My Friends Who Want To Host Me Have Bedbugs!

Dear Bintel Brief,

I’m traveling to visit friends who have just discovered that they may be harboring a bedbug infestation in their new home. They have called an exterminator but he hasn’t come yet, so they have no idea what type of problem they’re dealing with. I’ve read that bedbugs cause lots of trouble and that they can travel on people, too. I’ve been dying to see my friends’ new place, and I’m afraid that they will be insulted if I stay in a hotel. I don’t want to be rude, but how can I get out of this?

Going Buggy

Steve Almond Responds:

Steve Almond is the author the story collections “My Life in Heavy Metal” and “The Evil B.B. Chow,” the novel “Which Brings Me to You” (with Julianna Baggott), and the non-fiction books “Candyfreak” and “(Not That You Asked).” His most recent book, “Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life,” came out in Spring 2010. He is also, crazily, self-publishing books. “This Won’t Take But a Minute, Honey,” is composed of 30 very brief stories, and 30 very brief essays on the psychology and practice of writing. “Letters from People Who Hate Me” is just plum crazy. Both are available at readings. In 2011, Lookout Press will publish his story collection, “God Bless America.”

If you have a question for the Bintel Brief, email Selected letters will be published anonymously. New installments of the Bintel Brief, featuring Steve Almond, will be published Mondays at

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My Friends Who Want To Host Me Have Bedbugs!

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