Five Minutes of My Life.

Experiment time, kids! Here is a brief snippet of my day, written before the first call of my shift.

And nothing more.

Shall we begin?

So, despite my best efforts to the contrary, Sunday is here. Again.

At the moment, the hotel is in the midst of awakening from a Saturday night slumber that, for most guests, was induced by alcohol, pharmaceuticals that were originally prescribed for someone else, coital activity and in rare cases, plain old exhaustion. There are no hookers yet. No drunken corporate drones. No hung-over cougars. No Red Bull addicted kids. No twenty-something couples desperately clinging to their youth by engaging in wild, reckless, dangerous sex. (They all seem to think life ends at thirty. The fools have no idea.)

The lobby is virtually empty.

The horde has not arrived.

Yet.

But some guests are beginning to make their way down to the lobby – slowly – but my fellow bellmen are only interested in one particular guest.

ART, MIDNIGHT BELLMAN EXTRAORDINAIRE:  Guess what , Robert?

ME:  You were struck by a freak meteor shower on the way to work, gained temporary super powers, fought off an alien invasion single-handed, which required you travel to a future where humanity was long-dead and there you met several time-displaced individuals who agreed to remain behind and restart the human race and when you returned you repaired all the collateral damage before I arrived for work?

ART:  Uh… no.

ME:  Awww…. I was so hoping something really cool would happen.

ART:  There’s a Toronto Maple Leaf here with his wife. They arrived late last night after they won a game.

ME:  You’re lying!

ART:  No, I’m dead serious!

ME:  Come on! I know I don’t follow hockey and I have no real interest in that news but I still refuse to believe that!

ART:  I swear, I’m telling the truth!

ME:  The Leafs won a game?

And that’s it, folks. Let me know if my efforts to squeeze in a post before my day begins in earnest were successful, will you?

See you in the lobby…

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Things Running Through My Mind Right Now.

Yes, I’m still distracted by life. And its early.

You know what that means, don’t you?

It’s list time!

1)  “Why’s it so warm in the lobby? Oh yeah, Engineering fixed the heat! They didn’t just say they fixed the heat to shut me up before running away and hiding until my shift ends, they actually fixed it!”

2)  “Did one of the midnight bellmen really pull a white Superfly and dive over the Bell Desk to reach the coveted “good seat” in front of the computer before me?”

3)  “And did he really pull a white Superfly and dive over the Bell Desk to reach the coveted “good seat” in front of the computer before me do it without breaking a Caucasian leg or any limb at all? Seriously?

4)  Is the lobby really this quiet? It’s like The Shining in here! Scratch that, the folks in The Shining had something to do…”

5)  “They’re playing a jazzy version of Dancing With Myself in the lobby? Truly? Is Billy Idol really that broke that he had to approve something like this? Can’t Adam Sandler put him in another movie? Why am I thinking of dancing zombies right now? Oh yeah, the video for this song – the non-crappy, non-soul-crushing version – features dancers in rags that are supposed to be zombies.”

6)  “Why can’t I finish Book Two? Am I really this hopeless? I have ideas. And some of them are even non-sexual in nature. Though not too many of them, to be honest.”

7)  “Maybe I don’t need to worry so much. I mean, it’s not like anyone’s waiting on pins and needles for another book from me. They have the latest page-turner from Snooki to look forward to.”

8)  “Is this idea as far off the rails as I think it is?”

9)  “Can’t believe I haven’t seen any hookers yet this morning!”

10)  “Wait, scratch that.”

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Ever Wonder How A Bellman’s Day Begins?

A young female guest on the street with a Tom Baker-era Doctor Who hat and scarf.

Two ultra-horny middle-aged guests furiously dry-humping in the foyer of the hotel’s employee entrance.

A faulty punch clock. (Gotta love modern technology, right?)

Two housekeepers trapped in a laundry bin. (Don’t even think about it; you’ll hurt yourself.)

