Before we get started, two quick things. First, the somewhat neglected mommy blog has a tacky craft competition going this week, so please head over there and send in your submission.

Second, I want to thank everyone again for all you've done to share Stranger with your friends through your blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, going door-to-door, smearing the blog address with blood onto mirrors in public bathrooms, etc. Thanks to you, we have over 12,000 likes on the Facebook page AND like 12 very disappointed people are following me on Twitter. A couple of friends have been telling me for a while that I need to do a better job of asking people to share Stranger. So that's what I'm doing now: please share this or other posts, recent or otherwise that you enjoy. I'll keep writing if you keep reading and spreading the word. Deal?

Oh my gosh. I just asked you to do 2 things. Being a virtual friend with me is basically like a part-time job. I'll pay you $6.50 an hour and not a penny more!

Because of the German couchsurfer experience last week, we are taking a small break from couchsurfing. This is mostly because of something Daniel said to me 12 seconds after we dropped the couchsurfers off at the airport:

"You will NOT accept another couchsurfer if you want me to still be in your life."

I'm now in the process of declining the 20 or so requests I currently have pending. Because it would be a shame if Daniel exited my life. Who would reach the stuff on the top shelf?

The standard rejection was getting boring. Plus I hate saying no to people. So instead I started accepting them in ways that would make them retract their requests. Below, I include some of my favorites so far:


From: Julien
To: Eli
Subject: Please to stay

Hi I'm julien and I please to stay for a few night. I am traveling Palau and rock island fotos so prety. May I stay a week in your flat? I also have with me small travel companion dog but no trouble and will not cause to the problems.

From: Eli
To: Julien
Subject: Please to stay

Awesome Julien!!! Dog is so difficult to get in Palau. Sometimes I feel like I bought that stupid barbecue for nothing! How big is he? Will we need to keep the group small or could he feed a larger crowd?

*****
From: Tanner
To: Eli
Subject: Palau Visit

Hey you seem like a really cool guy and I think we have a lot in common. I am planning on coming to Palau for about 5 days and could really use a place to crash and rides to and from the airport. Help a brother out?

From: Eli
To: Tanner
Subject: Palau Visit

I think so Tanner! You'll have to stay in my bedroom with me though because the guest bedroom is still technically a "crime scene."

From: Tanner
To: Eli
Subject: Palau Visit

Change of plans. Thanks anyway!

*****
From: Michael
To: Eli
Subject: Palau

Hey my two buddies and I are coming to dive in Palau in March for about a week and need a place to crash. We're also looking for some good people to party with and you seem like a cool guy.

From: Eli
To: Michael
Subject: Palau

Michael,

I am very interested in having you come stay with me as long as you all agree to obey the house rules.

Eli

From: Michael
To: Eli
Subject: Palau

Ya man! Whatever! We'll be clean and everything. We're low key guys.

From: Eli
To: Michael
Subject: Palau

Good. The rules are as follows:

1. There is a strictly enforced 7:00 PM curfew.
2. Group Bible study starts at 5:00 AM and concludes at 7:00 AM.
3. You must find your own bathroom to use.
4. My daughter is 5 years old and I insist that you provide child care for her during the day while I'm at work.
5. Arms and legs must be covered at all times while in the house.
6. No peeing on the kitchen floor.

From: Michael
To: Eli
Subject: Palau

Bro. You want us to babysit your kid? You don't even know us. We'll figure something else out.

*****
From: Candice
To: Eli
Subject: Palau trip

Looking for a clean place to stay while I visit Palau in March. I am also clean and won't be a burden. Looking to stay 4 days but may extend. Would that work for you?

From: Eli
To: Candice
Subject: Palau trip

Great Candice! Stay as long as you would like! Would you mind bringing a couple of bottles of that special shampoo that kills lice? You can't get it here and my roommate and I are seriously dying. We will pay you back.

*****
From: Jason
To: Eli
Subject: Diving in Palau

Hey man. I'm coming to Palau to dive for a few days. Can you spot me a couch?

From: Eli
To: Jason
Subject: Diving in Palau

Of course. I'll need you to help me with a few things.

From: Jason
To: Eli
Subject: Diving in Palau

Ok no problem man. I'm happy to help out while I'm there.

From: Eli
To: Jason
Subject: Diving in Palau

Animals need to be fed and cows milked starting at 3:00AM every morning. Stables cleaned daily. Product must be walked to the market by noon sharp. No exceptions. A mistake will come out of your allowance. Animals must be tended to all afternoon. Evenings, ma will have supper out at 6:00 so you must be washed and ready by then. You are welcome to listen to our Christian radio programs with us until it's time to turn in at 8:30 or engage in your own personal study.

From: Jason
To: Eli
Subject: Diving in Palau

Are you serious? You have a farm and you want me to work at it all day? I'm coming to Palau to go diving not take care of your animals.

From: Eli
To: Jason
Subject: Diving in Palau

You can go diving once you get your chores done.

*****From: NakkiTo: EliSubject: May I visit

I will like to visit from Japan and need a couch. May you be awailabl?

From: Eli
To: NakkiSubject: May I visit
Shoot! I'm actually not selling my couch right now. I recommend Craigslist. Just make sure you check the couch out in person before you commit to anything. Learned that one the hard way. Last time I'll trust anybody who says they stole a "high quality" couch from a person they murdered on it.
From: NakkiTo: EliSubject: May I visit
I think you not understanding. I will like to couchsurf in Palau not to purchase couch. I am traveling Japan to Palau and will like to couchsurf.
From: EliTo: NakkiSubject: May I visit
I think you'll be really disappointed. The waves are very small in Palau and it makes surfing almost impossible. I suggest that instead you come to Palau to play video games. It's very hot here so you should stay inside the entire time.
From: NakkiTo: EliSubject: May I visit
I am traveling from Japan not to surf. I will like to know if your flat is available for visit. Are you available for visit?
From: EliTo: NakkiSubject: May I visit
I thought you'd NEVER ask! Yes! I am available for a visit! I have always wanted to go to Japan! What should I bring? I'll be there by Friday. Can you get work off so we can just hang out? Do you have a tandem bike we could ride together?
*****
From: BrianTo: EliSubject: April Stay
Hi, I'm going to be traveling through the islands and I would like to stay with you. I looked at your profile and it seems like we will get along really well. I plan to stay for about 4 days in April. Can you host me?
To: BrianFrom: EliSubject: April Stay
Can I host you?! Do cats make better companions than people!? Of course I can host you!
From: BrianTo: EliSubject: April Stay
Awesome man. I'll be in touch as the date gets closer.
From: EliTo: BrianSubject April Stay
Hey Mary. I just got some guy on couchsurfers to agree to come in April. Do you still have those handcuffs? And is Bart going to be out of prison by then?
From: EliTo: BrianSubject: April Stay
OMG Brian! I just sent you a message that was supposed to go to someone else. Will you please delete it and not read it? It doesn't concern you so I don't want to waste your time with it.
From: BrianTo: EliSubject: April Stay
Dude . . .
~It Just Gets Stranger