10 Impressive Questions To Ask While Checking Into A Hotel.

Traditionally it’s the front desk clerk that asks the queries when a traveler approaches their desk, pulls out a credit card that will soon be smoking, and begins the laborious (and sometimes painful) check-in process.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not entirely, at least.

Sure, the front desk clerk (referred to as a Guest Service Agent in my neck of the woods) has a job to do, but so do you if you want your trip to be as successful – and as entertaining – as possible. So here are a few questions you may want to pose to the next lucky clerk you encounter in your travels.

ONE) I see your property is under construction, something that wasn’t mentioned anywhere on your website. This is terribly inconvenient as my father was killed on a construction site; he fell into a vat of cement and is now part of the Long Island Expressway. We pull over to the side of the road and strap a wreath around his pillar every Christmas; it’s all very moving. So you can see why I prefer not to stay in a hotel under renovation. So what can you do for me?”

What are they gonna do, call you a liar?

 

TWO)  “On average, how many dead hookers would you say your housekeeping staff discover in your guest rooms annually?”

FYI: Twenty-four is an acceptable number, as it works out to two a month, but once you start hearing triple digits you’ll need to get the hell out of Dodge. Those dead hookers spirits are bad for one’s mojo. And speaking of spirits…

 

THREE)  “Are your ghosts of the rapey variety?”

At one point in time if you checked into an establishment and discovered it was home to the spirits of the deceased, well, you would’ve hit the ground running so fast you might’ve suffered from third-degree wind burn.

But this is 2018 and ghosts are cool, baby. We have ghost hunter reality shows, ghosts pop up in every other genre of pop culture and of course, Supernatural has been going strong for fourteen seasons now. So it won’t surprise you to learn that many guests I encounter will ask if the hotel I serve in is home to any wandering spirits.

But you have to draw the line somewhere, intrepid travelers. So figure out what type of spectral entity you’re dealing with before you hand over that credit card; your backside will thank you.

 

FOUR)  “Which bellman can hook me up with whatever I might need?”

Every hotel or resort has an employee who can get you whatever you might require. You’ll have to exercise some discretion though; the Management will never acknowledge their existence but even they know the employee in question is invaluable to the joint’s success. Of course, in my home country of Canada the landscape has changed drastically thanks to Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s boy Justin, but even though weed is now legal travelers still need a bellman to secure them carnal delights, right?

Or they could just arrange something online. But there’s got to be something people still need from their local bellman, right? A new kidney perhaps? True story, a guest once asked me to put him in touch with a black market organ dealer.

Easiest hundred bucks I ever made.

 

FIVE)  “I plan on having some mighty aggressive coitus with my partner. Do you have any suites in a corner that are soundproof or better yet, on an empty floor?”

There’s no point in mincing words when it comes to angry sex. After all, the last thing you want is security banging on your door while you’re doing the same on the other side of it.

 

SIX)  “Can you point me in the direction of the one concierge in your establishment that knows everything?”

Again, every hotel has one; that staff member who has an encyclopedic knowledge of their surroundings. At my place of business it’s Frank. This guy can hook you up with the best wine tours, dinner reservations, zero gravity wrestling joints; you name it, Frank can find it for you.

Not every inn has a Frank but if they don’t have a reasonable facsimile they have no business being in the hospitality business.

SEVEN)  “When can I expect your lobby, elevators and valet department to be overrun with chaos?”

Universal check-out time is eleven am but every joint has a different vibe when it comes time to depart, so do your homework and figure out exactly when the lobby is going to resemble the fall of Saigon. Unless you happen to like screaming kids, crotchety seniors, hungover bachelorettes and drunken nuns. In which case, have fun!

 

EIGHT)  “Does your hotel recognize acolytes of Satan as an ethnic group worthy of a discount or special consideration? And if so, can I get a room as close to the ground as possible?

Don’t laugh; the Satanic Temple is a real thing and they’re suing Netflix and the producers of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for copyright infringement, so you never know what – or who – you’re going to encounter when you go outside these days.