An intense argument between two maintenance workers that threatened to erupt into an all-out battle at any moment.

A lost wallet, bursting at the seams.

Two  new, over-friendly housekeepers that wanted to “chat” – for what seemed like forever.

All before I donned my uniform.

Welcome to my world, kids.

He’s still The (Gallifrey) Man…

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Even A Quiet Murdoch Monday Has Its Moments.

My shift today has been as vacant and desolate as Kim Kardashian’s conscience.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s been completely boring…

GIGGLY GIRL:  We’re so glad to be here! We’re from London and we love it here! Thanks for helping us with our bags!

Bear in mind, this young blonde waif from London Town punctuated every single sentence with a giggle so girlish, it would have melted Hitler’s heart. Every. Single. Sentence.

Her Asian boyfriend was an easygoing lad who was just along for the ride. He let her dominate the conversation (a tactic that I’m certain applied to every aspect of their relationship), with more giggly pronouncements focused on her love of Canada, Niagara Falls, the hotel lobby, the elevator and even yours truly.

“I don’t really know you, but you seem like a superb bellman!”

I have to admit, the girl had great taste.

ME:  I have to say, sir, you’re a lucky man.

GG:  He knows that! But why do you think so? (In between giggles, ‘natch.)

ME:  Well, most people are fatigued, thirsty, hungry and cranky when they first arrive, but not you! In fact, you’re overflowing with joy. Bursting, even!

Her response was blogging gold.

“You really think so? You should see me in the sack!

Fortunately, I’m not easily rattled.

ME:  Well, I’m sure you have a wonderful style, miss, but I’m not sure how I’d react to giggling in the bedroom. I’d be too worried you were giggling for other reasons! If you know what I mean!”

Her love just adopted an awkward smile and put his head down. The poor devil. She, however, didn’t miss a beat.

“Oh I’m sure you wouldn’t have to worry about that! You’re a tall one and you know what they say about tall ones, right?

That rattled me.

ME:  Yes! Yes, I do… and they’re right!

But not for long.

Fortunately, at that point we all laughed. We left the elevator and arrived at their room. They tipped me. I returned to the quiet – and mind-numbing – calm of the lobby. End of story. Until the next call, that is.

Well, I’m off. Time to go home and enjoy a brand-spanking-new episode of Murdoch Mysteries. See you in the lobby, kids…

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BEST. POST. EVER.

THE HOOK’S BEDROOM: 2:30 am.

I awoke, dizzy, feverish and uncovered. Desperately, I yanked and tugged (at the covers… perverts) until the wife relented – an hour later. An hour after that, our daughter wandered in, overtime by an asthma attack. She recovered nicely – eventually – and drifted back to Morpheus’ embrace. (Incidentally, he’s the only male allowed to embrace my daughter – for now, at least.)

THE HOOK’S BEDROOM: 5 am.

I drift back to sleep.

THE HOOK’S BEDROOM: 7 am.

The alarm buzzes, shattering the morning calm. What follows are the thoughts that ran through my mind following the clarion call to work.

“If I can only reach the alarm, I’ll be good.”

“If I can only fall out of bed – quietly -  I’ll be good.”

“If I can only fall down the stairs – softly – I’ll be good.”

“If I can only reach the downstairs bathroom and begin changing into my ‘civvies’, I’ll be good.”

“If I can only strip off my pajamas, get my long johns (which won’t leave my body all winter) off and put fresh boxers on without falling over before putting my long johns back on, I’ll be good.”

“Please don’t let me fall over, God. I refuse to die in my bathroom like the King of Rick ‘n Roll.”

“If I can only shave, brush, wash and do a five-point-inspection without vomiting, I’ll be good.”

“If I can only pack my lunch and walk to work with a bed leg and a feverish body without falling into a ditch, I’ll be good.”

“Wait a minute, there are no ditches on the way to work!”

“If I can only make it to my locker and change into my uniform without going down like a Redwood, I’ll be good.”

