Dan Nichols dares you – double dog dares you! – to turn down the following request…
“I really hate to ask this, but our house is infested with termites. Do you think Angie, the kids and I could crash at your place until Monday while ours gets fumigated? We’d stay in a hotel, but money’s been tight since Angie got laid off.”
You’d have to be a cold-hearted bastard to look into the eyes of that man’s children and say no. So Dan did what any good friend would do and said, “No problem, Greg. Come on in.”
Greg and his family must have been pretty sure that Dan was going to agree to having houseguests over the weekend because two seconds later four giant suitcases were sitting in the middle of their host’s living room. Check that – four suitcases, a one hundred pound Labrador, and a pile of hockey equipment.
“Both of the kids have games this weekend,” Greg said when he noticed Dan looking at the sporting gear. “Where do you want us?”
“Gee, I don’t know. I guess downstairs in the family room. We have a couple of pull-out couches there.”
“Cool. You won’t hear a peep out of us, I swear.”
Greg held true to his word. The Nichols family didn’t hear a single peep out of their unexpected houseguests. What they did hear was a lot of “Mom!!! Caleb did this!” and “Dad!!! Sophie did that!” and “Why would anyone pick this shade of green?” and “Greg, you just can’t help yourself to his beer!” and “Are they upstairs watching a rerun of Rhoda? People still tune in to that?” and “They don’t have a very big hot water tank, do they?” and “Arf, arf, arf, arf, arf!” and “Yes, Greg! Yes! Oh baby!”
They also heard their doorbell ring a lot, followed by a demand for money from assorted delivery men.
“Pizza delivery for the Watsons. That’ll be thirty-five dollars.”
“I’m here with your Chinese food order, Mr. Watson. That will be fifty-six dollars please.”
“I’ve got your medication right here, Mr. Watson. Your diarrhea must be really bad if your doctor had to write you a prescription. That will be forty-one dollars please.”
Dan’s last name, of course, isn’t Watson as you may recall, it’s Nichols.
“Crap, we were in such a rush to get away from the termites that we left our debit cards at home. Could you spot us for a few days?” Greg asked.
“I guess,” a feeling put upon Dan answered.
Monday finally came and the Watsons finally left, but not without leaving a parting gift: a hole in the family room drywall they thought they could cover up by rearranging the furniture a bit.
A year later, when the Watson’s house was once again overcome by termites, Chez Dan claimed to have no vacancies when they came knocking.
“Sorry, but we’re under government surveillance right now. Just being seen talking to us could get you indicted for something,” Dan lied with a straight face.
The Nichols and Watsons stopped being friends after that, but the Nichols were comfortable with that development.
“Goodbye forever Watson family,” Dan said as he watched his former friend pull out of his driveway. “Goodbye forever to unwanted houseguests.”