The party’s over, it’s time to call it a night, but you can’t, dear host, because somebody is sitting on the couch to remind you of that old Saturday Night Live sketch, “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.”
This lump of humanity – invariably single, male and a former coin collector – is oblivious to everything except the fact that carrot sticks don’t taste half bad with bean dip. You exaggerate a yawn, stand at the door and tell him how much you enjoyed his visit. He wants to know if you’ve got cable. The whiny adolescent “who never asked to be born” has grown up into someone who thinks the world owes him a living room.
The easiest thing for you to do is to tell him he has to leave. The success rate of this method is very high, but then so is the percentage of hurt feelings. The pathologically clueless are often very nice people otherwise. Many overstayers are such good friends that it’s almost easier to put up with the inconvenience of their linger than to create an uneasy situation. Besides, they might come back with a gun.
The Last One To Leave has seen more sunrises than a Marine bugler, so the words you long to hear are, “I’d love to, but I’ve really gotta get going.” Here are some suggestions on speeding that up.
1. Play a Yoko Ono album at an annoying volume level (On).
2. Suggest a game of chess, then after he sets up the board, ask “what’s that horsey do?”
3. Ask him if he finds you attractive. When he looks confused and asks why, quickly answer “No reason” and change the subject to pickup trucks, football or “broads.”
4. Bring out the Twister mat.
5. Drop down on one knee and thank the Lord for blessing your party and keeping you from hearing those evil voices.
6. Put on a Flatt and Scruggs record and ask if he’s ever seen Deliverance.
7. Ask him if has time to help you clean up “That little accident” Anderson had on the back porch.
8. If the phone rings, answer it and yell, “What do you mean he made bail?!” When you return to the living room, bring your trademark Chicago Cubs cap and ask your guest if he wants to wear it.
9. Turn the Yoko Ono album over.