 

NINE)  “How legally binding are the extra charges I’m going to see on my bill?”

It’s not just airlines or the Girl Scouts that hit you with service charges these days; some hotels are out of control when it comes to dinging you for “Municipal Improvement Taxes” or “Vampire Defense Fees”.

But regardless of what the front desk clerk might tell you, you can fight these charges, especially since they’re not actually taxes or charges. Stand your ground and keep that cash where it belongs: in your Mickey Mouse piggy bank.

TEN)  That one question you’ve always wanted to ask… But didn’t have the balls to do so.

I’ve seen the Grim Reaper’s handiwork a lot these past few years, so trust me when I tell you this: life’s too short to live in fear, friends. Let the words escape your lips, whatever those words may be.

You’re paying good money to sleep in a different bed, make sure you get everything you want and deserve from the experience. So ask those questions and remember that you’ll never see the clerk again, so be the Guest Without Fear!

And that, my friends, is all the damage I can do for one day. See you in the lobby, travelers…

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A Gentleman’s Guide To… Well, You’ll See…

Can you tell the off-season has begun in the Niagara Falls hospitality biz?

But seriously, no, scratch that, nothing about this post is going to be serious in tone. Though you may find some information that could prove beneficial at some point in the future, this is my attempt at adult humor and more importantly, it’s my answer to eleven hours a day of soul-crushing boredom.

And it began with a call (one of the few I’ve done this week) that introduced me to a young couple from Boston who were anything but romantic to each other as they left the hotel, their duffel bags, laundry basket, beer cooler and six pairs of shoes (still in the boxes) and myself and my trusty cart, of course, in tow. How cold were they to one another, you ask?

“Don’t get to close to her in the elevator, buddy, or your nuts will freeze off!” was his whispered greeting to me as he made his way out of the room immediately after answering the door. He was a brawny Mark Wahlberg clone and she was Taylor Swift’s slightly older, shorter sister. I find comparing guests to celebrities helps my readers form a mental picture without jeopardizing guest privacy. You’re welcome.

Every guy thinks he’s going to become a He-Man when he hits the bedroom… But it doesn’t always happen.

 

Sure enough, she was silent as I loaded up their belongings and we made our way to the elevator for what I knew was going to be the longest trip ever down from the fiftieth floor.

And boy, was I ever right for once.

She gave off wave after wave of hostility until he couldn’t take it anymore and he whispered, “I’m sorry, but it’s not really my fault, all right? Sometimes a guy just fires off way early! It happens to everyone!” And then, right after he said that, my Spidey sense began to tingle and he turned to me and said, “Right, boss?”

They both stared at me as the Jeopardy theme rang out in my head. Fortunately, the elevator doors opened at that moment and she took off like a sexually-frustrated race horse. I merely shrugged at her-not-quite-up-to-the-task lover and we headed off to the valet deck where they both adopted the silent treatment as I loaded their Tiguan, snatched a meager tip from Wannabe Wahlberg and got out of Dodge as fast as I could.

And then the wheels started slowly turning…

So here now is The Hook’s version of…

The Gentleman’s Guide To Premature Ejaculation!

I felt the slammer was appropriate considering the shock that often follows this act. At any rate, here are a few tips for those of you who barely make it past the tip…

ONE)  Never, ever, under any circumstances… blame your partner!  These things do indeed happen to everyone from time to time and while the situation sucks as horribly as a blind hooker, the last thing a man should do is pin the blame on his partner. Doing so just makes a bad situation even worse.

A true gentleman will avoid using phrases/excuses like:

“I couldn’t help it! You’re too damn sexy… you sexy bitch!”

“Seriously, this is your fault.”

“You shouldn’t have sprung those new moves on me; my body reacted on it’s own.”

“Scientific studies have proven the penis has a will of it’s own… so this was literally out of my hands.”

