Sky Journal

London & Sydney.

3. Social Media – A Love Story

On the 17th of September 2013, I began a smear campaign to get back the money owed to me and my flatmate, Brian. The culprit was someone we lived with and initially regarded as a friend. Inspired by an online article called 10 reasons why my flatmate is a dickhead, I decided to write about this asshole and share it over facebook.

My fatal flaw was in tagging 20 or so (mutual) friends in the FB post, giving the impression that I was accessorising them to my plan. I wasn’t. Nor was it to be interpreted as a bullying crusade. Rather, I was gunning for his reputation. And as I don’t have a trillion friends on Facebook, an organic reach wasn’t going to take it far enough. So I sponsored the post:

Bent Hagen post edited

It got his attention. Apart from the expected “TAKE THAT SHIT OFF YOUR PAGE NOW” I also received messages like this:

Karma edit

I’m still trying to work out what the ‘karma’ is here. If it’s the threat of a visit to Australia, then that’s not karma because there’s no cause and effect involved – it’s sort of cheating. That’s like me getting food poisoning from a piece of chicken breast I undercooked… going back to Coles to blame the food counter guy that sold it to me… slapping him round the face with a Nintendo Power Glove… then announcing, “KARMA FOUND YOU!”

There was more:


How inconsiderate of me. The most disturbing response was this:

tick tock

No winking emoticon this time. One of my friends called it “the ramblings of a serial killer”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Before the end of the day, he was demanding to pay us. I guess word got around fast in his Norwegian castle. And though obviously delighted, I was slightly disappointed. There was plenty more dirt to share and I was ready to publish a follow-up article. I even had a few Facebook pages ready to share my post. Forest for the trees.

But it was done. A 10 week feud was resolved in the space of 24 hours; Brian and I got our money back and I was temporarily banned from facebook (I was reported, of course). Plus I gained a few fans in the process (click on them to enlarge):

1st response

2nd response

SO response

CM response

And my favourite response:

SA Response


2. Bent

I moved into a flat with Bent and Brian in January 2013. While Brian and I hung out, worked, and socialised, Bent didn’t. His eyes were glued to his laptop – watching films and playing Warcraft. I’d met Brian in the hostel and I’d known Bent since September, meeting him at a goon party in Travel Bugs. He was the Scandinavian that introduced himself to others by saying “I like to party. A lot.”  

In July 2013, Bent finally realised the lack of upward momentum in his life (or ran out of people to kill in Warcraft) and went back to Norway. We got new decent flatmates and all was sweet – until the landlord informed us that Bent hadn’t paid rent for the last month…

Here’s what I’ve learnt:

Bent should never have left Norway.

Bent’s Australian adventure is a masterclass in how to waste a year’s visa. Nobody does it better, as Carly Simon would say. Or did it better.

His daily routine consisted of playing warcraft, eating oats, more warcraft, eating chicken, warcraft, gym for 3 useless hours, oats… do you see a pattern? We nicknamed him GWL (gym, warcraft, laundry).

He spent 6 months, working part-time for a hospitality company – meaning he would get a phonecall when a job or event emerged. Most of the time he would turn down work because he was too lazy to get up. Usually by just telling the organiser, “I’m tired.” That’s like a 5 year-old telling his Mum that he doesn’t want to go to school today. And when the calls became less frequent, Bent would wonder why.

Bent thought he was Mr Universe.

Bent was a built guy; but his diet was atrocious and he chain-smoked. He drank nothing but Pepsi Max. His piss was the colour of a tangerine (you’ll find out a bit later why I know this). Brian used to ask me, “How is this guy even still alive?” I still don’t know.

His daily gym workout consisted mostly of checking Facebook on his phone. In the short period I was a member, he got a kick out of telling me that he was “definitely the strongest guy here.” He had the worst squat technique I’d ever seen, and would attempt to lift 20kg more than he ought to. After attempting a rep, Bent would enjoy strutting around afterwards like Tony Manero. Then back to checking his facebook.

He once took out his phone and filmed my mate, Conor, when he was struggling to do squats because he thought it was “hilarious.” And like most gym assholes, he would vocally humiliate you for doing an exercise wrong. Even if he had told you to do it that way in the first place.

-His birth name wasn’t a coincidence.

It’s a common name in Norway apparently. Not that I care – I won’t be going there.

A self-proclaimed ladies’ man, Bent couldn’t go a day without making some sort of reference to “cock” or “dick.’ They were some of the most used nouns in his daily vocabulary – along with “protein”. Maybe he thought this was funny? Is this what banter is like in Norway? If so, that country is doomed. Sometimes Brian and I would bet WHEN he would have the necessity to make a phallic reference.

Me – “Right, I’m going down Darling Harbour for a beer. Who’s up for it?

Bent – “Why don’t we just stay in and suck each other’s cocks?”

-Bent sucked at football (and liked to brag/bullshit).

Bent said he played as a striker for a football team back in Norway. Naturally, we went for a kickaround and he had the touch of a rapist! His words were “I don’t have good ball control. And my endurance and accuracy isn’t great.” So all the attributes of a striker then.

He also told me he slept with the lead singer of 90’s pop band, Aqua. That’s like me saying I’ve slept with Rachel Stevens.

Bent never took responsibility for anything.

He couldn’t admit he was wrong; which was all the time. He had the brain of a demented goldfish, with zero accountability.

