We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

You know an issue is swirling around in Washington’s zeitgeist when Express runs a service article about it that makes the issue needlessly complicated. Previously, the free paper suggested that the best way to deal with a hot car on Metro is to move to another car. Now Express is giving tips for how to ace an interview for a room in a group house with the current residents, and the suggestions are grim.

Express‘s tips are aimed at boiling you down into a monomaniacal, apartment-finding machine. They have approachable headlines like “Shop Solo” and “Be Enthusiastic,” but in practice, “Shop Solo” is about tossing your friends out of the way to find a room, and “Be Enthusiastic” involves calling your dream group house every day until they break down and just let you in.

And why not change yourself  for the Hunt? Your opponents or “future roommates” certainly have. They’re characterized in the article alternately as a “phalanx” and a “tribunal.”

With Express is running service articles about apartment interviews, it can’t be too long before group house interview prep classes in the grand tradition of sorority rush prep start popping up. The long-awaited Great Apartment Cheapening can’t come soon enough.

Photo by Shutterstock