I love stories of badly-behaved houseguests – and Julian Assange has raised the bar | Hadley Freeman
Surely no one is feeling any emotion as intensely as the happiness currently experienced by the staff, and especially the cleaners, at the Ecuador embassy
Everyone knows that like fish, guests need chucking out after three days, and while other people’s awful relationship stories are always interesting, I’m far more fascinated with terrible overstaying houseguest stories. There is something about the shamelessness of such people that I find simultaneously repulsive and inspiring, probably because my overdeveloped self-consciousness means I find it embarrassing to use other people’s bathrooms when I visit their homes. So, while everyone else got very excited by the Anna and Miles love story in the 90s houseshare drama This Life, my favourite plotline was about Delilah, who moved herself in, binge-ate everyone’s food, nicked their valuables and then refused to leave. Never mind your Game Of Thrones, tense house meetings about who ate someone else’s yoghurt are my kind of edge-of-the-seat TV drama.
So I thank Julian Assange (not a phrase I’ve used before, ever) for raising the bar on nightmare houseguests, with the frankly enthralling details emerging from his almost seven-year stay in London’s Ecuadorean embassy now that he has, finally, been ejected. Emotions run high when it comes to discussions of Assange. But surely no one is feeling – and possibly has ever felt – any emotion as intensely as the happiness currently experienced by the staff, and especially the cleaners, at the Ecuador embassy, now that they’ll no longer have to deal with Assange’s – and let me adjust my reading glasses so as to better savour the details provided by Ecuador’s foreign minister, José Valencia – “hygienic” problems, including one that was “very unpleasant” and “attributed to a digestive problem”.