I've come to the conclusion that I cannot describe my weekend guests without using the phrase "ungrateful cunts." So I will not describe my guests. It's important to me that the phrase "ungrateful cunts" never appear on this page. We have standards at Stank.

I will therefore just quote my guests. Two such anecdotes follow.

• • •

"Please be careful around the puppy. Don't run around him, because he's only 9 weeks old doesn't know what he's doing. He'll run under your feet and get hurt," I told the kids as they tried their best to see if Fredo's guts squish like a cockroach's. "And please don't leave the puppy outside alone like that. There are eagles and coyotes around," I had to add later. "And please don't leave the door wide open. The whole puppy thing is still happening. Thank you."

Finally, one of the children's heretofore mute parents stopped stuffing brie into her hole momentarily to say "Okay kids, let's take the puppy down to the beach!"

"The puppy can't go," I said.

She sighed the exasperated sigh of those persecuted by the truly stupid. "Is this your first puppy, John?"

• • •

The kids didn't break anything over the weekend, but once again, the adults did their best. My marble vanity has an exciting new permanent stain thanks to someone deciding that where I had the soap dispenser (6 inches from the sink) wasn't close enough. She needed actual soap-dispenser-to-marble-contact, lest...lest...I'm at a loss. And so the globs of soap bore their way into the pores of the marble, where they shall remain. There's half a dozen needless things like that.

The kids slept outside in a tent. It rained. The next morning, I was surprised to see their mother bringing my good guest linens back inside. I cannot emphasize enough how expensive these items were. "Ugh, this is soaked through," she said with a disgust that suggested it was my down pillow's fault.

"Awesome," I said softly, at this point long in a meditative trance.

And thus did this woman glare at me. Me, who'd supplied her children with a closet full of games and toys, with an industrial bubble machine, with blackout blinds in the guest room, with sand castle-making gear, with sparklers and other kid fireworks, with an X-Box (and dedicated TV) with kids' games. Me, who'd let them buy games on his iPad, who'd spent hundreds of dollars on feeding them, including a bonfire over which we roasted s'mores.

Knowing this, standing there, holding my used maxi-pad of a down pillow, she stared at me, then at her sister, and then she issued her judgement: "John hates kids."