Visiting during the holiday period is a tradition with many people. So are torpedo attacks if your family grew up in the Kreigsmarine. What the Guild wants to do is to make sure that if you are going to visit, your victim will go to the bottom in the swiftest manner:
a. Do not call ahead, but make sure that you have as many co-visitors with you as possible. Dress well, and warmly, and carry what look like expensive presents*. It is harder to turn a large group of people away than a small one, as the Germans found out on D-Day.
b. When you gain access to the premises – also known as breaching the walls – be hearty. Be loud. Be exuberant. This is a perfect cloak for someone in the crowd of visitors to rifle through to presents under the tree. A package slitter is a good thing to carry.
c. Make sure that your host is aware that you are thirsty and hungry. And not for just a cup of tea and a biscuit. This is the holidays. Unless they are prepared to put out a complete dinner with turkey, nuts, and crackers, they will appear to be Scrooge. It is a nice touch to carry a small crippled child who can call out ” God bless us one and all ” as you go through the refrigerator and pantry.
d. When it comes time to exchange gifts, have your gift assessor examine the goods closely before you let go of yours. Portable x-ray machines can sort out the difference between socks and Rolex watches.
e. Be ” Genuine “. Nothing beats genuine. Jesse James was one of the most genuine people you could ever meet.
f. Remember that it is the thought that counts, unless you are having the sort of thoughts that Harvey Weinstein used to have. Then only DNA evidence will stand up in court.
g. Be kind to the little children. Be civil to the slightly older ones. By the time they are 14 you can be downright rude. It will fit their frame of mind perfectly.
h. Good visitors curtail their stay before they become a nuisance. Now think – whose column are you reading? Is a Backstabbers Guild Of Australia member going to leave before all the food is gone and the bathroom drains are clogged? Of course not. When you visit you VISIT…
Some people can stay visited for years.
* Which you may bear away to your next port of call.