14 August 2007

"How to care for your house elves - a beginners guide" or "using one's blog for therapy"

So, you've just got some house elves? Whilst house elves are a wonderful addition to any student flat, be sure to look after them properly by following this simple guide, which is punctuated by illustrative examples.

The number one rule of house elf maintenance is that they are highly sensitive to your needs and must be made to feel AT ALL TIMES that they are serving you and that you are not having strain yourself. Whatever you do, do NOT attempt to carry out any menial household tasks. Or at least no useful ones. If you really must satisfy any yearning to clean, do something completely useless like mopping the kitchen ceiling.

At absolute worst, you may wash your own dishes, but do ensure that you leave them lying around on every available kitchen surface (no neat piles next to the sink, now) surrounded by crumbs and grease for a few days first. Then when you "wash" your dishes, ensure that they have a good amount of grease or bits stuck to them so that the house elves can redo them for you later, and do not attempt to clean any surfaces you may have sullied.

If you can find ways to make your house elves tasks more difficult, this will only heighten their sense of worth. A good example of this is placing unwrapped broken plates on the top of the bin bag that they will be taking out (because obviously you must avoid taking it out yourself at all costs). In this way they may cut their hands, and feel much better about the task. If they take out the pieces of broken plate and suggest you might like to wrap it in paper, for safety - DO NOT BE FOOLED. What they actually want you to do is leave the broken plate lying on the floor for 3 days so that they can wrap it up for you on bin collection day.

Beyond menial tasks, you should also allow them spontaneous pleasures, as special treats. If you set off the fire alarm, for example, you should stand still. Do not address the house elves, and wait until one of them has turned the alarm off for you. Do NOT thank the house elves once they have done this for you. Alternatively you could fill the freezer up to bursting with tupperware pots of nuclear war rations and then leave the door open so that the only thing they have in there, icecream, melts and dribbles all over the freezer and fridge. They then have the pleasure of cleaning the whole sticky area as a special surprise.

Now we come to how to address your house elves. When they say hello to you, you should ignore them. This may seem a little rude at first, so you may say hello to the cat instead, if this makes you feel more comfortable. If they wish you a pleasant day, the appropriate response is 'I will'. Under no circumstances should you engage in pleasantries with them, such as 'you too'. It should go without saying that you should never ask them how their day was. You may describe at great length any mundane stories you have, however. You should avoid giving these stories any context, so that your house elves will not really know what you are talking about, if possible.

Finally and probably most importantly, make sure that your house elves get to pay for the pleasure of serving you - not paying your rent for anywhere up to 5 weeks is probably sufficient. If you can leave the country for several weeks without telling them and without paying them rent for several weeks before or during your trip, you can earn extra brownie points with them.

If these simple guidelines are followed, you can expect a happy and enjoyable time with your house elves. And when you leave, they will shed a little tear.


E said...

I think the house elves are WAY too patient and should just call the cluricauns or kick the human(s) out...

A said...

The house elves have now been liberated, hence the therapeutic release of writing a blog about the experience! FREEEEEEEE!!!!

There may be a house elves party, or at the very least a series of invitations to come have dinner at our place again (since now we can invite people without having to fight for the kitchen, with a certain quelqu'un making a mess faster than we can tidy it) and you can expect yours very shortly!

And by the way, I'm very impressed that a young french lady can teach a Murphy about irish folklore. Did you know I'd never heard of a cluricaun. I must have had a very unIrish upbringing!

Anonymous said...

has the cut hand healed? Dad

Anonymous said...

...of course they will also need the ocasional serenading...ensure that these are only songs that no rational person could possibly like and avoid singing in tune at ALL costs!!! hope alls good kid. biglilbro. X

A said...

Ah, how well he remembers! La Bamba, over and over. And over. You must be an alcoholic, ...eh? A whole beer in one night?! Nice to have you commenting, biglilbro.

Fortunately, the house elves spotted the broken plate in time, pops.

Miss you guys. Hope all's well.

me said...

wow wow wow, what a fancy blog page, i dont remember it looking like this before...not even when i fell upon the pics of your kittens!!!! ahhhhhhhh~~!!
i miss para so much, damn bastard.
i am going to take a gander at all the you've written soon. just wanted to drop a line and say hi. guess who is living in SF now and working at La Perouse french school? non, it's not Chirac.
muchos muchos muchos besos,