Your parents are coming to town, and they're staying in your apartment. You have two hours before they show up, but your place reveals way too much about the degenerate you've become since leaving home.  Follow these steps, and forever remain sweet and innocent in their eyes...

 

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Do a thorough sweep of your apartment and lock up anything your parents might take offense to. If you have a classic pirate's chest, now is the time to use it. First, remove any and all illicit substances. Drugs, alcohol, and that weird stash of chewing tobacco all need to go.

Next, remove related paraphernalia. Bongs and funnels go first. Then turn your attention to the little things. Don't leave fifteen BIC lighters in your junk drawer. Hide at least half of your shot glasses. And don't forget that tiny novelty bong you keep on your desk. That's still a bong. Lock that thing up.

Finally, check the bedroom. You know how you like to pretend your parents have never had sex? Your parents pretend the same thing about you. So get rid of anything sex related. Condoms and lube are obvious. But don't forget about the little things, especially if they go in your butt.

 

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I don't know about your parents, but once mine get their hands on an iPhone, they scroll with reckless abandon. So you need to do some serious social maintenance. Start with the basics. Remove any sexy pictures you have sent, received, or taken for fun.

Then go a little deeper. Scroll through your text messages and delete anything inappropriate that you've said or that's been said to you. (Just to be safe, go ahead and delete all your text messages). Then edit your contacts as needed. Remove "Casual Sex MILF," and "HPV GIRL STAY AWAY."  And maybe change "Brian Dealer" to just "Brian D."

 

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This is where even the most experienced parent-proofers can go awry. Your car is your car, right? It's your quiet place to cry, sleep, and masturbate between giving rides on Lyft. But that's not the case when your parents are in town. They're going to have questions about every scratch, scrape, and missing headlight on that thing, and you better have answers prepared. (Hint: "Someone backed into me in the CVS parking lot" works much better than "Uh... Er... Um... I hit a goat!")

Plus, they're going to dig through every compartment (time to break out that pirate's chest again) and they're going to be really curious about that pink mustache that's attached to your grill. Remember: You're a junior account executive at the firm. You never lost your job. And you have no idea how that mustache got there.

 

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Unless your last name is Osborne, your parents probably won't be too keen on that poster on your wall that just says "FUCK." Nor will they see the humor in your "Keep Calm and Get Blackout Drunk" poster (which is really dated by now anyway). So strip your walls of anything you think is funny or interesting, and replace those images with ones that your parents will approve of. Now is the time to break out family photos, old-timey movie posters, and maybe (*maybe) a somewhat provocative image of Marilyn Monroe.

Also, parents can get oddly judgey about discolorations or mold growth on the wall or ceiling. Unfortunately, you can't just flip the wall around like a couch cushion. But don't worry, there are three good solutions to this problem: 1) Clean with soap and water, 2) Hang artwork over questionable stains, or 3) Move.

 

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Make sure you let all your friends in the building know what's going on so they won't out you in front of your parents. Remind them, for the next few days you are John, not "Pot Smokin' Johnny" or "John the Hedonist."

And for those neighbors who don't like you and might have incentive to blab... Bribe them. Sure, you're not rich, but you must have something they want. Give them your toaster, your Sopranos box set, or your TV.  No, not your TV. Your parents would be suspicious of that.

 

 

When all is said and done, however, don't go too crazy parent-proofing your place. No matter what you do, you're still going to be that sweaty loser that should have gone to dental school like your sister. At least then your car wouldn't have pink facial hair. And you'd probably have way better teeth.