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Ten Great Excuses to Prevent House Guests with Ill-Behaved Children from Staying with You

"Great News! We're Coming to Visit! And We're Bringing the Kids!"

So you've got a brother with two little pre-tween terrorists … or a friend with four future felons. Maybe your cousin's little angels are the spawn of Satan … or your sister's kids are orangutans. You've got the call: "Hey, sweetie, guess what? Great news! The kids and I are coming out for a visit!" Now, I'm sure you love your friend or family member, but the kids are a whirling dervish of destruction. Problem is, you can't think of a graceful way out, and your potential houseguest is not taking your subtle hint. You need an extra-strength excuse -- the queen mother of all excuses -- one that makes it seem like their idea to avoid visiting.

Here they are, ready to go. Practice saying them aloud first. Remember, delivery is critical! Be casual when you deliver the line, as if you're mentioning a bit of trivia. Let it sink in. Then, drop the supporting bits of information -- the "eww" factor in many cases. We'll call those the additional script. Once you've crossed the point of safety -- that moment when your potential guest says, "Oh, geez, I think we'd better reschedule our visit" -- act disappointed. Offer a potential solution -- one that cements the visitors' decision to stay elsewhere (or not at all). We'll call this the unattractive solution.

Ready? Here we go!

Arachnids are a great home remedy for the prevention of an infestation of house guests.

Arachnids are a great home remedy for the prevention of an infestation of house guests.

Rabid Bats.

The line: "There's an outbreak of rabies in the bats in the area. Because they're sick, they fly much lower than usual and are more likely to make lethal contact with shorter people. I'm not sure the kids would be safe."

The additional script: "You know, it's not like they're going to go attacking anyone, but if they fly into the kids' hair or faces and they leave any trace of saliva, and the kids manage to wipe their faces and rub it into their eyes or any open wounds, they can get it. Ugly way to die, man."

The unattractive solution: "Hey, I've got a great thought. Why don't you get your kids some rabies vaccines? I don't think they're as painful or expensive as they used to be. They might not even have to give them in the stomach anymore."

Radon Gas.

The line: "My radon-gas gauge is off the charts. Until I can get the air properly decontaminated, it's recommended that the elderly, small children, and people with compromised immune systems avoid breathing it here."

The additional script: "I knew I shouldn't have gone for granite countertops throughout the house. I mean, it's not like there IS a good solution -- granite with radon, formica with formaldehyde."

The unattractive solution: "If you think everyone can hold their breath, they might be okay. It's really up to you."

Dog Worms.

The line: "Hey, take a look at the dogs' poo in this photograph. Do those look like worms to you?"

The additional script: Provide visual evidence. (This is a "prop.") Drop white rice kernels in the doggy-doo and snap that photo!

The unattractive solution: "Are your kids really good about washing their hands every time they've petted an animal? They should be just fine."

You can never have enough insects when trying to deter house guests.

You can never have enough insects when trying to deter house guests.

Head Lice.

The line: "I was doing a community volunteer event and I managed to come into contact with someone with head lice. Eww! I'll be washing my hair tonight but you know how those nits are -- they keep on hatching."

The additional script: "Danged things spread like wildfire. Hey, can you bring some anti-itch cream when you come?"

The unattractive solution: "I'd be so disappointed if you couldn't come. Do you think it'd be safe if you were just to shave all the kids' heads first?"

Just Say It … I Won't Tell.

Black Mold.

The line: "Oh, my, I just found out there was a huge leak in the guest bathroom and there's black mold everywhere. You should see it! Oh -- I guess you will. I never realized how stinky that stuff is."

The additional script: "I've been dumping all sorts of hazardous materials on the stuff to try to kill it off, and then I learn that it isn't enough just to kill it -- apparently it releases all sorts of toxins when it's dead. It's true, bacteria ARE going to take over the world!"

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The unattractive solution: "If you don't mind wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus it's really not a problem. You'll want to take the kids in to be specially fit, though. It's important that there's a tight seal around those precious little faces."


The line: "Check out this picture of Chloe. The vet says it's mange!"

The additional script: This one calls for visual documentation. Make another prop. Shave a few random patches of hair off your dog. Use pet-safe dyes, like food coloring or cherry juice, to enhance the bare spots with the appearance of inflamed red skin. Pat a little flour-and-water paste on top to form the appearance of a crust. Get a blurry photo. Enjoy!

The unattractive solution: "Chloe needs baths every day. I'd love it if your kids would handle that job for me. I'll get some rubber gloves -- the stuff is highly contagious."


Killer Bees.

The line: "Spring is certainly here! Everything's in bloom. Did I tell you I've been having a horrendous problem with killer bees moving in? They've got a colossal hive in the wall! At night I can hear them buzzing and buzzing around -- it's creepy."

The additional information: "Sad about old Hank next door. He's the guy who liked to mow the lawn in his Speedo every morning. The lawn mower disturbed the bees and … well, you know. I guess bees like it really quiet!"

The unattractive solution: "You might want to get bee suits for everyone. And those epinephrine shots that goes straight into the heart, just in case someone has an allergy."

Trappings of death are often an effective deterrent.

Trappings of death are often an effective deterrent.

Icky, Gooey Guest-Room Death.

The line: "Oh my goodness, guess what I just learned? The neighbors told me that someone died in the spare bedroom a few years ago. Well -- I mean, not just died -- they were dismembered and sealed in plastic baggies."

The additional information: "I always did have a strange feeling when I was in that room. Like, rushes of cold air and this feeling that I wasn't alone. I just thought it was the house settling or something. I'll be curious if you have the same experience when you stay there."

