with obvious flaws that slowly begins to face those flaws, a love story, an antagonist that is easy to hate, and a great plot line filled with shocking, albeit hilarious, twists at every turn.

Seriously dude, make this a movie so I can buy the DVD.

This is taking me back in a big way!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Rich - "the dude from 3 O Clock High would be an awesome Mat."

You think so? I have my doubts, you know considering he's 48 years old, I think he might have trouble playing a college freshman. However, I'm assuming you meant back when he was in Three O'Clock High; but if we're gonna play that game and go with guys from back in the day, I'd say Clancy Brown (aka The Kurgan) would be a good Mat.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What are you doing to us, Bawful?? No Livin' Large today? Why? Why? What did we do to deserve this? :P

Anonymous Boudicca's daughter said...
Dear Bawful,

Have only found this blog via Popbitch a couple of days ago and had to read it all (and all the comments!). I think it's the most entertaining thing I've read in ages, whether online or in print, and concur with everyone who says a mini-series or screenplay is the way to go. I think you are a natural storyteller and this is terrific. Please keep up the good work!

I think Christopher Mintz-Plasse should play Little Matt, although he's not as nice-looking as you appear to have been at the time, despite the Trevor Horn/Buggles specs. Jonah Hill to play Ron.

Did Big Mat have at least some superficial charm, because you mention in the first episode that your mum and aunt were charmed by him, as well as Aimee?

Second Mat question: why art? Did he have any interest (unlikely, I know) in art or the study of it? Any views he may have vouchsafed to you on that would be hilarious, I think. ("Dat Rembrandt, he told dose hos what up")

I agree with Sarah, I think Aimee sounds like a massive bint, but think AnacondaHL had it right when he said that his relative said "girls that age don't know what they want".

Someone said that women look at calves. Calves!? How often do you see calves? Small tight bottoms walking away from us, height coming towards us. PRO tip: eyes, eyelashes.

Re. Italian "bounce": agree that real breasts do bounce. Also, Italian bras have bigger cups and thinner straps, thus do not compress the "busty substances" to the ribcage as ordinary/sports bras.

One thing about reading Livin' Large is that the comments are almost as entertaining as the stories and give fascinating insights into World of Bloke at all ages.

Hurrah for liking short women, not said often enough. I also "stand tall at 5'1"

Liked the early Tycho Brahe reference. Does anyone know what happened to his dwarf? Was he the origin of rockers trailing around with a dwarf in tow? (See: Tap, etc.)

Did I guess right with [College Name Deleted], [Mat's Full Name Deleted] and [Future NBA All-Star's Name Deleted]? Despite being a Brit and knowing nothing about basketball, got it by the second post!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Everyone -- Sorry for the delay in the next installment. I just needed a day off from Livin' Large. Part 16 will be published tomorrow.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The rules have changed a bit, but in the 90s athletes couldn't work b/c of their scholarships. That's always the bball/fball players' main reason for why they should get some of the money that they generate for the school.