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Nifty Ways to Leave Your Caller
By Corky

      I favor summer over winter, hands down. Unfortunately, it's the season most likely to prompt unexpected company. You never hear that "We-were-out-for-a-drive-and-thought-we'd-stop-in" line when snow binds you up to your armpits.
      Don't get me wrong. I enjoy visits as much as the next girl. I just wish people would call first. That way I can make a mad dash to clean house. Or, depending on the visitor, plan my escape.
      Short Air Charter stopovers are fine. My gripe is people who "drop by" for hours on end. Or invite themselves to dinner. Worse yet, overnight. A friend of mine had unexpected company that stayed a week!
      What can one do to combat invasions like that? I compiled a number of strategies over the years and present here the top ten. The first group outlines steps to take BEFORE folks show up unannounced.
      PLAN A - Preventative Measures
      1. Hang a "No Vacancy" sign on the front door.
2. Buy one of those welcome mats that says "Go Away".
3. Plant a "Beware of Dog" sign in your yard and insert the word "Rabid".
4. Cordon off your property with yellow "POLICE LINE: DO NOT CROSS" tape.
What? No time for preliminaries? Or maybe you took the foregoing precautions only to have them ignored? Then try one of these nifty ways to leave your callers:
      PLAN B - Too-Late!-They-Just-Pulled-Up! Remedies
      5. Grab your jacket and meet them at the door. This gives the erroneous impression you are on your way out. A reader offered this savvy advice in Ann Landers' column. NOTE: I tried this once, but my visitors followed me. If that happens to you, lead your parasitic guests to the nearest motel.
6. Sneak out of an emergency exit, i.e., the dog's door.
7. Hide. I took refuge in a closet once but, alas, was discovered.
8. Warn them you're coming down with a contagious disease. Leprosy perhaps?
9. Be honest and tell them they give you the heeby jeebies.
If these subtle hints fail to disperse your company, the following suggestion may help prevent future camp outs:
      PLAN C - And STAY out!
      10. As your "guests" leave, hand them an itemized bill for food, lodging and entertainment.
      And don't forget the gratuity.

      Corky is Lois Corcoran. Her column appears in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram Online and on a free parenting e-zine, The "M" Word.
Corky's e-book will soon be available at Hard Sell. You can see the book cover already...

Other Corky's:
Waking up is hard to do
Exercising My Gluttonous Maximus
To Make An Obscene Phone Call, Please Press "1"

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