The Kids Stay In The Picture
Reader's Digest India|June, 2019
The Kids Stay In The Picture

Sure, my children are adults with jobs, but that doesn’t mean they’re exhibiting any desire to move out of our house

Howard Gaskin

MY WIFE, CHERYL, and I held hands and braced for the news.

“Your case is very serious,” he uttered. “One of the worst I’ve seen in 25 years in the profession.”

I knew it was bad—that’s why we had called him in—but I didn’t realize just how bad. The beefy-handed man had just done a walk-through of our home, poking here, shining a light there, shaking his head everywhere he went.

“First, we have to deal with their food source: the kitchen,” he said.

Yes, they are particularly troublesome in the kitchen, I thought. Each night, we leave our kitchen fit for a House & Garden photo shoot. Every morning, we come down to a disaster. Cupboard doors open, crumbs on the counter. It was like a dance of the midnight food fairies had carried on while we slept.

“We’ll have to gut it completely—go right down to the studs,” he said. “Rip up the floor, tear down the plaster and replace all the electricals. We’ll put your appliances in storage. You’ll have no ability to keep or prepare food for about three months.”

“Next, we target sources of water,” he continued, adding that he’d learnt that, whether alone or in packs, our intruders would spend a considerable amount of time at or near water sources, engaged in lengthy grooming rituals. “So we’re going to cut off all water to your main floor and above. You will have to rely only on your tiny basement bathroom.”

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June, 2019