Yesterday was a strange day, even by my standards.
First I had to handle an over-enthusiastic stage show producer who I can only assume had three Red Bulls with his crack at breakfast. Honestly, this gentleman made Richard Simmons look like The Pope. He carried down half his luggage, placed it on one of my carts and requested I visit his room to retrieve the rest.
“You could have left everything upstairs, sir,” I reasoned, “I’m going to get the rest of your things anyway.”
“OH, I COULDN’T DO THAT, BOSS! THIS BUSINESS IS GO, GO, GO!”
I think he was gone, gone, gone.
But he tipped well, so who cares?
My next call began on a strange note: A gentleman in a Boston Red Sox jersey, his young daughter in tow, approached my desk and addressed me in the thickest accent imaginable.
“Hey buddy! You got one of them there carts?”
I took a moment to compose my thoughts (between his accent and images of the events in Boston, I was understandably thrown off my game, though not for long), before I gave him the standard “We’re a full-service property, sir. But I’ll be happy to help you.” speech.
His response threw me off-balance once more.
“I can’t have my own cart? You realize I’m from Boston, right?”
I still don’t know exactly why this gentleman chose to throw the Boston card into play.
Did he feel the events in Boston somehow entitled him to an exemption from hotel policy?
Did he feel the location of his home would elicit a sympathetic response from me?
Did he have breakfast with my previous guest, and if so, was he suffering after-effects?
At any rate, I activated my patented “smart-ass answer mode” and went to work…
“The shirt was my first clue, sir. Plus, you sound like Ben Affleck in The Town.”
My response drew him back to our shared reality, although he stood motionless. And so I took the wheel.
“Just have your daddy call this number when he’s ready to go and we’ll get the bags, okay sweetie?” I handed his cherub-faced daughter a luggage tag and sent them on their way. The gentleman called back a half-hour later – his accent seemed to grow thicker in the interim – and I arrived at his room a mere two minutes later.
“Wow, you Canadian boys are fast!” he exclaimed in a hearty, boisterous tone.
“That’s what she said!” emanated from the back of the room. His wife emerged with their two Bostonian spawn and proceeded to toss bags of various sizes to my position in the hallway from inside the room!
Despite the playing of the Boston card, this was, by all appearances, a very happy family. The wife’s method allowed me to load their cart in thirty seconds. The happy couple however, took far longer to work out their exit strategy…
“Be sure to take that green bag off the cart and put it in the front seat, dear.” the wife instructed.
“Which bag, sweetie?” he countered.
“We only have one green bag, pookie!” (Yes, she actually called him “pookie”.)
“Fine baby, I got it!”
“You sure you’re sure, sugar dumpling?”
I had had enough.
“He’s sure, honeybunch!”
Fittingly, his mate was stunned, but they recovered in a flash.
“You Canadian boys are quick!” she pronounced.
“Yes, but that’s not what she said!” was my counter.
“Oh!” they hollered!
Once the laughter died down we headed to the parking garage, loaded their “Southie-Mobile” (To be honest, I’m not sure they actually hailed from the South side, but “Southie-Mobile sounds cool.), and my new friend handed over $9 in American funds before thanking me for my Canadian hospitality.
He returned thirty minutes later, huffing puffing, sweating and in a hurry; he exchanged the American for $10 Canadian and disappeared once more.
One word comes to mind as I record these events: Absurd.
The gentleman wasn’t rude or obnoxious, but he was very “on”. The whole incident felt very surreal to me. I know what Alice must have felt while on the other side of the Looking Glass.
Except Alice had long flowing hair.
And girl parts.
Other than that, I was in my own Canadian version of Wonderland. And I wasn’t leaving anytime soon…
Up next was the Real Canadian Housewife whose daughter was “the next Taylor Swift, except I won’t let her bang all those celebrities in order to get song ideas.”
Hospitality protocol dictated I allow myself to be held hostage in the room and watch a seemingly-endless array of homemade videos of this woman’s larvae as she screeched her way through Swift’s entire song catalog.
“She’s something isn’t she?” she beamed, her make-up cracking as her collagen-infused lips arced upwards.
Truthfully, the young lady had a body and stage presence designed for a career in porn, not music, but I had to tread carefully in order to avoid violating both hotel protocol and The Code of Hook.
“I’m sure she’ll go far… if she’s willing to compromise a little.”
“Oh she’s ready, willing and able! She’s already beating off offers from music producers!”
Admittedly, a grin as wide as Texas crossed my lips as the words left her middle-aged throat. I have no doubt her words rang true, in a sense. The only chance her daughter has of succeeding in the music biz lays in beating off music producers.
And my journey across Wonderland continued.
The events in Boston dominated the majority of conversations I engaged in yesterday, most of which were unusual and even downright bizarre.
“You just know a man is responsible for the bombs. It’s always a man. Men have all this unfocused rage that seems to drive them to commit these terrible acts.” This logic sprang from the mind of a fifty-year-old grandmother from Illinois. I wasn’t about to argue.
An examination of the Boston tragedy is far above my station; I am but a simple man who carries luggage for a living, folks. I wish I understood the human psyche well enough to offer a plausible explanation for Monday’s events, but I don’t.
However, I do know this: There will be plenty of empty rhetoric from politicians in the coming days, plenty of media exploitation of every single facet of this situation and in the end, the world will keep spinning and our society will refuse to address just why we seem to produce so many impotent cowards who lash out at innocents rather than face their own demons.
The day held even more strangeness for me, but for some reason I no longer feel like sharing.
Until we meet again, be well, folks.