My day began as it always does: I stepped over the threshold of concrete and glass and pledged my allegiance to the Niagara Falls hospitality industry.
For nine Earthly hours to be precise, although it should be noted that time flows at a different rate when one gives oneself over to the service of others. Minutes become hours, hours days; it’s all very complicated and deeply depressing at times.
HOOK’S NOTE: When one refers to oneself as “one”, it is not an indicator of the onset of dementia, merely the ravings of an overactive imagination stifled by a sometimes toxic environment.
Clad in my armor – in my case, a well-worn cloth outfit – I ascended from the bowels of the hotel to take my place in the lobby and await the clarion call to action.
There was a wave of static electricity in the air, as though a storm was on the horizon. I paid it little mind and focused on the task at hand; preparing my mind and body for the long day ahead. My first guest contact brought with it a revelation and a reminder.
The revelation? March Break had truly begun.
The reminder? Mankind still has along way to go to reach the top of the evolutionary ladder…
JOE GENERIC: (Seriously, this gentleman was as unassuming as white milk, with the personality to match. Even his two blonde, blue-eyed young kids looked as though they emerged from pods.) Hey, Boss! Could I have one of those things?
THE HOOK: I’m sorry, sir, to which “things” are you referring?
He was referring to a luggage cart, of course, but I feel it is my duty to educate the lower classes, in the hopes they can someday pull themselves up and find their place in the world.
JG: You know, those rolly cart thingies!
THE HOOK: I can only assume you mean a luggage cart, sir. They come with a bellman.
JG: Do I have to pay?
Inside, I was sighing the sigh of the defeated. But outside, I was smiling (I do that occasionally!) and I persevered.
THE HOOK: A gratuity is customary, not mandatory, sir.
Held the same monotone note for what felt like forever. Finally, I ended his misery.
THE HOOK: Tell you what, sir, why don’t you go back to the room, gather your things and call down when you’re ready to leave. There is a a “Bell Desk” speed dial button on the phone.
JG: Is it hard to use? Because I have trouble with technology sometimes…
THE HOOK: We’ve done our best to outfit the hotel with technology that is user-friendly for middle-aged, white males, sir. You should be fine.
JG: Is there any rush? My daughter and her boyfriend are up there alone right now working on homework…
This gentleman was the gift that kept giving…
THE HOOK: I’m sorry, sir, did you say your daughter was alone in the room with her boyfriend. Working on homework? On the weekend before March Break?
JG: Yeah, my wife couldn’t make it, she went away with her girlfriends, so I brought the two younger kids. My fifteen-year-old daughter only agreed to come if I let her boyfriend join us.
THE HOOK: So your wife went away with her girlfriends while you took your children to Niagara Falls for March Break?
JG: She’s in Vegas! I’m taking the kids to Toronto now!
I have to hand it to him: he was clueless, but chipper as Hell…
THE HOOK: (I made an honest effort, but I couldn’t help but laugh.) Tell you what, sir, why don’t we go up to the room together? We’re on the verge of total anarchy as the check-out crowd really gets moving. I’m sure your daughter and her boyfriend can study in the car.
So we made our way upstairs and as we approached his room door, things fell into place:
- My ears, honed by years of listening through wooden doors, picked up the unmistakeable sounds of young lovers who were about to receive a rude awakening.
- Joe Generic opened the door and walked right in.
- His daughter shattered the sound barrier with an ear-piercing “DADDY!!!”
- Joe Generic literally jumped back out of the room, panting as though he’d seen a ghost – a naked ghost that was having sex with his daughter.
- His pod children, who had been standing behind him as he entered the Red Room of Pain, shuffled back, turned to each other and declared in giggly voices”They were doing it!”
Joe Generic just stood motionless, panting and shaking his head, no doubt pondering the cost of therapy. For his entire family. For my part, there was only one thing to say.
THE HOOK: I did not see that coming.
JOE GENERIC: Um, I think we’ll be fine on our own from here, Boss.
THE HOOK: Understood, sir.
JG: Here, let me give you something for your time…
THE HOOK: No need to worry about that, sir.
You really can’t put a price on precious blog fodder.
And so my March Break began, with both a whimper and a bang….