The Guest Room

I have family in town and you know what that means- the perfect opportunity to scare the crap out of someone! If you're like me, you enjoy a good practical joke that scars for life, like the time my brother was in town and I got really sick and had to be taken to the hospital and when we got home, I hid outside and my brother told my 6 year old son that I had died and then when he was registering the news and getting all teary, I jumped up and twisted my face all up against the window and made crazy zombie sounds. That was hilarious. Over the next five years there was a lot of bed-wetting around our house, but it was totally worth it.

So the other night, my brother, Hank Torgit, and his girlfriend, Babette, were due at the airport at midnight. While we were awaiting their arrival, we cooked up a plan that had us giggling for about an hour. I have an older house and in the basement there is a root cellar that has a bunch of wine racks so it could be called a wine cellar except there is no wine in there on account that who wants to store wine in the cellar when you could be drinking it? Calling the room a wine cellar makes it sound nice- as if we are the kind of people who shop out of the little Sky Mall Catalogue. But the wine cellar is not nice. It's creepy. It has a cement floor, I think, but the walls seem to be leaking dirt, so when my brother called and said, "Babette is a little worried about the accommodations, let's make her think we are going to have to sleep in the dirt room," I knew exactly what room he was referring to. "You mean the guest room," was my reply. "I'm on it." Lots of giggling later, and we had cozied up the room a bit. Two old pillows that I have been meaning to throw away and an old sleeping bag on the floor- we toyed with placing a pot in the room and telling Babette that our plumbing was broken, so they would have to use the pot, but the basement bathroom is scanky enough so we didn't really need to go over the top with the whole you have to shit in a pot and then dump it outside routine.

As you can imagine, after traveling the whole day and arriving after midnight, my brother and his girlfriend were tired and were looking forward to a nice cozy bed. We led them and their luggage downstairs and opened the door.

The door. It has a peephole and it locks from the outside. It is also decorated with grapes. That is because of this:

The wine rack. Empty. Who keeps wine around when it is so good to drink?

The wine rack isn't what someone might notice at first. At first they would probably notice this:

This is what made me understand what Hank Torgit meant by "the dirt room."

But honestly the dirt really isn't that noticable. It is sort of upstaged by the rest of the room.

The only thing that would be worse I think is if the remains of the last guest were in the corner.

Yes. That would be worse.

So Babette went into the guest room and put down her bags. And you know what? She took it totally in stride. She didn't freak out or anything. Meanwhile, I am in the opposite corner of the basement, biting my cheeks and hyperventilating. (I am a terrible actress- I can't hold in my laughter for beans.) Finally, my brother starts laughing and the gig is up. Except Babette is totally nonplussed. No reaction.

Except for in the morning I found out that the real reason she was so nonchalant about the room is that when she saw it she sped through Kubler Ross's stages of grief, straight to acceptance. As she looked around and took in the accommodations- the dirt floor, the cobwebs, the crumbling walls, she felt a sense of relief that her imminent death meant that she would only have to spend one night there.

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it. But, you SHOULD totally try this joke on your family.

14 Response to "The Guest Room"

  • Optimistic Pessimist Says:

    Hysterical...and you're right, I mean who needs to store wine when you really should be drinking it anyway. Besides going down stairs after drinking a bottle of wine to get another bottle of wine can be quite dangerous.

    Also - I must make a confession...I thought I was following you. Just the other day I was wondering why I hadn't read your blog in a while. Upon review of google reader I realized that I am not following you...problem solved!

  • R3 Method Show Says:

    OMG R U serious? That is funny.

  • spudballoo Says:

    uh all over pristine macbook screen.'re too funny. Do stop. No, don't actually. we need da funnies.

  • linlah Says:

    babette, smart girl

  • Kez Says:

    Haha, that's funny.

  • Says:

    Are you sure Babette is the right person for Hank? She seems much too stable and calm to be welcomed into the bosom of your family.

    BTW... love what you've done with the guest room!

  • Unknown Says:

    Please tell me you did NOT do that to your son! I thought I was bad good Lord! The funniest thing I ever did was get a hold of that stuff for kids called "Slime" It comes in a little plastic jar and is SO cool for practical jokes. I had a friend with the weakest stomach ever. She gagged if you said you had a little booger in your nose. Anyway where I used to work she drove a stand up lift and I smeared that slime all over the handle. When she jumped on that and grabbed that slime it was all she wrote. The whole plant was in an uproar watching her stumbling around retching as loud as hell. Funniest thing I ever saw.

  • Pearl Says:

    Oh, I would've dropped dead on the spot, visions of spiders and musty hell!
    That was excellent. Truly excellent.

  • Vic Says:

    That was cruel and wonderful at the same time. Babette is a trooper -- I would have cried on the inside.

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    Optimistic Pessimist- Wine cellars are for people who must not really like wine very much on account that they aren't drinking it! Glad that problem was solved. Welcome!!

    Joy- Oh yes. Totally serious. We really did this. If your house had a really scary room, you wouldn't let it go to waste either.

    Spudballoo- Sorry about your screen. Must put up a disclaimer about drinking wine while reading my blog.

    linlah- I know! I know! She gets my stamp of approval.

    Kez- Thanks a bunch!!!

    Cat Lady- Actually, I think her reaction bodes well. I think she is perfect for him. And her sanity is a nice balance to the rest of the family.

    ettarose- The thing about playing the trick on my son when he was little? Nah. I made that up- we fantasized about it when we were coming home from the emergency room, but we would never do something so cruel. But don't tell anyone. I have a reputation to uphold.

    Pearl- Yikes, it never occurred to me that that might happen! Oh well, you have to be willing to take some risks for the sake of humor.

    Vic- I know. I was really impressed. I would have cried on the inside too, and the outside.

  • Says:

    So... Are you going to hold your birthday party in the wine cellar?

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    Cat Lady- That is a rather nice idea. Maybe next year. But I think that I might have a contest- the prize for some lucky follower will be to spend a night in Sondra Stinglash's guestroom. How does that sound?

  • Girl Tornado Says:

    LMAO... what a great joke. My son and I love pranks like this. Awesome.

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    Oz Girl- Thanks! It was lots of fun, but I am terrible at keeping a straight face, so I don't do nearly as many pranks as I dream up!

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