the leaky houseguest.
© 1998 Jamie Zawinski <>

I am not making this up.

Some friends and I went out for a night on the town. Revelry ensued. Drinks were had. One of my companions (who shall remain nameless, for reasons which will soon make themselves clear) had drunk too much to safely drive home, so I offered him my couch for the night.

Sleep came. Some time later, in the wee hours of the morning, I woke to hear Raven saying, ``what's that sound?'' Something along the lines of ``Mrrrrh,'' was my retort, but I did (vaguely, through a fog) notice the sound of something leaking. Then there was another sound: that of my friend saying, ``Huh? Oh. Oh shit.''

This meant nothing to me, and I was asleep again immediately.

The next morning, I stumbled downstairs, rubbed the crusties from my eyes, and sat down to read my mail. My friend emerged from the bathroom, stood next to me and said, ``I need to talk to you about something.'' I had not been awake for nearly long enough to deal with whatever it was that could put such a serious expression on his face, but I turned toward him anyway, and raised an inquiring eyebrow.

``I have never walked in my sleep before,'' he began, ``but last night, and I have no idea why, I got up, came over here, and peed on your floor.''

A disbelieving smile made a tentative appearance on my face. This just couldn't be true. But something was wrong. What was wrong was that this kind of joke just wasn't his style. The absurd bald-faced lie wasn't really in his repertoire. What's the catch?

``I think Raven heard me,'' he added. And at that, I remembered, and I knew he was telling the truth. My jaw dropped, and I started to giggle like a schoolgirl.

``It was right over here,'' he walked to the spot. (I could see now that there was, in fact, a spot.) ``I leaned here, and peed there, and I remember being careful to hit only the carpet and not the video game or the printer...''

I stared. I tried to close my mouth and failed.

``So I'm going to go to the supermarket right now and rent a carpet cleaner, and I should have this cleaned up in about a half an hour, and I can't believe this happened, and I'm really sorry, and please don't put this on your web page.''

[ up ]