The Hook On… “Those Types of Movies”.

I like porn.

There, I said it.

I’m not a deviant nor have I ever been into fifty shades of anything. I don’t drink or consume drugs other than Advil. A cigarette (of any kind) never meets my lips. I’ve never been arrested (but only because the cops haven’t caught me) and so I have no record of any form. I don’t cheat on my wife. I’m a good boy – for the most part.

Think of me what you will, but to be clear, I’m not suggesting I spend hours every day downloading increasingly-shameful “cartoon” videos featuring schoolgirls being ravished by tentacled beasts – who bear more than a striking resemblance to the Kardashians. However, as a red-blooded (there are other shades out there, trust me) Canadian male I have no problem admitting that these eyes have viewed more than one adult film in their day.

We’re talking about good, old-fashioned mainstream porn, the kind mom and dad used to hide in the top of their closet. But with far less hair and less funky scores.

In fact, I credit Ginger Lynn – and her “sisters”, Amber and Porsche – with helping me survive puberty. They had help, of course, but without them, and the fact we didn’t have any cute female neighbors in my age group with low self-esteem and even lower standards, there’s no way I would have made it out alive as my body was transitioning into what we refer to as adulthood.

gingerlynnallen

I recall a particularly eventful afternoon that involved a group of my high school classmates and an adult film involving two guys who stowed away on a cruise ship.

One that was staffed entirely by lesbians.

In retrospect, maybe “staffed” isn’t the best word to use in this case…

At any rate, on this specific afternoon a bunch of us decided to play hooky from Mr. Shaw’s mind-numbing exploration of geography rather than wait for our teenage brains to melt in our skulls. And yes, I recognize the irony of the fact that I, The Hook, played hooky from school, thank you very much.

So we wound up at Shelley Fanshawe’s house (I’ve changed some names to protect the ridiculously-guilty) and since her parents were super freaks that even Rick James would be scared of, the VHS porn collection soon appeared. I have to admit, it was a little weird watching hardcore scenes surrounded by one’s peers (or so they considered) but I got through it. The next day at school though, a young lady named Nicole Winters – who thought God blessed her with the perfect female form – decided to share a certain “fact’ with the entire student body:

“Rob Hookey got a boner while watching porn with all of us at Shelley’s house!”

This went on for weeks; I was too timid back then to mount any sort of viable defense. Finally, though, I’d had enough. One day, when our law teacher slipped out for a hit of weed (Canadian high school) I confronted Nicole after her umpteenth declaration and let her have both barrels.

“Listen, it was porn!  How was I supposed to react while watching beautiful women peel each other’s clothes off?  And for the record, Nicole, those women had perfect bodies with actual breasts, not those mosquito bites you wrap in a Sears bra stuffed with an entire forest’s worth of Kleenex!” 

Three things happened after that day:

ONE)  Nicole Winters never walked by my locker without spitting at it.

TWO)  Any boyfriend Nicole Winters ever had after that day was instructed to beat the holy crap out of me.

THREE)  I never got to act out any of the scenes in that film with Nicole Winters.

And that, friends is just one of many “porn stories I have in my repertoire. More to come, I mean follow.

See you around, kids…

gingerYes, my teenage years were filled with more than comics and sci-fi movies…

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The Hook On… Conversations With “Friends”.

 The focus may have changed, but we’re still talking about my life so…

ME:  Eighteen years! Eighteen years I’ve been slinging stories about a city full of anteaters while dealing with their emotional baggage… and what has it gotten me?  A bad knee and a blog full of stories no one wants anything to do with!

PETE:  (My “pal”, Pete.)  You broke your knee falling off a sawhorse while fixing your garage, Hook.

ME:  (After a long pause.)  Shut up.

See you around, kids…

giphyI haven’t changed jobs, so this sort of thing isn’t going anywhere…

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Posts Will Live, Posts Will Die, And The Hook Will Never Be The Same!

Forgive the creative license, won’t you?

(I’ll always be a nerd at heart, friends.)

It’s been a crazy-hot summer, the driest in the history of Niagara Falls, even. From the sky this city looks like one giant haystack, that’s how many lawns have died from lack of moisture.

But the winds of changing are blowing, friends. Hard.

For years now I’ve done my best to entertain the world by regaling all of you with tales of my guest encounters/misadventures in the wild ‘n woolly trenches of the hospitality biz, and while the ride’s been more fun than I can ever hope to articulate, the time has come to make a change. Social media has changed the world in ways we’re still struggling to understand and the hotel biz is no exception.

To suggest guest privacy has become a matter that keeps Management up at night is to suggest Trump has a thing or two to learn about public speaking – and sanity in general. Hotels/resorts now have staff members whose sole job it is to keep public relations disasters from erupting as a result of employees’ social media accounts, blogs, Instagram pics, etc. I feel for these people, they have a thankless job that often forces them to take the brunt of employees’ anger. But in the end, they’re just doing their job.

And so, as you can imagine, a smartass blogging bellman could break a social media manager’s brain in half.