“Once you said ‘Yes’, I was pretty much done…”

“It’s against my religion to copulate longer than forty-five seconds, so…”

“You pushed me past the point of no return with your whore talk, like, ‘You’re on my hair’ and ‘That’s my belly button, not my cha cha’.

 

TWO)  Pace yourself,Lightning McSteam!  Coitus should be a marathon not a sprint. What’s the point in begging for hours if the whole thing is going to be over in five minutes? Take your time. Savor your partner’s form; their shoulders, neck, and spleen. Undress each other or put more clothing on if you’re into that sort of thing.

Just be sure to make the most of the whole thing. I once knew a girl whose boyfriend showered her with four hours of foreplay. Every. Single. Time.

Granted, this is extreme on a Trumpian scale but you get the point, right? She was one happy chick in the bedroom. Though after four hours of foreplay I imagine the actual penetration component of the encounter was explosive, to say the least…

 

THREE)  Switching things up can make all the difference in the world.  Move around, not like the Tasmanian Devil but in a measured manner. Enjoy yourself but do so in a variety of positions, thus allowing your body to cool down for a few minutes at a time. You’re no doubt thinking, “Does this actually work, Hook?” I’ve been married for twenty-three years, what do you think?

FOUR)  Shy away from “Miracle Cures”. Viagra. Plastic rings that snap around your “Lil buddy” like a boa constrictor. There are a million snake oil salesmen out there who would love to sell you a million tonics, devices, pharmaceuticals and others miracle cures, but a true gentleman will own his issues and deal with them on his own. Besides, every “cure” has a nasty side effect or ten.

I once knew a guy from the hood (or what passes for the hood in Toronto) who decided applying numbing spray to his member would allow him to “bust it with his ho all night.” (His words, obviously.) And so he spritzed away. Problem was, his lady friend decided to do something many females shy away from unless it’s their man’s birthday (or they’re getting paid). A short while later, she began to choke. And not for the reason you’re envisioning…

Turns out the spray froze her throat and she nearly died. Needless to say, that pretty much sucked the romance out of the evening.

Not when your throat freezes up…

 

FIVE)  Accept the situation, adapt and move on.  Getting angry with yourself or your partner won’t help. Cursing God won’t help. The only thing that actually does help is to own up to your mortality, try to lighten the mood with some levity (“At least you won’t have to worry about getting tired, right, baby?”) and as I’ve said, move on with your life.

A gentleman will make it up to his partner with flowers the next day, or a nice meal. Or if you’re married, you can clean the bathroom or do the dishes for a week. (Wives love that stuff.)

And that, my friends, concludes this lesson in etiquette. I hope I’ve offered up some tidbits that were both entertaining and helpful. I tried to make this post last as long as possible…

See you in the lobby, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

Has The Hook’s Blog Gone To Pot?

A bellman is a lot like a bartender in that we both get paid to listen to people moan about every topic under the sun; travel, the state of the modern hospitality industry, sex (that particular topic sometimes involves literal moaning) religion, and of course, politics.

Ever since he came into power roughly two years I’ve encountered colleagues, guests, even hookers, who swear Donald Trump’s reign of power/chaos is going to end with a bullet. You know what I think about that?

TEN REASONS WHY DORITOS ARE THE PERFECTEST FOOD EVER.

ONE)  When you eat ’em they crunch like Godzilla biting down on Mecha-Godzilla. That’s so cool!

TWO)  They leave your fingers all red and pasty, so you look like you’ve just fought a horde of Ruskies. (They’re the bad guys again.)

THREE)  The bag they come in is red so when you rip it open it’s like you’re ripping the Russian flag apart… Which is cool… since they’re the bad guys again.

FOUR)  Doritos grow at 7-Eleven and 7-Eleven has Slurpees. So you get two yummy treats at once.

 

Wayne Campbell loves Doritos. Wayne Campbell is cool. Thus, Doritos are cool.

FOUR)  They’re not greasy. (Greasy food leaves your heart surrounded in a thick, clogging layer of negativity. Stay positive, dudes!)

