World War III Averted; You’re Welcome

So, one of my former co-workers (who obviously does not read my blog), recently asked if the Firepants Family would be interested in hosting a foreign exchange student.

Two things come to mind whenever I hear “foreign exchange student”:  Sixteen Candles and That 70’s Show.

Long Duk Dong from Sixteen Candles

I’m pretty sure that I would not want either of the foreign exchange students represented in these shows to share a house with my 9 year old daughter.

Now, I know that those are stereotypes, and that most exchange students are probably delightful.  I also know that it would be a great experience for Dimples.

When I received the invitation, I even briefly considered requesting a student from Malawi – since that country appears to me my second biggest fan based on my blog stats.

Then I realized that the problem with this whole scenario is not that we might end up hosting a not very intelligent but excessively horny male teenager who consistently misunderstands American idioms.

The problem is that any student who has the misfortune of being assigned to Firepants household will, at the very least, sue the organization that matched him/her with us.  And, it would not be completely outside the realm of possiblity that word of the student’s experiences with us would result in an international incident threatening nuclear annihilation.

Maybe, I thought, I could compose a letter ahead of time that would gently prepare the student for the culture shock sure to occur after a few days residing with Family Firepants.

Dear FES:

We are delighted to hear that you will be staying with us during your visit to the United States.  You have learned, I am sure, about many of the differences between our two countries.  However, there are some things you may want to know that you will probably not find in the Wikipedia entries you may have been perusing.

First of all, you would be well-advised to pack the following things in your suitcase:  noise-canceling headphones, white clothes, and a gas mask.*  Other than that, bring nothing that you truly value.  In fact, just throw your clothes in a trash bag.  Luggage is overrated, anyway.**

Secondly, if you have not had any martial arts training, I suggest that you take a crash course before you make your trip.***

Thirdly, if you are at all sickly, are allergic to peanut butter, cannot swallow pills, and are adverse to having a hand shoved down your throat – you should probably reconsider your decision to make this trip.****

And, as a friendly warning (that you should not consider to be threat in any way shape or form), it would be best if you never mention the words “Diet Coke” around your hostess in any context.  This is considered an obscenity in our family culture and, in the state of Texas, for this you could be shot.*****


Your Hostess

*headphones to block out the sound of smoke alarms beeping and Dimples’ c.d. endlessly repeating c.d., black clothes will be covered in fur the moment you enter our house, gas mask to filter the mixed toxic fumes of Wonderbutt’s gas emission and a half-dozen Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works

**Wonderbutt only chews items of value

***As we do not have a concealed light saber license, martial arts is our only defense against the members of the Temple of the Jedi Order who may or may not have ordered a hit on us

****I have one way to administer pills to those who won’t swallow them – and it isn’t pretty

*****I have been a recovering Diet Coke addict for 2 months, and appear to have permanent withdrawal symptoms

Of course, there are far more rules that should be outlined to ensure the student’s survival – but I don’t want to overwhelm the poor kid.

Posted on April 14, 2012, in Children, Dimples, Family, Humor, Politics, Wonderbutt and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. That sounds like fair warning. We really like reading about the Firepants family:)
    Bella and DiDi

  2. Of course, you could always just put the exchange student up at a Motel 6 for their stay, thereby preventing diplomatic ruin, but still getiing cool community points and bragging rights.
    Or you could Wonderbutt muzzled. That might be a good idea whether you get the exchange student or not…
    Just sayin.

  3. I think the warning letter sounds Perfectly reasonable!

  4. awesome! i like the thoroughness of the letter – and suitcases really are overrated. actually you could work in a little “labor” for the exchange student too, no? just a *little* (light) house cleaning, laundry, cooking, and driving? btw – my good friend (and her friends) in malawi might be stalking your blog. my boy and one of her four boys are the same age. we have the “exchange student” thing all worked out for the future. ;o)

    • I certainly thought of the “labor” idea, but I figure I would not be any more successful at getting labor from a stranger than I would from my own child. And, thanks for cluing me in to my Malawi following! That is so cool!

  5. I’ll be back later to read this. I have evil work to do.

    Hi, I’m a friend of Nathan Badley. He was just mentioning that he kind of misses seeing you around his blog lately. I just don’t want him to get his feelings hurt too much. I think that people have been slacking off on visiting his blog because he doesn’t reply to comments very well. Anyway, would you please swing over there and say hi?

  6. I think everyone should be required to write a warning letter to anyone coming to stay at their house.

  7. The poor kid – I’d like to hear some more rules – ha!

  8. When I was a teenager, I talked my parents into hosting a foreign exchange student just for the weekend (a busload was touring the US before returning to wherever). I was in awe when she arrived. She was so sophisticated and stylish. I thought she was fantastic. She thought I was a rube.

  9. They should start a blog about it all 🙂

  10. I personally think a foreign exchange would be great addition to your family! Someone to help walk Wonderbutt, stay up on thunderstorn nights with them on the couch, etc., someone to help convince MILlie about stylish glasses… There’s three things right there you could add as requirements to your letter.

  11. I didn’t think you could add any more excitement to the WhatIMeantFamily, but sounds like another adventure.

  12. Whoops! Monica is right, it appears I am skewing your fan base results. It is not so much blog stalking as my stupid computer has started telling me you have a new post every single time someone leaves a comment so I keep clicking over only to be disappointed.

    If you would like a 40ish homesick Texan currently misplaced in Malawi as your exchange student, sign me up! I also have several grubby boys I am considering shipping off to whoever will take them, if you are interested.

  13. All of the foreign exchange students I knew in high school were not happy. They thought Americans were too strict. Your note would sound like a prison sentence. Maybe you could start an American boot camp for wayward teens instead.

  14. LOL!!!! We could send you Ginger for a week and that would be like a year of foreign culture complete with collie judo, plotting with Wonderbutt and enough destruction to make your home look like WW3 hit…. LOL….. would stop a international incident and I am sure Ginger would have the time of her life… but, would you survive? Perhaps a foreign exchange student would be easier… 🙂 Just saying… *grin*

    In mirth,
    the evil, plotting Ginger, the worried collies and chuck who is running away…. 🙂

  15. I laughed so hard I cried, awesome post! You have definitely averted WWIII and we are all grateful. That Nobel Prize is just around the corner!

  16. I must be absorbing (and retaining) the contents of your posts because I understood each of the points you made in the letter before I read your interpretation at the end! 🙂

  17. Love it! 🙂

    I could never host a FES, either. I am far too selfish.

  18. LOL! Hilarious! I, too, think of Sixteen Candles when I think of foreign exchange students. Long Duck Dong! 🙂

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