One night, Brian and I decided that it was time to confront him about his dire living habits. Like Hugo Andrej’s flatmate, Bent would leave empty packets of everything around the flat. He treated the living room floor like a bin. He didn’t clean up after cooking. He’d leave the ends of chewed up carrots on the table. He took the trash out 3 times in the 5 months I lived with him. I know because I counted.

But Bent must have sensed our impending confrontation, through some Warhammer sorcery-shit, because he marched downstairs into the living room and confronted us instead. He was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, shouting for no reason. It was a conversation that Neil LaBute would be proud of:

Brian – “You don’t wash up the dishes and you don’t do anything around the flat.”

Bent – “No! YOU don’t wash up the dishes. YOU don’t do anything.”

Brian – “There’s a bowl that’s been sitting on the table for days. it’s yours.”

Bent“I don’t use a bowl. It’s YOURS.”

Brian – “There are oats in it.”


Bent – “That’s not mine.”

For the record – nobody else ate those 4 dollar cheap-ass raw oats! Many hours later, Bent professed he would clean up from then on.

1 week later, I’m treading on carrots.

-Bent is the reason I stopped going out in Chelsea.

Despite being from an affluent background, Bent’s that guy in the pub that asks “Whose round is it?” when he knows it’s his. Everyone knows that guy. He’s the guy that jumps out a taxi first so you’re left to pay for it. He once gloated, “I might just buy an apartment with my savings” but then threw a wobbly when I refused to give him $3 for toilet paper. He’s one of the affectless muppets that you read about in a Bret Easton Ellis novel.

For several weeks I was paying for his gym membership, while he transferred me the money (late every time) and waited for his bank account to get sorted. But this extended to 2 months, even after the card had arrived, because he couldn’t be bothered to give the gym his account details.

His reluctance to change was exemplified by his shit haircut.

Just take a look at this picture. Bent is one of them (I forget which). It’s like an Aphex Twin video… but I digress. Bent stuck to the same Eurovision dress code in Australia.


Bent seemed perfectly happy to travel 9000 miles and follow the same program as he did in the homeland. He was content with the way things were going. Which was great, if being content meant living like a slob.

-Bent wasn’t potty-trained as a child. Or an adult.

I’d be getting ready for work in the morning and find that he hadn’t flushed the toilet. EVERY MORNING, without fail. Greeting me. Winking at me. It was only a tiny room (around 2 sq/m) as our shower was separate, so walking in to the vile smell of his oats-infected urine required a gasmask. Or an exorcism. Maybe he had servants at home in Norway that would take care of these sort of things like in Coming To America?

And while we’re on the subject – back in November 2012, when we were in a room share at a hostel, a drunk Bent came in one night and took a piss in an Irish guy’s suitcase (with all his belongings still in there). This Irish guy, who was completely harmless, came back from a nightshift and (understandly) went crazy when he found out. But Bent never apologised nor owned up to it. Instead, my mate Sammi got blamed.

-Bent left Australia owing 4 weeks rent.

The final payoff. Bent fleeced us and lined his nest with it.

Of course, he denied it at every turn. Through some eventual email correspondence, Bent sent us a very suspect, cropped screenshot of his Aussie bank account showing rent payments. It showed money had left the account but we couldn’t see who it had gone to. He could have been sending it to his own Swiss bank account. When I asked if he could provide individual payment receipts for tracking , he replied, and I quote, “No, I’ve closed my Aussie account. I took the screenshot before I left because I knew he’d try to fuck me over.” ‘He’ being the landlord.

So Brian and I paid for it – losing our bonds. The landlord even sent us the ledger report and it showed that Bent was 3 weeks late on every payment spanning the last 5 months. Should have known. Could have known.

So until Bent takes notice, I’ve paid to promote my Facebook post which links to this site. What’s another $20 to the money he stole from me anyway?  I’d like to think I’ll get a response or some sort of repartee from Bent, but in the end, he’s the laziest person I know. Plus the World of Warcraft ain’t savin’ itself.

1: William

A few weeks ago we found ourselves sharing a room with an old Australian gentleman called William who had been “travelling for 50 years” and thought Sydney was a “scumhole” where people thought “Keats, Shelley and Byron were types of cheese.” He said he was a Dubliner but we could hear no traces of the Irish brogue. The first thing we noticed about William was that his hair was obviously bleached – when posed, he explained that he had to dye it because decades ago, “the Australians used to racially abuse me for my dark hair, thinking I was Italian.” He was also carrying an amazing ancient camera (we learnt at some point that he used to own an antique shop.)

That evening, William went into great detail on his life and experiences. I wish I could remember all of them but we talked about the Greek philosopher, Epictetus, who professed that everything ‘external’ is beyond our control and to fight the uncontrollable creates suffering. 30 years ago, William was told by his doctor that he would shortly die of cancer if he kept on smoking. He is now 66 years old and still smokes.

William strongly believed in an afterlife and/or higher power because logic cannot comprehend Death being the end of everything – life, for that matter, can have no justification or purpose if it has to end. His reasoning was confirmed by one near-death experience that I haven’t forgotten (and I wrote down straight away):

I was sailing on my yacht when a freak wave knocked us completely over. I was trapped underwater and panicking – when you feel the end approaching you have the strength of 50 men… but it’s not enough. I remember telling myself repeatedly to stop panicking because it was the end – I was dying. Do you know what the worst thing about drowning is? The cold water filling your hot lungs… it’s the most painful sensation… and when I let go I blacked out.

Then I remember being pulled up by strong arms onto a beach. Someone was carrying me. When I awoke there was not a drop of water in my lungs. The beach was deserted.

William said a guardian angel saved him.