Ten Things Not to Do When You Have House Guests

Annoying guests

The inspiration for this list happens every year here at the coast. We naturally get a number of visitors that one would not normally get in the city, and we learned there are a few things not to do while they are in the house.  Hope you like it (BTW this list is entirely fictional and does not reflect any particular action by any individual visitor).

Ten Things Not to Do When You Have House Guests

10 If you have house guests, do not ask if they have special dietary requirements. If you do, at best you will demonstrate how truly mannerly you are, and the answer will be, “No.” At worst, you will be given a list that includes, vegan, lactose intolerant, and gluten-free. (You realize the only thing you can serve is tea)

9 If you have house guests, do not ask if they have a preference for the kind of water to drink. If you do, at best you will get a request for a brand not available to you. At worst, the brand ordered will cost more that a fifth of vodka in a bottle half the size. ( Given the amount consumed you are also wondering if they are using it for bath water as well.)

8 If you have house guests, do not forget to tell them where to put their wet towels. If you forget, at best they will throw them on impervious surfaces. At worst, you will find them hanging from some of your newest fabric furniture. (The stain looks remarkably like Mother Teresa doesn’t it?)

7 If you have house guests, do not ask if they have laundry to do. If you do, at best the machine will be running in shifts all day. At worst, you will be seen as a member of the staff and expected to do the laundry. (Well you offered right?)

6 If you have house guests, do not answer the question, “What can we do now?” If you do, at best whatever you suggest will be rejected. At worst, after the first activity, you will be the designated events chairperson for the rest of the visit. (You forgot to issue wristbands, and now one person is lost.)

5 If you have house guests, do not put out more than one roll of toilet paper at a time. If you do, at best the paper will disappear with no explanation. At worst, your plumber will eventually get the pipes cleared after removing several toys and rolls of paper.(The parents should have warned you that their kids do this in all the hotels.)

4 If you have house guests, do not lug numerous sand toys to the beach. If you do, at best the kids will play with one for a minute. At worst, there will be too many toy choices, and you will be the cause of several kid meltdowns while they try to decide which one. (Now you know to have them pick one at the house right?)

3 If you have house guests, do not make chocolate available as a  treat choice. If you do, at best your towels will have permanent handprints. At worst, once your guests leave, you will come to the realization that you will need to convert your decor to jungle to take advantage of the Zebra like marks all over the place. (Well, you’ve been meaning to make a change right?)

2 If you have house guests, do not serve anything that melts. If you do , at best you will find little puddles of melted food everywhere. At worst, when you least expect it you will come across a sticky melted spot for years to come. (How that spot got on your pillow is still a mystery. Getting the pillow off your hair is still a painful memory moment isn’t it?)

1 If you have house guests, do not tell them they are welcome back anytime. If you do, at best the good ones will be back next year. At worst, the bad ones will be back next week. (Now you know you could have said nothing right?)


  1. As to #1: what about those who won’t leave at all? 😉

    1. You adopt them.

  2. Good luck with this time of year. Hope you can still get some nice photos while it’s going on since I remember pictures of the mess they make. Do people really open their homes to strangers? I read that’s a thing now.

    1. Not this person. Thanks Charles.

      1. Don’t blame you. Sounds rather creepy to me.

  3. Pit took the words out of my mouth. Number 7 is so true! Great list, John.

    1. Yes, great list indeed. 😀

      1. Thank you Dina.

    2. Thanks Jill. Have a wonderful Monday.

  4. I prefer: “Which hotel would you like to stay in?”

    1. Ha ha ha. That is a good one. 🙂

  5. I imagine that when you moved there, people you had not even gotten an email from in 20 invited themselves for extended visits…
    Have a marvelous Monday. Mega hugs

    1. Thanks, Teagan.Have a great Monday as well.

  6. This rings a bit close to home. You forgot about their pets though. You know, the ones that don’t get along with your pets.

    1. Yeah, I ran out of numbers. Thanks Craig.

  7. Bee Halton · ·

    chocolate! Now that you say that! I need it now! ;-). I think number 10 might be a good one. Should be cheap houseguests don’t you think? 😉

    1. Very cheap. Thanks Bee.

  8. I don’t remember so many special dietary requirements years ago. Did people just eat everything in those days and get sick? I still don’t understand what happened. I never used to hear the word “gluten” or even “peanut allergy”. I was a teacher for about ten years and never saw a child become seriously ill from eating nuts. — Suzanne

    1. As we become more self absorbed we discover new things that need attention. Thanks Suzanne.

  9. All very good points. Especially the dietary one. I’d just serve jelly beans. I think they’re rather safe, overall.

    1. Red dye #2 warning. it’s in all of them.

      1. All of them?! Dadblameit.

      2. *throws out the jellybeans* Now what shall I have?

      3. And celery, I suppose. Dadblame diet.

  10. Reblogged this on Kim's Author Support Blog and commented:
    Another FUN top ten from author, John Howell

    1. Thank you, Kim for the nice comment and reblog.

      1. You’re very welcome, John. It was my pleasure. 😀

  11. You made me smile, John. Great list!

    1. I’m so glad Cynthia. A smile is a gift shared. Thanks for sharing. (whew, that sounded rather pompous didn’t it) 🙂

      1. Not pompous, nope. And I’m smiling again.

  12. LOL! Thanks for the entertainment. A great list. I especially loved #6 🙂

    1. Thanks for the visit Mae Clair. Glad you enjoyed it.

  13. I live in Southern California…I think I will post this on the front door.

    1. You may laminate it so it lasts. Thanks for the visit Ron

  14. John, this post is the reason why it’s said that “Fish and house guests smell after three days.” And perhaps the WORST guests are those for whom nothing is acceptable — the food, the beds, the temperature (both inside and out), etc. Can we all just say, “Holiday Inn”?!?

    1. Yes. Good idea and it will keep the bedbugs in one place.

  15. Good ones to remember with boomerang kids, too.

    1. OOOOO! Yes indeed. 🙂

  16. Great entertainment, John! Considering where you live, I can see why your guests would want to consider your place their b & b! Somehow I was reminded of Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and the movie, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

    1. Yes!!! So funny.

  17. Other people’s children; NO. Just no.

  18. Great list! Hospitality can be a sticky wicket!

    1. The stickiest. Thanks

  19. The key is to move somewhere that nobody wants to visit … like Tallahassee, FL 😉 We’ve had houseguests over the years, but 99% of the time they were in transit. We were just a stopover, not really a place they wanted to hang out for more than a night or two. Lucky us because otherwise, we would probably experience all 10 on your list!

    1. I remember the song Tallahassee Lassie by Freddy Cannon. Although I’ve never been there as a teen in the 50’s, I sure wanted to go as a result of the song.

      1. Didn’t the Beach Boys do a rendition of that song? The thing is, Tallahassee is not a beach town, to the great disappointment of family and friends who visited us for the first (and often last) time 😉

      2. I’m guessing that would be a real surprise.

      3. And an unpleasant one for my northern family members …. lol 😉

  20. ‘Tis nearly the season. Now I’ll be well-prepared! 🙂

    1. Yes. Lock the door.

      1. Chuckling…loved this post! 🙂

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