Michael Rotundo might have been a kid once but he appears to be hell-bent on remaining immature forever.
Even after repeated notices and an offer of cash to move out of his parents’ home in Camillus, New York, the recalcitrant Rotundo pulled a real-life Failure to Launch and refused to budge.
So, his parents did what every loving mother and father at the end of their respective tethers would do.
They took him to court.
Early last year, a New York judge ruled in favour of the parents, Christina and Mark Rotundo, and ordered the 30-year-old man to leave. However, he wasn’t going down without a fight. He claimed he’s owed a six-month notice, which would give him ample time to prepare for such “a big step”.
Television footage showed the rebellious Rotundo to be bearded bespectacled and, true to his surname, beefy. He was also lazy and a cheapskate to boot: his parents testified that he’d never paid rent nor did household chores, all the while obdurately remaining at home where he wasn’t wanted in the first place.
Was Michael always like that?
It would seem so, certainly, his parents thought so. Michael, it appears, didn’t need anyone to make a fool out of him: he was more like a do-it-yourself type. At 18, neighbours recalled his mother getting furious with him for always kicking spilled ice cubes under the refrigerator.
But for the future tyrannical tenant, it was simply water under the fridge.
He was always a strange kid, his father recalled grimly. There were five in the family and Michael was convinced that one had to be Chinese because, statistically speaking, one out of every five people in the world is Chinese.
He suspected that it might be his elder brother Colin or his father or his mother. Or it could be his younger brother Lee Ho Pang but he still suspected it was Colin.
You might say he was strange. Incidentally, both Colin and Lee have since moved out of the family home and lead successful lives.
Maybe it had much to do with his surname. Indeed, in his heart of hearts, the stubborn squatter acknowledged that he had always yearned for a good, stout, Anglo-Saxon name like Major.
Now there was a name for you, thought the corpulent colonist admiringly. And you could be inventive with first names here. You could name your son Michael or Sergeant, or for the truly accomplished, B Flat Major.
Alas, poor Michael. It had to be hard having a name like Rotundo and being neither slim nor svelte like his brothers Colin and Lee. It wasn’t that being fat ran in the family: it was simply the fact that he was the only one who didn’t run in the family.
Worse, his nickname during his formative years was “Ample”: you might not leave home too if you’d been called Ample for most of your natural life.
During his teenage period, the would-be recalcitrant refugee took refuge in Diet Cokes. It made him feel better about having two Big Macs and a strawberry sundae for lunch every day for most of his high school days.
But you know what they say; hell hath no fury like an ousted obdurate. Michael’s planning his own revenge: he wants to choose his parents’ nursing home.