Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rules for Houseguests

A few years ago, my mom came to visit and Isaac decided that it was in our best interests to write up a list of houseguest rules to prevent potential misunderstandings.
She is coming today to Iowa for the first time, and Isaac sent her an updated list of rules as a friendly reminder of appropriate conduct on our premises. I promise, this is well-worth your time.

Dear Mom,

In preparation for your visit, I thought I would send you an updated list of rules. I have made updates to each section, and have added a section for "Iowa" at the end.


Section 1: The Kitchen

Rule 1.1 Guests are prohibited, except in cases of extreme life-threatening emergencies, from making any negative comments regarding the general state of kitchen cleanliness, the height of the stack of dishes, or the inability to find the bottom of the sink. Compliments are encouraged.

Rule 1.2 Guests are prohibited from snacking on chocolate chips

Rule 1.3 Guests are prohibited from breaking dishes (except in cases of self-defense), climbing into the refrigerator, banging pots and pans (except on January 1st), or hiding under the table (except in cases of self-defense).

Rule 1.4 Guests are prohibited from commenting on the general lack of counter space, the stains on the kitchen table (it is not blood), or the old linoleum on the floor.

Section 2: The Living Room

Rule 2.1 Guests are prohibited from touching any remote belonging to a television, DVD player, CD player, lamp, or fan.
              Rule 2.1.1 Guests are prohibited from wanting to touch the remote.

Rule 2.2 Guests are prohibited from complaining about the volume of the radio, television, or DVD player.

Rule 2.3 Guests are prohibited from using (or touching) musical instruments, including (but not limited to): the piano, the guitar, the ukulele, the kazoo, the nose whistle, the jaw harp, or the armpit. Justin Cooper (Camber's little brother) is exempt from this rule.

Rule 2.4 Guests are prohibited from commenting on the cleanliness of the sliding glass door. Each remark will be punished by the guest having to lick the sliding glass door completely clean.

Section 3: The Bathroom

Rule 3.1 Guests are prohibited from borrowing, stealing, using, breathing on, or looking at my toothbrush (it's the electronic one).

Rule 3.2 Guests are limited to 10 minutes in the bathroom during a normal potty trip, 20 minutes for one (1) long potty trip during the day, and 30 minutes in the morning (which includes shower time).

Section 4: The Office (Guest Bedroom)

Rule 4.1 Guests have unlimited access to the office. It's your haven, your temporary home, your refuge.

Rule 4.2 Guests may not read any journals on the book shelf, but may enjoy the pictures on the cover.

Section 5: The Master Bedroom

Rule 5.∞ Guests are prohibited, upon penalty of death, from entering the master bedroom, from opening a closed door to the master bedroom, from peeking under the door into the master bedroom, from banging on the door of the master bedroom, and from any other practice which would disturb the peace, quiet, happiness, or general zen-like state of the master bedroom occupants.

Section 6: Iowa

Rule 6.1 Guests are prohibited from confusing the state of Iowa with the state of Ohio. Guests are required to perform 15 pushups for each mistaken reference to "Ohio." The substitute "Ohiowa" will be accepted up to three (3) times per day; each reference to "Ohiowa" beyond three times will result in a 15-pushup punishment.

Rule 6.2 Guests are prohibited from stating the obvious, especially from the following exclamations:

"It's cold here in Iowa!"

"There's so much corn!"

"Rivers here are big!"

"There are no mountains!"

"Iowans are fat!"


Rule 6.3 All statements, questions, thoughts, heart-felt loathings, or sighs about corn are prohibited. If a guest wishes to make a remark about corn, he/she must substitute the phrase, "Iowa is awesome," for the word corn. Example: "Goodness me! There are so many -- Iowa is awesome -- fields here!"

Rule 6.4 Guests are required to make two (2) positive comments about Iowa during each stay of the visit. General compliments regarding the greenness of the trees, the rolling hills, the general scent, the loveliness of the university, and the general lack of monkeys, are encouraged.

My mom is a very good sport.


  1. This is awesome.. especially the Iowa rules.

  2. Man... I am glad that we know the rules now. We will have to keep this in mind the next time we knock on your door. haha. Iowa is awesome.

  3. Ahahahaha! Love this! I don't know if I could stay at your house though... I'd probably break the snacking on chocolate chips rule a hundred times. And the 30 minute morning bathroom rule... And what is a jaw harp?

  4. Oh my goodness, how did I miss reading this the first time you posted it? You guys are hilarious! I love the Iowa section. Makes me want to see all those "Iowa is awesome" fields. ;)