FOUR)  They come in several sizes like small and ultra-humongous! I like to eat the small bag so I look like a giant.

FIVE)  There are a million different types and flavors of Doritos, unlike the veggies my damn wife always makes me eat. (I hate my wife.)

SIX)  My wife sometimes comes back from the food store with Doritos! (I love my wife!)

SEVEN)  They don’t grow in the ground, so you don’t have to wash ’em like those horrible veggies.

EIGHT)  Doritos taste like that feeling you get when you look at a puppy covered in rainbows.

NINE)  Doritos can also be bad-ass, like a ninja warrior puppy covered in the blood of his enemies.

TEN)  They taste like super powers wrapped in winning the lottery with a new car smell… They’re awesome wow!

So that’s why I think that President Donald Trump’s presidency won’t ever end with him being shot, it’ll end with him falling into Stormy Daniels’ vagina and never being seen again.

Thank you.

Have I mentioned that pot is legal now in Canada? And there are no side-effects for bloggers or other mammals?

See you in… where’s that place I’ll see you again?

 

Such a simple little plant… But it got Justin elected, kids.

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Tour Season, Cultural Bridges Blown Asunder… And Godzilla!

Riddle me this, kids: When is a dreary, rainy Monday morning at the height of bus season in Niagara Falls anything but boring?

Why, when you mix two Japanese tours, two buses, two clueless Japanese tour guides and two black-as-the-ace-of-spades drivers with yours truly, of course!

Yes, this is going to be a culturally-honest-but-wholly-inappropriate post, thank you very much. (But to be honest, the one driver described himself and his partner in the aforementioned manner, so I’m merely repeating the term, therefore I am only an accidental racist.) Now sit back and enjoy, Poindexter.

So as you’ve already surmised, I had two buses of Japanese tourists to load up this wet Monday morning – and it went as well as one would expect considering my involvement.

Japanese bus travelers are ridiculously-particular when it comes to their luggage and 90% of them follow the exact same pattern:

  1. They place their bags outside the door long before the scheduled time.
  2. They acknowledge the bellman as he picks said bags up.
  3. They race down to the lobby and wait beside the bus as the bellman drops the luggage off with the driver.
  4. They have to psychically touch their bag at least one more time before it goes on the bus.

I have no idea what happens if that last step isn’t completed but I’ve seen tourists of both genders weep and shake violently if they fail to establish tactile contact.

And if you thought the guests were nutty… Their handlers redefine terms like “odd”, “high-strung” and “batshit crazy”. The two male guides I encountered this morning had every opportunity to organize their groups’ bags by bus before we headed outside in the rain, but did they do so? Of course not. Where’s the fun in that?

This post involves water and has gone off the culturally-appropriate rails anyway, so…

So there I was, standing like a tall drink of water in the falling water as two Japanese guides who were wound tighter than a air traffic controller after ten cups of java scanned four full luggage carts of hard-shelled luggage. In the rain. One of them finally pulled up his hood to shield himself.

ME:  Oh, you’re getting wet are you? Good thing you have a hood!

GUIDE #1:  Yes! Hood very good!

ME:  Indeed! But you see… the thing is… I don’t have a hood!

GUIDE #1:  No… you have no hood! You all wet!

ME:  (Contemplating the public execution of this prick before speaking.)  Yes… yes I am. So could we speed things up? Before I die of pneumonia? Because when I come to work I like to not die.

Yes, I’m a rascal, thank you ever so much for noticing. But I’m a choir boy compared to the large African-American drivers who found themselves behind the Eight Ball with these guides. You see, drivers like to load their buses quickly and efficiently, and that wasn’t happening. And so one of the drivers summed it up perfectly when I finally had the chance to unload the bags.

ME:  These guys aren’t exactly organized, are they?

To which he responded:

“Organized? These motherfuckers is crazy!”

I have to admit, that one’s going to stay with me all week. At least.

My colleague had it worse, I’m afraid. When he lingered after unloading his cart, just to make sure all the bags were fully accounted for, Driver #2 was not impressed…

“If you waiting for a tip… see those assholes!”

