First guests II

After the visit of Jenifer and Richard at the very end of July, I dubbed them First Guests to Sleep in a Bed. That title, however, has been contested. Loathe to commit an injustice, however inadvertent, I've decided to re-open the question of First Guests to Sleep in a Bed.

This isn't going to be easy, but justice must be served!

The principals

Jenifer and Richard Current title-holders, Jenifer & Richard
Bob Challenger, Bob

The challenge

Bob contends that he deserves the title First Guest to Sleep in a Bed because he not only slept in a bed more than a week before Jenifer and Richard did, but also that he, himself, put the bed together!

And that is true: Bob did put the beds together during my move, and he did subsequently sleep in one of them.

As our 42nd president so ably demonstrated, if the facts aren't on your side, you can argue about the definitions of words. And in this case, the crux of the matter is the word guest.

A guest is someone entertained in your home or to whom hospitality is extended (Merriam-Webster).

This is no help at all, for clearly both qualify as guests on the grounds that hospitality was extended. We can see them both comfortably at their ease in the pictures.

What to do

The choices are not attractive:

don't mess with me
  • Strip the title from Jenifer & Richard and award it to Bob

    But this is no good. Jenifer and Richard didn't ask for the title, but once having received it, they would fight fiercely to keep the title. And is this the face of somebody you'd want to pick a fight with? I didn't think so. Sorry, Jenifer, I just had to use it.

  • Leave the title with Jenifer & Richard and tell Bob to cowboy-up kindness personified
    But this is no good either. Bob was a friend, indeed. He volunteered and spent the better part of three days loading furniture and boxes, driving hundreds of miles, and then unloading furniture and boxes. And is this the face of somebody you could be mean to? I didn't think so.

These are truly Hobson's choices.

Aha!

Jack in the Box

Thinking out of the box, I realize I don't have to choose either of those alternatives. Instead I can follow the Olympian example and say that both are First Guests to Sleep in a Bed! Not at the same time, mind you.

If forced to rationalize this apparent semantic impossibility, I will do it thusly:

  • Bob is the First Guest to Sleep in a Bed before I took up permanent residence, whereas
  • Jenifer & Richard are the First Guests to Sleep in a Bed after I took up permanent residence

Or, if that doesn't wash, I shall say:

  • Bob is the First Guest to Sleep in a Bed assembled by the guest, and
  • Jenifer & Richard are the First Guests to Sleep in a Bed assembled by someone else

There!

Now can't we all just get along?