The Goldfarbs’ Home Rental Rules

We, the Goldfarbs, welcome you to our vacation home, Goldfarbolandia!

Vacation Home Rental RulesOf course, we want you to have a great time, so great that you’ll recommend us on social media (particularly Wimdu, Homelidays and Goatse – the ones that count, says my son, the tech guru). But we also want you to obey a few simple rules, which we call “Goldfarbolandia Rulz!”

Legal Notice by my son, who did extremely well on his LSATs: By reading this far, you hereby represent and covenant that: (1) you’ve read this far, (2) you’ll keep reading, and (3) you are bound by the rules stated below and in the Goldfarbolandia Home Rental Rules Book whether you read it or not!

And now, The Goldfarbolandia Rulz:

  1. The locked closets contain our personal belongings. PLEASE DO NOT TAMPER. If you tamper, please don’t tamper successfully. If you tamper successfully, please do not use what you find. If you do use what you find, DON’T BREAK, LOSE OR MISUSE IT: return of your security deposit depends on it! (But if you happen to find any playing cards, please leave them on the kitchen counter, as we’re missing a few.)
  2. We have breakable antiques and other valuables (including several umbrellas) (you can view them on vintageumbrellas.com!), so we ask guests to give us a $1000 security deposit and purchase a $10,000 property damage insurance policy; or buy a $3000 damage policy, make a $5000 cash advance, then add a day-of-occupancy security deposit of $1000; or pay a single $2000 cash deposit, deliver a $6000 letter of credit, and buy a $2000 umbrella policy (to insure our umbrella collection); or GIVE US YOUR WORD that you won’t break anything.
  3. Our town recycles. Please separate actual garbage from paper, glass and plastic. Then separate the paper into white paper, colored paper and cardboard. Next, separate the glass into clear, brown and blue/azure/turquoise/aquamarine. Finally, separate the plastic into PETEs, PVCs, HDPEs, LDPEs and Styrofoam. Now put the Styrofoam back in the garbage: our town does not recycle Styrofoam.
  4. Alternatively, you can dump all the above into any of the trash barrels located conveniently inside the garage, since our town uses single-stream recycling and sorts automatically.
  5. Whatever you do with your trash, be sure to (a) separate the compost and (b) separate from the compost any eggshells, limes or rinds. Compost goes in the composter out back – that’s the metal object that looks like a cement mixer (standing next to our cement mixer).
  6. If you have eggshells, limes or rinds, check our Goldfarbolandia Rulz Book for our Eggshell-Lime-Rind Casserole. It’s delicious, though be sure to floss after eating. (Also, you will not want to look too closely at your poop the following day) (unless you like viewing poop generally, in which case: enjoy). Please flush any unused eggshells, limes or rinds down the toilet.
  7. DON’T PARK YOUR CAR INSIDE THE GARAGE. If you do, don’t knock over the trash barrels or back out over our spike strip. The spike strip is controlled by the switch inside the garage labeled: “This switch controls the spike strip.” (The line beneath, “Este interruptor controla la tirade espiga,” is the Google Translate version for our Spanish guests.) (Now all we need are some Spanish guests!) (The line below that, “මෙම ස්විචය ස්පයික් පටි පාලනය කරයි,” is Google’s translation into something called Sinhala.)
  8. We have a super collection of games and puzzles. Particularly challenging is the 1000-piece Donald Trump Inauguration Photo Puzzle, which unfortunately is missing about 300 pieces (perhaps the ones that displayed record-breaking crowds). Our Trivial Pursuit – Xenobiology Edition is wonderfully challenging. We have a Scrabble set left behind by a family from Plovdiv (you probably won’t notice the three missing letters – two Й’s and a Щ – because it’s in Bulgarian). We also have 3 51-card decks of cards; unfortunately, they can’t be combined into a full deck because they’re all missing the Ace of Diamonds.
  9. You may use the TV, but it only carries 4 channels. (My son, who majored in Communications before becoming a law-savvy techie, said we have an Apple TV, unless he said we have Apple Pie. But he works with a technology he calls Raspberry Pi, so I’m never sure we speak the same language.) (He is the one who worries about social media and encouraged me to translate the tire strip instructions into Spanish and Sinhala.) We also have a DVD player, but only a small library of DVDs: Godfather I; Godzilla; Rodan vs. Godzilla; and Rodan vs. The Godfather (an interesting independent).
  10. We maintain a lovely little drop-off-and-borrow library: Leave one, take one. Leave two, take one (don’t be greedy!). Leave three, take one. DO NOT LEAVE FOUR! We already have too many books and don’t know how to get rid of them.
  11. We have a sensitive septic system, so please do not flush sanitary napkins down the toilet. No unsanitary napkins either. Actually, no cloth napkins or anything cloth-based. In short, NO NAPKINS OR CLOTH IN TOILET. Also, please go easy on prunes and flaxseed.
  12. By the end of rental season our pantry overflows with abandoned bags of quinoa, bulgur and other exotic grains, each teaming with meal moths and weevils. DO NOT LEAVE BEHIND OPENED BAGS OF GRAIN. Either take them with you or dump them in our cement mixer (the metal object next to our composter), since they make an excellent aggregate for concrete. DO NOT FLUSH GRAINS DOWN TOILET (no eggshells, limes or rinds either – forget that ridiculous rule 6).
  13. Please DO NOT PICK OR CLIP TOE NAILS OVER CARPETING. Please do not insult our carpets by calling them “oriental” rather than “Asian” or “Persian.” Please do not put bare feet or bare anything on objects meant for human seating. If you go commando on furniture, please clean using disinfectant under sink.
  14. Do not use disinfectant under sink – as it is hazardous, odorous and can harm our septic system – except to comply with rule 13.
  15. Enjoy our wall art, which includes several paintings from the Wappinger Creek School (a tributary of the Hudson River School); but DO NOT TOUCH THEM or come nearer than 10 feet (since our halls are 6 feet wide, this will force you to view many paintings at weirdly oblique angles – sorry). (If you’re puzzled by a strange work that looks like three Aces of Diamonds on poster board, so are we; but a guest hung it and we’ve nostalgically kept it.) (P.S. It might have been hung as a joke by our son: did we mention he has an MFA in visual arts?)
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Howard Zaharoff

Howard Zaharoff

Howard Zaharoff reads (a lot), writes (mostly humor), teaches (occasionally) and practices law (doesn't everyone?). He is the author of "Stump Your Lawyer!" (Chronicle 2007), and his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Amazing Stories, Computerworld, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, The Annals of Improbable Research and the books Growing Up Jewish (Penguin 1987) and Sex As a Heap of Malfunctioning Rubble (and Further Improbabilities) (Workman 1993), among other places.
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