Obviously all that sensitivity training they fill tour bus drivers with these days is paying off.

I’d be a fool to try to top that, right?

See you in the lobby, kids…

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Seven Things I Learned In New York.

If the title wasn’t clear enough, I should tell you that I recently accompanied my daughter on her latest excursion to the Big Apple.

And spoiler alert: I didn’t get into a fight with any New Yorkers in the Broadway district this time. Though it’s kind of a shame; I’ve been watching a lot of Daredevil on Netflix and I was really looking forward to trying out some new moves. And if that failed, to shove some effin’ son of a gun into the streets where he’d be sure to be struck by a taxi cab driven by someone named Achmed, who, coincidentally, moonlights as “Ted” from US Air customer service.

I call that my “New York State of Mind Style” of fighting.

And by the way, that wasn’t a racist joke; it was a segue-way to my first lesson…

ONE)  There is a caste system (sort of) among the NYC labor force.

It’s true – as far as I’m concerned. Every time I’ve been to New York we’ve used cabs once my daughter’s engine ran out of fuel and every single time the driver was East Indian. Most restaurant workers, movie theater personnel and street cleaners were African-American. Latinos also staff many of NYC’s fine eating establishments and they’ll whisper, “Thanks for nothing, puta.” if you don’t tip them well. White folks can be found staffing theaters that host plays and musicals, along with the occasional minority colleague.

All of these individuals have treated my family with respect and decency whenever we’ve visited the Big Apple and I value and respect them. (Mostly so they won’t call me a puta, but it still counts.)

TWO)  No one actually says, “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” while crossing the street and narrowly avoiding being run over.

I tried it and people just muttered, “Crazy-ass Canadians!” I was so disappointed. Speaking of near-misses on NYC streets…

THREE)  The average New Yorker (and the odd not-so-average-tourist) avoids being hit by a motorized vehicle at least three times a day.

Yes, I’ve double checked my math, thank you very much. What blows me away is how often people step in the path of cabs, buses, delivery trucks, rickshaws (which as it turns out, aren’t actually operated by guys named Rick) and other vehicles. People are either fearless or stupid.

How any pedestrian survives a stroll through Times Square is beyond my capacity to understand.

How any of these people avoid becoming road pizza, I’ll never know.

FOUR)  Times Square at the Witching Hour is as bright as high noon.

Seriously, we made our way through the iconic NY landmark at midnight and it was lit up like Judge Kavanaugh while partying with Squee and PJ. I can’t even begin to imagine how much power it takes to keep everything from the Disney Store to the streetlights people puke up against powered.

Which brings me to my next point…

FIVE)  Certain businesses in NYC believe in “mood lighting”.

In stark contrast to TS (I use “TS” instead of Times Square because I’m that cool) establishments like Applebee’s and Regal Cinemas use five watt bulbs that make you think you’re about to get lucky rather than chow down on a burger or watching the latest Kevin Hart flick.

Which is hilarious, by the way.

I guess I’ve become spoiled living in Niagara Falls, where power is as plentiful as bullshit at a White House press conference. Apparently they have to be extremely careful where they use wattage in NYC, but it’s all good.

SIX)  Real estate is at a premium, so be prepared to be cozy!

If you’re like me, you prefer to spend your travel budget on merch, food and comic books, not lodging. Granted, I can take advantage of steep discounts on hotel rooms by using my team member status at the hotel, but even those rooms are a little, shall we say, snug?

Yes, New York is a tad crowded, but in some establishments you can’t even go outside the room to change your mind, you have to wait until you get home; that’s how tight the hallways, lobbys and front sidewalks are. Hot and tight is great when you’re being romantic, but it can suck when you’re on vacation.

The view from our room on 41st street. If these water towers had been closer together the innuendo would’ve been inescapable.

 

SEVEN)  Where are all the hookers?

I’m not saying I was looking for them but there were zero hookers to be seen during my NYC trip. Period.

