Can I borrow your toothbrush for my feet?

July 26, 2011

Great news. We have another one of those serious etiquette columns that appear to be aimed at folks who were raised by neanderthals. Early neanderthals, not the more evolved ones.

This particular column tells you how to behave if you are a house guest. If you still need to be told this stuff, then good luck ever getting invited anyplace.

I mean, consider that among the first bits of advice is, “Don’t use or borrow without permission…and don’t snoop.”

Really? Good to know.

Look Honey, the Petersons are on heavy-duty Prozac! Think they’ll notice I replaced ’em with aspirin?

No Dear, but judging from Judy’s diary, try not to mention herpes or the Dutch…

Our columnist must have had very bad experiences with locust-like house guests, advising: “Bring your own toiletries…”

Herb, you mind if me and Cindy and the kids all borrow your toothbrush? Can we use as much toilet paper as we want?

Not even the best vacation visit is confined entirely to the bathroom, and eventually our columnist gets to the kitchen.

She advises: “Anytime you see a chance to help the host, do offer-but be specific. ‘I’ll peel the carrots…'”

Carrots? WHAT carrots? Where the HELL did these carrots come from, and why are they in my doughnut drawer?

The useful advice continues, but again she’s back in the bathroom: “…don’t leave the toilet seat up.”

Seriously? Who the hell are you having, Jethro Clampett? L’il Abner?

During a visit, hosts and guests should “negotiate the schedule,” saying stuff like, “Saturday sounds perfect to go out on the boat.”

HUH? Suddenly we have a BOAT? Why are these total losers staying with us if we have a boat?

Finally, as is always the case in every etiquette column, somebody has to give somebody a gift.

“To choose the perfect gift for your host, think about what they like. Look around the house…”

Oh, I get it. We can’t snoop, but “looking around the house” is just fine. Wink.

“What’s their style? Are they in need of anything for the kitchen?” our column asks.

No, we’re good in the kitchen, thanks, but we’d like it if you could return our fricking bath towels and our toilet seat…

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Top: A swimmer dressed as a toilet waits to enter the waters of English Bay during the 90th annual Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver, British Columbia, January 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Andy Clark

Left: A Russian army soldier peels a carrot with his belt buckle in a 1993 file photo. REUTERS/Viktor Korotayev

Right: “Freight Train”, the unofficial mascot at the 2007 Summer Redneck Games, mugs for the crowd with a toilet seat used for the “redneck horse shoe toss” in East Dublin, Georgia, July 7, 2007. REUTERS/Tami Chappell

Bottom left: Max Baer, Jr., as Jethro Clampett

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I used to have housemates…
And then one day, a housemate accused me of using her mayonaise on my chips, whereas clearly there was ketchup..
Oh the bickering..
I miss it so. Not!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

note to self: never have anything more than a ‘wave as you pass’ relationship with anyone with the surname Johnson. And NEVER let them know where you live.

it amazes me that Dublin would be the place for the redneck games. It’s really a nice little town.

when life gives you carrots, make carrot cake! Join the OE Blog Network!

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

Shra, mayonaise on chips? I think I may be sick.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Yeah, I could have done without the first picture, especially with my morning coffee.

My advice: if you want to be an outstanding house guest, stay at a hotel. :)

Posted by skeres | Report as abusive

Ah but it doesn’t say anything about not walking around nekky after a shower letting all your Lever 2000 body parts air dry! Woo hoo! 😀

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

… I just can’t “un-see” that first image of the guy with the toilet necklace and yuck on his head. That picture is going to affect my whole day. Badly.

Posted by hmcfabulous | Report as abusive

Sorry hmcfabulous, but we all have to see that. Why should you be special?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

The toilet seat can obviously be fashioned into a great hat–too bad not a one was ready in time for Will and Kate’s wedding.

And, Spinster, a recent house guest did indeed leave us a box of lovely note cards–and yes, I then had to write her. Oy.

Please, anyone who plans to stay with us, just bring chocolates–but don’t plan to have any of them. And don’t touch our TV setup or use my hairbrush.

Posted by slick9 | Report as abusive

Well la de da, slick. Like you really own a hairbrush.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Okay, so it’s not a hairbrush, just a comb, but only a few teeth are missing. From the look of your photo, maybe you’d like to borrow it.

Posted by slick9 | Report as abusive

Houseguests are only allowed in my kitchen if they are opening booze or putting the kettle on the following morning. Touching my knives is tantamount to burglary.

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

If the guests do bring monogrammed towels, you might want to take a moment to see if it is your monogram or their monogram on the towels.

Sounds like ifly is passing on the towel as he passes through the room. Nothing like a little wind beneath, um, everything.

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

CrowGirl, All my kitchen knives are hand made by my father-in-law, who was a knife maker of mythic capabilities…And I know what you mean about the uninitiated touching the knives. (Some day I’ll tell you about the ceremonial scissors he made for the local convent to use in their “taking the vows” ceremonies.)

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

Moonshine, I believe I may have a photo of your father-in-law. Remind me tomorrow to e-mail it to you…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Excellent comments on this one. Nothing to add… Except – @ifly, PLEASE, get a towel.

Oh, and BG, can’t believe you’ve never had mayonnaise mixed with ketchup on chips. You don’t know what you’re missing.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

Ok, so, there are a lot of do’s and dont’s here…
I think I might have an odd lot too, but the most important being, if you use anything of mine, replace it with something nicer 😛

BG/Spin, dont quite fancy chips with mayo, though I wouldnt say no to the “Samurai” sauce I had in Brussels once…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

no thanks on the Thousand Island dressing (sans relish) on fries. Mayo is disgusting! BLEGH

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

The guy in the second pic reminds me of Uncle Scrooge in Ducktales..
The resemblance is uncanny!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive