Wednesday, 17 October 2012

How to discourage houseguests

We’ve been staying with a lot of friends and family members lately, which has made me realize what a crap hostess I am in comparison. Some of these tips may come in handy if you feel obligated to host people, but don’t particularly like it. [Note: I do like houseguests, and do like being one; my adherence to these tips is not actually purposeful.]

1. Offer a range of pillow sizes, all of which are uncomfortable.

2. Provide too few blankets for the internal temperature. Also be sure that the thermostat is set either to “Arctic” or “Saharan Desert in summer,” regardless of the weather outside.

3. Don’t bother buying a new, actual bed for guests. Instead, chose from one of the following:
(a) get a new mattress for yourself, and use your old one for guests. Best if the mattress is so worn that it acts more like a hammock or taco. It’s more snuggly/back-breaking that way.
(b) get an air mattress. These typically come pre-punctured, guaranteeing that your guests will be lying on the hard floor by morning, but you could always stick it with a pin just to be sure.
(c) construct a “bed” out of various semi-soft items in the house, such as surfboard bags, packing foam, and/or an extra comforter.
(d) purchase a fold-out couch which is neither comfortable as a couch, nor as a bed.
Try to get your cat to infuse all guest bedding with fluffy hairs and dander.

4. If you don’t have a guestroom, you can create a private space for your guests by placing a blanket over a table, and installing their “bed” (see option “d” above) underneath it.

5. Live on a street that appears safe, but from which your guest’s vehicle will be stolen in the middle of the night.

6. In the bathroom, do not provide any horizontal surface for your guests to store toiletries, aside from the back of the toilet or the floor.  Best if the back of the toilet is slightly curved so that things are more likely to fall in the bowl.
This looks like a great spot for the guestroom.

7. To discourage long showers, be sure yours either (a) has pathetic water pressure, (b) doesn’t actually get hot enough or (c) fluctuates wildly between freezing and scalding.

8. You can also hide the towels or provide only very small, non-absorbent ones.

9. Be sure you have very little food or drink on hand. Few things encourage repeat visits more than a delicious plate of cheese or a glass of wine.

I hope this post helps you get rid of the pesky friends who keep hanging around, wishing to spend time with you.

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