Wednesday, June 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on April 11th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 6 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 6

The guest

Krider's son brings some habits home from college


The day our son left for college, we felt very proud that he had moved on to the next stage in his existence. His whole life was ahead of him. He could accomplish anything. We were excited for him, and we were also excited to have a new empty room in the house. Five seconds after he left our driveway, we immediately redecorated his room. We did this for two reasons: One was to decontaminate all of the teenage boy germs and smells out of the room. The second reason was to ensure he didn’t have a place to come home to. We love our son, but it was time for him to go. He knows everything there is to know in the world, therefore he didn’t need to spend any more time in our house telling us over and over again how stupid we are.

To ensure our son didn’t want to come back and live at our house again, we took his old room, painted the walls yellow, and then placed our PEZ candy dispenser collection (more than 800 PEZ) all around every wall in the room. We created a brand new guest room. To sit in the middle of the guest room is to have 800 different PEZ Disney and PEZ superhero characters stare at you with their judging eyes. We love the way the room came out and we assumed a male college student would hate it—a win-win situation.

Also, after our son left for college we immediately replaced him with a rescue dog named Betty. Betty is great. She doesn’t act as if she is the smartest person in the house like our son used to. In fact, we know for a fact that Betty isn’t very smart because she barks and runs to the front door every time a doorbell rings on television. Betty spends her days lounging on the guest bed in the PEZ room, happily staring at all of the characters. Life is good.

Eventually a holiday came up, and our son decided he wanted to leave the college beach town he lived in to come back to our house. I can only assume he came home so his mom would do some laundry. The joke was on him. Mom stopped doing laundry years ago. When he came home we introduced him to the PEZ room/Betty’s room/the guest room. The emphasis was on “guest,” as in “you are a guest in this house now; you don’t live here.” He didn’t understand the concept.

Instead of entering the house as a cordial and thankful guest, he entered the house like a know-it-all Tasmanian devil. He left his bags in the hallway, he parked his car in our driveway, he said that I don’t understand anything about geopolitics and then he was mean to the dog, “Why is she in my bed?” He wasn’t really fitting in at our newly settled house. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. My wife and I, we love our son very much. But he is 19 and it’s easier for us to love him from afar when he is at college.

Our son didn’t seem to mind that his old bedroom was redecorated with 800 PEZ candy dispensers. He just kicked of his smelly shoes and jumped into bed, displacing the dog. He slept through most of the day like a vampire. When the rest of the family went to bed at a normal hour, our son decided to get up, open and close every cupboard in the house, and then open and close the refrigerator seven times as loud as possible. I don’t know what he’s learning in that four-year college of his, but to this day we have not invented the magic refrigerator that when you open and close the fridge door multiple times you will find different snacks in it. It is just the same stuff that was in the fridge the first time he opened the door.

In the morning, my wife and I found that our son left towels on the floor and cups everywhere in the house. Cups in the bathroom, cups in the PEZ room, cups in the living room. Apparently college has taught him to stay very hydrated. Unfortunately college has not taught him how to use the same water cup. At least we now know why he was opening and closing cabinets all night and keeping us awake—he was looking for fresh cups.

When I asked him about the cups, his know-it-all response was, “I don’t use single-use water bottles because they ruin the environment.”

I told him, “Neither does the dog, your replacement, but she drinks water out of the same bowl every day. Do you think you can limit your water intake to one cup a day?”

“Okay,” he said. “Is there anything to eat here?”

“Yes, the same things you eat at college. Get in your car and drive to In-N-Out.”

After two days I thought my wife, whom I love, was going to kill our son, whom I thought we loved. He was living in the guest room, but he wasn’t grasping the concept of being the guest. He thought that his mom and dad were still his personal servant and butler. Finally, his mom broke it down for him, “I wiped your ass when you were a baby, but I’m not going to do it now that you’re a grown man. Clean up after yourself or go back to college. The dog wants her bed back.”

Our son didn’t take offense to the lack of a homecoming. He realized that his parents were old dumb people so he jumped in his car and drove back to school. We gave him a hug goodbye and told him we would send money. After he was gone we saw that he left two cups in the guest room and a wet towel on the floor. My wife said we were not sending the money.

Rob’s son is doing just fine in college; he met a girl named Megan who happily picks up his towels and cups. You can read more from Rob Krider or contact him at

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Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

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