The unattractive solution: "Can you help me rip the carpet out the day you get here? The floor will be bare but now that I know what those bleach stains are for, I just don't feel right letting you sleep there. Oh -- wait -- I wonder what's going to be underneath that carpet?"

House guests are sure to enjoy the "have you seen my snake?" activity.

House guests are sure to enjoy the "have you seen my snake?" activity.

The Loose Python.

The line: "I am SO glad you're coming. Cody's python got loose and we can't find it anywhere. I know it's in the house -- it shed its skin under the armoire -- but I tell you what, that creature knows how to hide!"

The additional information: "It shouldn't be too hard to find him once you're here. He hasn't eaten in weeks and must be getting hungry. I bet he'll show himself once he sees the kids."

The unattractive solution: "Maybe we can speed things up by luring him. Does Kennedy still have that sweet little fleece mouse costume she wore for Halloween last year?"

Conversion to Scientology!

The line: "Did I tell you my own big news? I've converted to Scientology! I cannot wait to tell you and the kids all about it. Now's the perfect age to introduce them. My spiritual mentor planning to come out and lead us in some initiation rituals."

The additional information: "Did you know that we are descended from space aliens who came here from other planets long ago?"

The unattractive solution: "Oh, gosh, if you're having second thoughts, maybe you could just send the kids out for the weekend? I'd love to have them all to myself!"

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Say it Here!

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 03, 2017:


LOL x 10,000!

Your hub is not only helpful to those of us who can give compassion to toddlers, but only attack us by letting their parents do as they please.

Your hub was not only hilarious, should be a sitcom screenplay, but a great novel for people with OCD.

Great hub!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 16, 2015:

You have pretty creative and innovative excuses to not have company over for a few days. It might just work. Voted up for funny!

Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on April 21, 2015:

Too funny

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on March 19, 2015:

Thanks for some good laugh! It's always welcome here:) (But your kids not ...)

Namari on January 26, 2015:

And to think I was going to talk to sonmoee in person about this.

Krissa Klein from California on August 07, 2014:

Strange rash is good - don't forget ringworm, and pinkeye. Or maybe even ebola.

Marcy J. Miller (author) from Arizona on August 07, 2014:

True, that, Krissa! The only problem with the bed-bug inclusion is I'd never be invited anywhere, either! (Of course, I'll keep it in mind if I'm invited to the home of a friend with small children. That and "this strange rash" might work well.)

Best -- Mj

Krissa Klein from California on August 07, 2014:

I recommend adding bed-bugs to the list! That's something that will keep ALL the houseguests away, not just the children :)

Marcy J. Miller (author) from Arizona on August 07, 2014:

Krissa, thanks so much! Children give me hives. It's up to us to foster the curmudgeon tradition.

Best -- Mj

Krissa Klein from California on August 06, 2014:

I love this :D Children give me the heebie-jeebies, so I shall follow your advice the next time any of them threaten to visit me.

Marcy J. Miller (author) from Arizona on June 06, 2014:

Deb, thank you! I've always found the term "warped sense of humor" flattering. I appreciate your comment!

Best -- MJ

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 06, 2014:

I love it. You have the same warped sense of humor that I have! Those little gems are guaranteed to keep you guest free forever. Maybe even longer, once it spreads among the rest of the relatives.

Marcy J. Miller (author) from Arizona on May 29, 2014:

Thank you, Alicia! I appreciate it. I admit to having years of experience dedicated to avoiding the presence of small children. I have, however, often graciously extended invitations to their parents to visit me in eighteen years' time.

Best -- MJ

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 29, 2014:

This article is very creative and funny, MJ! I enjoyed the entertainment very much. You have some interesting ideas for avoiding house guests!

Marcy J. Miller (author) from Arizona on May 29, 2014:

Hello, Travmaj, and thanks so much for saying hello. You never know when an acquaintance with toddler terrors might be about to ambush you -- you can't be too ready, you know. After all, they make new two-year-olds every day!

Best -- MJ

travmaj from australia on May 29, 2014:

Hilarious read, and most accessible. I guess in a 'worst case scenario' all the suggestions could be used at once - that would work. I'm not in this situation now the kids are grown. However, I'll keep this for referral - be prepared! Thanks for the humour, voting...Cheers.

Marcy J. Miller (author) from Arizona on May 28, 2014:

Thanks so much, FlourishA! I didn't even think to add "incontinent cat" but that is an excellent idea. I have the perfect excuse, here: I dismantled the guest room, sold the daybed, and turned the guest room into a workshop. Since I've done so, no one has taken me up on the "may I suggest a nearby hotel?" offer. Thanks for the shares and pin!

Best -- MJ

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 28, 2014:

Bedbugs would be another great option. I had this happen within the last 6-8 months and shame on me I pleaded an incontinent cat, providing so much detail of the smell of urine and feces accidents that they begged off and we haven't rescheduled. We offered to meet them in a neutral location but I think they just wanted to make a hotel of our rather large house that is in a vacation-accessible area. Loved your creativity and humor, funny girl. Voted up and more and sharing, pinning to my Humor board.

Marcy J. Miller (author) from Arizona on May 28, 2014:

Thanks, Elizabeth! Fortunately, there are no little vandals in my family, either ... I wrote this as a helpful guide for my best friend's use! My dogs are horrified I would suggest use any canine mange allegations as a deterrent, though.

Best -- MJ

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on May 28, 2014:

These are too funny. There are no little ones in my family, so I'll never need to use these, but the excuses were fun to read. Very original!

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