Your summer share is disintegrating into a firestorm of petty bickering and teeth-gnashing resentment. While Lizzie Grubman, Donna Karan, Christie Brinkley et al. waft serenely around their palatial Hamptons spreads, you’re spending your weekends locked in a darkening psychodrama with your annoying housemates in Fire Island and Westhampton.
It’s not too late to salvage your summer. Follow my 10 commandments for stress-free summer-house sharing and learn to laugh again:
If a fellow housemate consistently drinks more than his/her share of the alcohol, punish the boozer with the ultimate torture: lock him/her in the bathroom for one hour with nothing to read except Bill Clinton’s autobio ( My Life by Bill Clinton, $21 from Amazon.com).
2) NO PANSIES.
My summer shares always took place on the Pines of Fire Island. It was my observation that the majority of the screechy altercations centered on the flower budget.
Sharers were either horrified at the choices made by other housemates-“Gerber daisies! How gauche !”-or resented the whole idea, preferring to allocate their disposable dollars to other things such as crystal meth and male prostitutes.
My suggestion: Bag the flower budget entirely.
3) HANG YOURSELF.
Don’t spend a nickel on refurbishing your rental. However, if there is a tree or a beam, feel free to hang a Svinga, the gorgeously designed, astoundingly well-priced hangingchair from Ikea ($59-in crisply nautical blue or white).
Regardless of his or her weight, everyone in your house wants to shed a few kilos. Improve the group rapport by organizing a July/August weight-loss competition. Prize: The housemate who loses the most weight is exempt from any participation in the end-of-summer cleanup.
You are not getting any younger. The race is on to find a husband. You have until Labor Day. Use whatever means are at your disposal. If you are in competition with a housemate for a particular man, it is perfectly O.K. to spread the rumor that your rival has either “done time” and/or has a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
On rainy days, keep boredom at bay by devising brutal Survivor -type challenges, e.g., everyone has to run naked through the mosquito-infested backyard looking for a hidden can of Off! (Summer Splash spritz bottle, $4.99). Only the winner gets to spray.
7) LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING.
While away Sunday mornings by calling fancy-pants celebs with big Hamptons houses. For extra chuckles, pretend to be a Punjabi telemarketer.
8) BLOCK THE BITCH.
If a housemate consistently hogs the best tanning spot, sabotage her by decanting SPF 60 lotion (Hawaiian Tropic Ozone Sport Sunblock, $10.99 at Walgreen’s) into her bottle of SPF 15.
9) FIGHT FUNGI.
If you catch any of their foot fungi, you will hate your housemates even more than you already do. Designate a chic/sporty pair of flip-flops as your shower shoes (Havaianas from Brazil starting at $10, www.havaianas.com) and spray them with Lysol after each wearing (intoxicating new scent, Summer Breeze, $3.29).
Secrete nanny-cams in all the rooms (www.spysupplystore.com; wireless pinhole cameras start at $59). The resulting tapes, if interesting enough, could be sold to a TV network.
If that doesn’t work out, raise the money for next year’s share by using them for straightforward blackmail.