It may appear to be self evident, almost like another Gettysburg Address, but many people simply don't know how to be a guest in someone else's house. Maxine once screamed to me from the upstairs bathroom and I came running. Was it her heart or had her weight merely found the rest of itself? Alas and alack. It was none of those things. The poor girl didn't have a face towel and could never consider using a fresh sponge. After all, it simply wasn't her way. I didn't have any clean face towels but proceeded to show her my line of big, medium and small towels as if I were a peddler, in the hopes she would choose one so that I could get back to my life downstairs. Make do if you are not in your own home or ask your host at an opportune moment for what you need or prefer. Don't scream as if a knife-wielding psychopath has just invaded your shower or the water is devouring you. (In her case, it should only.)And so, my friends, we have arrived at the ultimate question. How does one get rid of a pesky houseguest without hurting too many feelings. (After a while it won't matter whose feelings are hurt just as long as the guest or worse, guests, are gone. Trust me on this.) We are, however, trying to avoid that and salvage whatever may remain of a more distant relationship in the future with our invitees. I have compiled a few ideas, none of which worked for me as Maxine and I have not spoken since her lovely sojourn with me a few summers ago.
Tell your guest that someone else will soon be visiting and that they will need the bed. If that doesn't work, break the bed. It's desperate, but maybe they will get the hint. I lied to Maxine who hated cigarette smoke (even though she once smoked two packs a day), telling her with a straight face that one of my friends who smoked was coming to stay for a few days and would be staying in the extra bedroom upstairs. She thought about that and actually had the nerve to ask me to buy an air purifier for her space, but she still didn't leave. I thought about disconnecting the phone, especially while Maxine was still using it, but I wasn't convinced that she would have known the difference. I should have gone further and cut the wires.
Another alternative is to get the entire household involved in your seek and eliminate mission. In my case, I live with seven cats. Maxine claimed to be an animal lover, but my cats told me she was a hypocrite. She resented their late night partying and swinging from the chandelier. I was tempted to buy some party hats and join them in their late night reveling, but dismissed this option as immature.
Consider the possibility of a bribe. Offer your guest one hundred bucks to leave immediately. Throw in another fifty dollars if they promise never to come back. If your guest arrives in the summer, cut off the air conditioning; in the winter pretend there's no heat. The only problem is you will suffer too. Maybe consider the option of giving your guest the house and move in to the motel up the road for the duration of their stay. (Only try this after you have attempted option number six, which is to send them there first.)
Pretend you are a homicidal maniac. (Keep watching Psycho for realistic instructions.) Start sharpening knives and discussing all the guns you plan to buy in the next few months. Leave sadomasochistic magazines lying all over the house and become enraged over the slightest question or comment. In general, remain inappropriate for as long as you can stand it. (After a while, you may be for all time.) The last alternative, door number nine, should only be considered if all of the above fails. Set fire to the house. You'll lose everything, but at least your guest or guests will be forced to find another place to stay!
If all of this fails, you are on your own. It might be the time to consider selling your house with built-in ready-made houseguests. (I understand the Duke and Duchess of Windsor did this for a living for many profitable years.) Cheer up. You might even find another place to stay deep in the mountains or along the rivers where no one can ever find you. A place without a post office is best and a phone and television should be optional. Learn to fish and build fires. One thing is certain. The ones you catch in the stream will be better than any two you will find in the bush and they won't live long enough to smell after three days!
Did you know . . .