How To Fob Off A Visiting Friend

Got a friend staying this weekend who you just can’t afford to spend time with? CHARLOTTE IVERS tells you how to fob off the unwanted weekender so that you can get your library on…

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We’ve all been there: you have three deadlines this Monday, don’t have a spare moment for the whole weekend, and the work is piling up (only joking – I’m doing Philosophy), when suddenly, an old friend from back home announces that they have a reading week (bastards) and are coming up to visit.

Suddenly, you are expected to entertain this carefree tosser for a full weekend, and you can’t bring yourself to explain that Cambridge is a merciless mistress who allows no time for personal relations and that you have lost any sense of perspective to the extent that your most recent essay crisis now means more than an eight year friendship.

At this stage, if you have any integrity, you should probably do what one girl at my college did: meet them at the train station and hand them £50 for the train home, with the choice words “I don’t think you should stay here”. However, if you lack the requisite brazen disregard for human decency/don’t want to live off toast for a week, never fear: there are more subtle ways of getting the job done. Despite your friend’s selfish, selfish desire to spend some time with you, that essay will get written. Strap in and let the Tab guide you to five ways of fobbing off friends who come to visit.

  1. Make them the bad guy:

If the person coming to visit isn’t just any old acquaintance, but someone you have some sort of romantic involvement with, it might be worth introducing them to that one friend you have who is vastly more attractive than you (don’t pretend you don’t know which one I mean) and who wouldn’t know a scruple if it danced naked in front of them. In fact, they would probably try to sleep with it. With any luck, your home friend will soon disappear with this beautiful and amoral individual, allowing you some valuable reading time, and the opportunity to take the moral high ground when you finally manage to send them packing.

Risks: Heartbreak. Crippling despair. Overwhelming sense of life’s futility. Inconvenience of having to find someone else to sleep with you and put up with your complaining.

Play the attractive friend card…

  1. Bring out the psycho:

If the relationship you have with your home friend is slightly more friends with benefits than married with children then this may be the time to try and change that. This one requires a bit of planning. By the time they arrive in your room, it should already be decked out with as much baby paraphernalia as Primark is able to supply. Give them a quick tour of the college chapel, making sure to mention how you’ve always preferred a spring wedding.

Risks: You have to be very sure that you know what you are doing with this one – it can backfire horribly. I will not be accepting lawsuits if you wake up in twenty years time with a joint mortgage and 2.5 kids.

  1. Share the love/burden

If you have mutual friends in Cambridge, ship your visitor out to stay with them for a night or two. Ideally, these friends should live as far away as possible. One of my best friends from school now goes to Murray Edwards. Jackpot.

Risks: You might be persuaded into joining them for dinner, and end up having to make the journey out to Hills Road, or some other exotic location. Nobody needs that in their life. Remember: don’t forget your passport, and check your immunisation record before you go.

A saviour in disguise…

  1. Take them to Life. Insist that they don’t drink

This one is for those of you who fancy playing the long game. It won’t get rid of them now, but it certainly will ensure that they don’t come back.

Risks: Look deep into your soul: will you be able to live with yourself once your conscience is tarred with having inflicted sober Life upon an innocent soul? Probably not.

  1. Be a Cambridge Wanker

First port of call is to incessantly bemoan exactly how much more work you are doing than them. This is particularly effective if they are a medic or architect, and you, like me, are doing a degree which is essentially the Cambridge equivalent of Hospitality Management.

Risks: Do you want to be that person? Really?

The guy pointing in the middle? Be him for the weekend.

So there you have it: weigh up the pros and cons, and choose your plan of action. Or just don’t be a dick and instead enjoy the breath of fresh air brought by somebody not worn down by the ravages of the Cambridge bubble. Your choice.