As I write this, it is seven am in Niagara Falls, Canada, and a young, gorgeous, tight (told you tight can be good sometimes) hooker just strolled by my desk. Granted, she was wearing a parka… but that’s beside the point.

NYC authorities have gone to great lengths to clean up Times Square and surrounding areas, but come on, man, it’s called the world’s oldest profession for a reason! Tourists need lovin’ – and STDs – too!

I think that’s enough learnin’ for one day, right, Poindexter?

I hope you’ve enjoyed these musings/observations/ravings, I prepared them just for you.

See you in the lobby and on the not-so-mean streets of New York, kids…

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Misadventures In Modern Parenting: Travel Edition – With Shantelle Bisson and The Hook.

It’s the bane of every traveling parent’s existence: what to do when their kids act like monsters while away from home.

Do you open a can of whup-ass all over them in public? Or do you wait until you’re alone and safe from CCTV evidence, the authorities and judgemental busy-bodies? Or do you take the third route and use your kids as part of a tax dodge, “gifting” them millions of dollars in the process, transforming them into privileged, soulless bloodsuckers who lie, cheat and steal their way through life until one of them becomes president of the United States?

Okay, so I’m the first to admit that third example, timely as it was, went off the rails. But it raises a good point: many parents these days allow their spawn to go full “Lord of the Flies” while on vacation and the rest of the world pays the price. From hockey parents to corporate drones attending a conference or even just regular folk, many parents these days have just given up; they don’t read their kids the riot act before leaving the driveway – and again, it’s their fellow travelers that end up suffering. Raising little humans is the greatest gift and responsibility we can ever receive/undertake as adulta, so there should be no half-measures taken, friends.

Oh, Antonio Banderas, if only all parents were like you…

I recently traveled to New York City with my daughter for the Broadway Flea Market and a show or two on the Great White Way. (That’s the official moniker for Broadway, not some kind of racist ideology.) My daughter’s nineteen now and less prone to tantrums – though her old man certainly isn’t – but together we observed a rugrat or ten whose progenitors fit what has become the new normal profile for parents: they ignored their kids, played with their phones, sipped their overpriced lattes, and let the little ones wreak havoc, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

I also see this pattern all the time as a Niagara Falls bellman and so I recognize that I may not be the most unbiased person to write about this subject. And so I have consulted an old (and insanely-talented and hawt as hell!) friend of ours, the actress/blogger/writer/television-parenting-expert/mom know as Shantelle Bisson.

(To be honest, Shantelle wears even more hats than the ones described above but my slice of the internet isn’t as boundless as it appears, nor is your patience for my writing, so we’ll leave it as is. Okay?)

Shantelle not only consults on parenting issues on television and the HuffPost, she’s raised three young women with her husband, and so she’s more than qualified to share her views/experiences on how to parent while traveling with little humans…

Told you she was easy on the eyes…

1)  You’ve been a “sport parent”, shuttling your kids cross-country (and further, perhaps) and in and out of hotels. Were your children always well-behaved? Or were they human and prone to fits of… humanness? 

We did travel for sports with our girls, but not all that often, and rarely with all three in tow. But, I will say this, and nobody believes me, but our girls were not the fit-throwing kind. They didn’t do it on airplanes, or in cars on long road trips, and they never behaved badly in a hotel lobby, hallway or room.

I mean, they would fight with one another, but they never screamed bloody murder or inconvenienced a fellow traveler with entitled fit-throwing behaviour. Not once.

(You see? They were obviously educate din travel etiquette long before leaving home.)

2)  Were your kids instructed to keep the hotel room clean? (Because most parents let their kids turn the room into an exact replica of Thunderdome.)

Yes they were.

In fact they were also encouraged to tidy up after themselves when they had sleep-overs at their friend’s homes. It’s so blatantly disrespectful to allow kids to grow up with the mindset; “that somebody else will clean up my mess” that I can’t even get into it here on your blog, cuz you’re a nice man with a clean site. You don’t need my profanity laced response to cause you to lose followers. But suffice it to say, that the people in hotels are there to clean bathrooms, change linens and make beds, not be your personal maid.