“Okay, I’m dressed like a bellman. Now if I can only act like a bellman for eleven hours, I’ll be good.”

Wish me luck, kids…

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A New Post (sorta) From The Hook!

So here’s the Saturday morning deal, kiddies:

I was working on a Saturday morning post that spun out of an encounter I had with two sex kittens in one of the hotel’s north tower elevators (don’t get your heart racing just yet, kids, my uniform stayed on), but then something occurred to me. Sure, this tale has all the ingredients necessary for blogging gold.

  • Two young nubile females, overflowing with an innate promiscuity that makes the average porn star – or Kim Kardashian – look boring.
  • Dirty talk.
  • Dirty talk in public.
  • References to that little-read, barely publicized tome, Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • A total lack of social graces, courtesy of the aforementioned girlie duo.
  • Sex.
  • Yours truly.

I bet you’re salivating at the thought of reading this twisted tale, aren’t you? Well, as much as I hate to disappoint you, my buds, I have no choice. You see, while many of you are working feverishly to complete NaNoWriMo, I’m 6,000 words away from finishing Book Two of my life story.

But here’s the thing: I’ve been thisclose to the finish line for months.

But I’ve been blocked.

Like a fat kid on an all-cheese diet.

That has to stop, my friends. And so, I’ve decided to finish my tale of naughty talk in a Niagara Falls elevator as soon as I can today and chuck that sucker right into Book Two.

Sorry.

Hopefully, I can whip something together for tomorrow, but we’ll have to see, won’t we? Truth is, I’ve just had two days off and I’ve been feeling like something Godzilla threw up over Tokyo. (You really can’t go wrong with a Godzilla reference, can you?) I’m back at the Bell Desk now and while the material is literally unfolding right in front of me, I need to be responsible and claim some of it for a different medium.

You understand, right? Thanks, I knew I could count on you. That’s why we get along smashingly.

Only old-school Godzilla for this cat…

See you in the lobby – sooner or later, friends…

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Never Forget.

I don’t know what today holds for me – or any of us, for that matter.

But I know this: This day and every day of freedom we have enjoyed – and taken for granted – has been paid for by others. Our freedom has been paid for by men and women who left their lives behind, donned uniforms and set foot on foreign soil, never knowing if they’d ever see home again. Our freedom has been paid for…

In lost time.

In innocence.

In blood. Rivers of blood. Humanity has spilled enough blood to wash our society away.

But we have endured. We have survived. We have carried on, building lives that fulfill us and distract us from seeing the ghosts of those who have died so that future generations could continue living.

But they are they are there.

Always.

My grandfather was not a decorated soldier, but he fought. He was a boy when he joined the Polish resistance during the Second World War. He saw his friends executed, their bodies burned in the street. He fled Poland and eventually arrived in Germany as the war was reaching its bloody climax.

Grandpa may have inspired the phrase, “Out of the frying pan and into the fire.”

My grandparents met in Germany. My grandfather was a security officer for the United nations at a temporary holding camp for prisoners of war.

My grandmother, a nurse at a Nazi war hospital, was not.

Theirs was an unconventional romance to say the least. But I’ve always loved the fact their love sprouted from the horror of war. Never mind the image of a lone flower on a battlefield. Lovers thrown together by battle, that to me, is a testament to the resilience of humanity. My grandfather survived the war but he never really returned from the battlefield. He drank to forget. He tried to wash the rivers of blood away with alcohol. He tried to forget.

But I never will.

I have little more to offer.

Enjoy the day, my friends. Savor your freedom, today, and every day that follows.

For your freedom has been bought and paid for at an unbelievable cost. A bloody cost. A cost many of us would hesitate to pay. Those of us who aren’t true heroes, that is.

We romanticize veterans. We elevate them. But the truth is, they were simply men and women who sacrificed everything of value simply because their country asked them to. How many of us can say we have that courage within?

I hope we never have to find out.

To the ghosts of the Fallen, to my grandfather, I say this.

Thank you.

 

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