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Dear Guests,

Thank you for staying at our home during your vacation, and thanks for respecting the white towels! We hope you have enjoyed being here as much as we have enjoyed welcoming you. Before you head back to wherever home is, we ask you to help us prepare the house for our next guests, by completing a few simple “check out” items.

  1. Please take out all trash and recycling to the respective bins, by the driveway.
  2. Please leave used towels and linens in a pile in any of the bathrooms.
  3. Please load dirty dishes into the dishwasher, and run it.
  4. Please solve the linear equation left up on the chalkboard that our family hasn’t been able to figure out. Please show your work!
  5. Please leave a humble offering—NOTHING EDIBLE—to the spirit that lives in the attic. If you didn’t interact with it, it’s merely because of the people who stayed here before you. Please pay it forward so our next guests can have as peaceful a stay as you did. Knock twice before going up!
  6. If you used it to cook, please make sure the gas line in the kitchen is shut off.
  7. Please leave the windows open and the blinds up, to help air out the house. (Do not worry about letting the spirit that lives in the attic out into the world. It cannot get through the screens.)
  8. Please DO NOT take our only copy of John Grisham’s The Firm from the house, even if you failed to finish reading it before the end of your stay. It’s difficult to explain why, but we feel very strongly that everyone should have the chance to read The Firm at least once while on vacation.
  9. Also, please DO NOT remove our only VHS copy of the 1993 blockbuster The Firm, starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. Again, we feel very strongly that everyone should have the chance to watch the movie adaptation of The Firm at least once while on vacation.
  10. Please refill any ice trays you may have emptied.
  11. Please do not leave clumps of hair in the drains. Any excess hair we find will be sent to so that we can find out all about your genealogy and, in turn, make sweeping generalizations about the types of people you came from, who apparently couldn’t be bothered to clear out their own filth.
  12. Please don’t forget to log out of any streaming services you may have logged into. We will mess up your algorithms for sport. That is a threat and a promise.
  13. If you went into the linen closet, please make sure that the fitted sheets are still folded the right way. I do not want to have to do it again.
  14. Please take an acorn from the big oak tree in the front and bring it home with you and plant it in your yard. It may seem like an odd request, but we promised the tree we’d mention it.
  15. Please drive carefully on the way out of the neighborhood. There are lots of families with children who play outside.
  16. However, please honk at the neighbors in the green house, as you drive past. And really lay on it. They are insufferable and must be made to pay.
  17. Totally TOTALLY unrelatedly, please take one unlabeled bag from the basement bulk freezer with you and discard it at least a few miles away from the house. We would do it for you.
  18. Please don’t forget to leave us a fair and accurate rating once you’ve gotten home. And for our and YOUR sake, don’t mention the whole “spirit living in the attic” thing!
Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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