(I’m a nice man? Wow. I’m quoting Shantelle on that one.)

3)  What about packing; when were your children allowed to pack and be responsible for their own belongings while traveling?

Wow. Great question.

(You see? I display a flash of competence every once in awhile.)

Our girls LOVED to pack their own things. We would give them a list of events they would be attending and they would pack accordingly. They pulled their own carry-ons, or wore them as backpacks, and hubby did all the heavy lifting of suitcases on to carts etc.

Once in the hotel room they were expected (and they did) keep all their belongings in their assigned section of the room. Even their traveling stuffies were delicately placed on bed pillows in every single room they’ve every stayed in, which is literately every place on the earth that they’ve visited with us. Our girls joke that Zulu and Squealer are world travelers!

Shantelle’s human children…

4)  Did you or your husband ever try to make time for yourselves while on vacation with the family, or did you dedicate the entire trip to spending time with the kids? When is it okay be somewhat selfish when you’re a parent?

When we’re on vacation or a trip with our kids, we’re on a trip to BE WITH OUR KIDS. But that’s just us, even as recent as last year all five of us went to Thailand for ten days. This year we, along with our son-in-law, we will be spending Christmas in New York. We go on holiday with our kids to actually get them all to ourselves, since life goes so fast, and you don’t actually get all that much time with your kids if you break it down.

I mean I see parents every single time we’re on a family trip that have a nanny in tow, and cellphones and tablets in hand…I guess to each their own. But for us, family trips were always about exactly that.

Saturday nights in the city? Those were always for the two of us, and least once a year we got away alone, even during the financially challenging ones, even if it was just for a weekend away at some local hotel. It’s important to make your intimate relationship a priority, considering, if you do it right you will eventually end up all alone, just the two of you. So, you better like one another, and know one another, or else, trouble…

…And her not quite human kids.

5)  Your kids are hardly that anymore; how has your travel regiment changed? Do you find yourself treating them like adults or does your default setting always switch to “Mom”?

Damn. Another good question.

(What are the odds I’d get lucky twice in one post? I better buy a lottery ticket.)

Nowadays we don’t have as much daily interaction, which makes it easier to turn off the Mom button when we do end up traveling together.

I mean the reality is, I’m always going to be their mom, even when they’re mothers to their own children, so the tendency to want to mother them is strong. But, I find dialing that back is getting easier and easier to do, and this new role of “arms length” Momming is settling in. When we travel the only time the mom hat seems to come on is when they argue with each other, or leave one out in the cold. Then good ole Momma Bear comes out whether I want her to or not 😉

6)  Any final thoughts on parenting on the road, Shantelle?

Like do you, as parents allow your kids to crash around your home? Do you allow them to leave their shit all over the place and not pick up after themselves??

If you do, well then, whatever… but most likely you have a standard and an expectation of behavior required for them when they’re inside your four walls.. this should be applicable to when they’re staying in a hotel… just saying.

(Preach, sister, preach!) 

This perfectly describes my rookie parenting “style”. Thank God I had a wife like Shantelle to rescue our daughter.

And that’s all the damage I’m prepared to do today, friends. I hope you’ve enjoyed Shantelle Bisson’s reflections on raising tiny mammals. I want to thank her from the bottom of my frozen/jaded Canadian heart. Maybe we’ll do this again sometime.

See you in the lobby, parents…

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Another Murdoch Post?

If a little is good then more must be better.

That saying usually applies to alcohol or ketchup flavored potato chips (I love being Canadian) but it also applies to insights on the latest season of Murdoch Mysteries from it’s stars. Speaking of which, here are five words and thoughts – give or take – about MM S12 from the show’s newest couple, Henry Higgins and Ruth Newsome (Lachlan Murdoch and Siobhan Giles Murphy.)

