Dear Future Houseguest

Welcome mat courtesy of mcclouds flickr stream

I’m so glad you’re coming to visit. For your convenience, I’ve compiled this list of things you should probably know to make your stay more comfortable:

1. The wiring in the guest room has one tiny quirk: you’ll get an electric shock whenever you touch the light switch. Also, when you turn the lights on, you might notice a faint burnt-toast smell that gets stronger over time. But the lights themselves work just fine.

2. An occasional indoor termite swarm is perfectly natural and not a cause for alarm.

3. If you wake up before I do, feel free to make your own breakfast. Help yourself to anything in the fridge, but if you can’t figure out what something is, or why it’s that color, or why it’s so fuzzy or has such an unusual smell, you may want to move on to something else. Actually, it might be best to avoid all the unlabeled containers completely.

4. Yes, the plumbing is supposed to make those noises.

5. Because there’s been some confusion in the past, here’s a guide to the condiments and other items on the kitchen table: the tall wooden grinder contains black pepper, the short wooden grinder contains white pepper, the green bowl contains red pepper flakes, the dark blue bowl contains sea salt, the navy blue bowl contains sugar, and the midnight blue bowl contains rat poison.

6. Make sure the kitchen windows are wide open any time you use the left rear stove burner. And I can’t emphasize this enough: don’t use the right front burner at all.

7. I don’t have rats. The rat poison was a gift from my aunt, and it would be rude not to display it.

8. The cats may come into your room and pounce on your feet or other body parts while you sleep. Isn’t that adorable? There are band-aids in the bathroom; please be considerate and make a serious attempt to stop the bleeding yourself before waking me.

9. There are no rats in the attic. The sounds you will hear at night are just squirrels running across the roof. It’s true that I haven’t been up there in years, so technically I don’t know for sure that there are no rats, but you could just as easily say that I can’t know for sure that there isn’t a serial killer living there. A very quiet serial killer, who broke into my house one day when I was at work and is now just biding his time until he decides to strike. Or she. Or maybe a whole family of serial killers, complete with children and a very quiet serial-killing dog. But really, it’s just squirrels.

I’m really looking forward to your visit! When you get here, remember to knock on the front door; do not, under any circumstances, touch the doorbell.

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Posted in Humor
30 comments on “Dear Future Houseguest
  1. Your place sounds like a hotel I stayed at once!

  2. Binky says:

    I’m glad you were so thoughtful to tell me all this before my visit. Not to be unkind, but I think it might be wise to have some of those electrical problems looked at before your house burns down. Also, are you sure they are squirrels in your attic and not Wombies? If you find your chocolate mysteriously disappearing, you probably have Wombies.

  3. LOL You beat me to it! I was just starting a post about the quirks in our house. Recently had a guest to stay, and the list of instructions I gave her must have been a page long. We, by the way, do have a huge rat which finds its way into our ceiling some nights. Nobody wants to go up there and confront it.

    • Laura says:

      I look forward to reading it! The crazy thing about these quirks is that they seem normal to us until we start to explain them to someone else.

  4. nursemyra says:

    Your aunt sounds intriguing. What other gifts has she given you?

  5. I have a renter in my house while it is on the market. There have been a lot of “this door, in spite of what realtors think, does close. You just have to push it here and…here while turning the lock…” and “you have to turn the hot water on full, and when it runs clear you can turn on the cold water, THEN pull the shower tab…”

    • Laura says:

      My front door is like that! People always think it’s locked when it isn’t. It has the kind of old-fashioned handle that you have to squeeze (instead of a knob that you turn). You have to squeeze the handle hard and then push the door hard to get it open — most people seem to accept that you’d have to do one of those things, but not both.

  6. omawarisan says:

    I’ve got those same squirrels. Do you think it would help wiring the lght switch to the roof to solve that problem?

  7. If this is your way of trying to persuade me to come visit, it’s working.

  8. I had a change of plan and I think I might stay at a hotel in town. I still hope to see you at a neutral location.

    • Laura says:

      I’m sorry I missed you last night. I really wanted to follow the theme, so I dressed in neutral colors and tried to drive there with my car in neutral. I spent a couple hours trying to back out of the driveway that way before I finally gave up.

  9. denise:) says:

    Oh darn. I could have used this post last week when my sister stayed at our house. As we have some of the same issues, (confusion over condiments, wonky wiring, spiders instead of rats, funny noises when the sprinkler system goes on, and one you may not have experienced, barfing owls & vultures), this would have helped her immensely!

  10. Oh no! My rat poison is still in a red bowl! I feel ‘so last year’!
    :)

    • Laura says:

      If it’s brick red, then yeah, that is pretty out of date. But if it’s fire engine red, you’re fine, and maybe even a little ahead of the curve.

  11. Just too too funny. Perfect read with the holiday season approaching!

  12. Susie Lindau says:

    I LOVE this! I should print it out and frame it, then hang it up in the guest bedroom! Hahaha!

    The perfect post for the party today!
    I hope you click on a few links and they may click back!

  13. TheGuat says:

    This was awesome! I’m glad you posted it on Susie’s site. Pretty funny, if I had a house I would definitely use it, but I’m a starving writer so only a little apartment :)

    • Laura says:

      The only solution is for you to write your own version about your neighbors and your building’s mailboxes, trash dumpster, and laundry room.

  14. “The rat poison was a gift from my aunt, and it would be rude not to display it.” So funny! Thanks for the laugh :)

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I have some publications in other places, including short stories at Shimmer, Flash Fiction Online, and Daily Science Fiction, and a list of overly-wordy LOLCat captions on McSweeney's.

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