Let’s infuriate the feminists and begin with Constable Henry Higgins. Here’s a Fun Fact before we begin: Lachlan originally auditioned for the role of George Crabtree but was as successful as I was when auditioning for the role of Doctor Julia Ogden. (I maintain that I rocked that turn-of-the-century frock better than Hélène Joy.) However, producers were so impressed with Lachlan that they created the role of Higgins just for him. Then he returned their children and the course of Canadian television was forever altered. (Oh that Hook!)

Now a word from the man himself:

“I’m sure you know I can’t give anything away so here’s my best shot at obscure answers.”

  1. New beginnings.
  2. Plant-eater.
  3. Hyphens.
  4. Gasoline.
  5. Train.

Well, when Higgins says he’s going to be obscure… he means it. Personally, I’m intrigued; I’m going to be looking out for these clues all season long. Way to mess with our heads, Lachlan!

And now four comments from one of the most gifted (and cute) actors to join the MM cast in recent years, Siobhan Giles Murphy.

1) You’ve already cut your teeth on Murdoch Mysteries, but what’s it been like going into #S12 with an expanded and more significant role?

This new season is really exciting for me!

Having been introduced in season 10, I’ve been lucky enough to have my role slowly expand each season. Season 12 has some really fun developments for the Ruth/Henry relationship and also for Ruth on her own. I hate that I can’t be more specific but trust me, the new storylines are going to be so fun for the audience.

(You read it here first, folks, Ruth is going to be a socialite caterpillar this year. Can’t wait to see how Peter Mitchell and Company make her a MM butterfly.)

2) Is Lachlan Murdoch a diva? (Enquiring Canadian minds want to know.)

I am SO glad someone is asking the truly hard-hitting questions about the proper diva that is Lachlan Murdoch!!

No, in all seriousness, Lachlan is the best scene partner I could ever hope for. We crack each other up and genuinely get a kick out of each other which helps the long days on set feel shorter. He’s such a team player and such a sweetheart, having all my scenes with him is a total delight.

I wish I had some better gossip to share but sadly, he’s so great!

(Well, we almost had some juicy morsels to snack on, Murdochians.)

I know I’m supposed to respect her as an artist and human being (and I do) but that said, Siobhan Giles Murphy is a cutie, kids…

3) Of all the colours utilized on Murdoch Mysteries Season 12, what has been your favorite so far?

(Yes, I’m not afraid to ask the hard-hitting questions, gang.)

Oooh ! Well Ruth is always being put in the most over the top colours (Chartreuse satin! Pepto Bismol pink, etc., etc.)

But this season Joanna, our genius wardrobe designer, has truly elevated the Ruth Newsome looks. I think actually the best colour look appears the first time we see Ruth in episode one, it’s magenta and green and it shouldn’t work but it SO DOES!! It’s a more modern color palette then I’ve worn in past seasons and it feels really fresh but also fun!

4) If you could act in a scene with any MM current cast member or alumni (stretch your imagination to it’s limits) who would you choose and why?

What a great question!!

(I try.)

I loved all my scenes with Erin Agostino (she played Nina bloom) because we got to explore a real “opposites attract” friendship and get into all kinds of hysterical capers together.

Also we just got along so well offscreen it never felt like work. I’m still mourning her characters’ move to Paris. I was dying for another friendship for Ruth after Nina left but this season the writers have paired me with Dr. Ogden in a really great arc that comes later in the season. An unexpected friendship I can’t wait for the fans to see.

One of my favourite things about playing Ruth is getting to add some levity and humour when most of the episodes can be quite serious and even dark. Ruth shifts the tone to something a little lighter and more silly and getting to bring that to scenes with Hélène has been a riot.

I’d say Siobhan has been quite forthcoming, wouldn’t you?

All right, that about wraps this latest edition of “Shameless Promotion For Shows The Hook Loves”. I’d like to thank Lachlan and Siobhan (love that name!) for stopping by and giving us more than one mystery to solve on our own.

See you in the lobby and on the CBC, kids…

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