So in the future I’m going to be focusing on my 5×5 interviews (as many as I can snag, that is), tales of my home life – as many as the wife will allow me to share – travel tips that only The Hook could concoct and whatever else my fevered mind can come up with.

But as of this moment, hotel tales are a thing of the past on this blog. I’ve had a good run, so no regrets.

I promise to be as entertaining as ever (stifle the laughter, please) and hopefully you’ll stick around for this transition. But if you must go, thank you for being here, I love you all.

Even Ned Hickson.

See you around, kids…

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5×5 With The Hook: Dave Blass.

Dave Blass is one of the luckiest humans on the planet.

Not to mention one of the hardest-working souls on Earth. And no, he didn’t pay me to type that nor do I want to marry him, thank you very much…

534932239_MI_6501_37620319A219330C44E8275B226C543EDave’s the guy on the right that makes TV guys like Matty Ryan look so cool...

The truth is, and I mean this in all seriousness as a comic writer… I respect the hell out of Dave Blass. In fact, if we were facing a horde of flesh-eating zombies (as opposed to a horde of veggie-eating zombies) I’d fight like a menopausal female wildcat to save his life. Actually, who am I trying to kid? I’d shove him into that horde as fast as look at him, just to save my cowardly existence.

But I’d feel really, really bad about it. For at least a week. Well, five days at the bare minimum.

However, if by some miracle we survived the zombie apocalypse, Dave Blass would be able to rebuild the most bitchin’ world you’ve ever seen because he’s the most kick-ass production designer and art director in the Multiverse, bitches! Sorry, about that, I get carried away when it comes to people that I truly respect and admire – but only because there are so few of them.

(By the way, you’ll see examples of Dave’s work peppered throughout this brilliant piece of bloggage.)

LR-Sewer

No, this isn’t my basement… but Dave and his team could design me a headquarters if they like…

Dave’s credits are as long as your arm – if you’re Tyrion Lannister – and they’re more impressive than Halle Berry’s rack in Swordfish. You can click here for the full story on Dave Blass or you can take in the abridged version below.

Guys like Dave – not that there are many guys like Dave Blass – are the unsung heroes of the TV and film world. Sure, we’ll always need writers and actors (and they know it) but without people to bring worlds to life from sketches and notes, what do you have? A whole lotta nothin’, that’s what.

Dave’s been responsible for the production design and art direction for television series such as:

  • Quantico
  • Constantine (Man, did I love this show! NBC has earned my wrath for cancelling it – not that they care.)
  • Justified (Another underrated drama chock full of old school cowboy action.)
  • Longmire (Modern-day cowboys again. Cowboys rock.)
  • Rectify
  • Cold Case
  • ER (A true television classic.)

He’s dabbled in feature films like:

He’s written, directed, produced (executively and otherwise), ran the craft service table, organized the Teamsters, sewn the costumes, parked cars and even snapped that clicky board before each camera take. Or so I’ve heard.

For his work accurately portraying the State of Kentucky on Justified he was awarded the honor of “Kentucky Colonel” in 2011. Isn’t that awesome? This is a man at the top of his game, kids. You give Dave a ball of wool, a box of toothpicks, some duct tape and roll of industrial-grade plastic and he’ll give you Gotham City in the winter.

LR-MillhouseThe ultimate nerd cave, courtesy of Dave and Blackhawk Design.

His work on DC Comics’ Constantine has elevated him to godlike status in the bloodshot eyes of nerds like me, but the coolest thing about Dave Blass?

He’s the “Production Guy” on the coolest, most surreal new show on TV right now, AMC’s Preacher. This show is all about a small town preacher (shocker, right?) possessed by an entity called Genesis, that is the offspring of a angel and demon. Rogue angels are hunting Genesis and soon the whole town – which is on the eve of destruction anyway – is drawn into the fray. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I cannot begin to articulate how much I love everything about Preacher, my friends; it really is the wildest ride you’ll ever experience without the aid of hallucinogens.

Cg58bm7U4AAaEG5Dave’s latest work will be seen on the Fox series, Pitch. The series, set in the confines of Major League Baseball, sets its focus on a young female pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in the league, when she is chosen to play for the San Diego Padres. My daughter, a teenage feminist, is excited beyond description by this series, so scoring this 5×5 with Dave has earned me some “Cool Dad” points. Which I’ll lose soon, no doubt…

All right, that’s enough of the sappy stuff; let’s get on with the 5×5 goodness!

ONE)  Is there any fictional world in any film/television show you wished you designed?

I would love to design one of the new Star Wars films. As they are remakes and not “reboots” it would be cool to expand on the existing architecture, but I would never want to be the guy who has to redesign the Millennium Falcon..

breakTWO)  Personally, I think you’re the luckiest Dave on earth for landing the Preacher gig; that show is a helluva ride! What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on so far in Jesse Custer’s world?

As far as Preacher, designing the iconic church was amazing. We built it from the ground up in 27 days.

Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy, Anatol Yusef as DeBlanc - Preacher _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/Sony PIctures Televsion/AMC

I bet the last session you had in church was boring by comparison, right?

breakTHREE) You’re a seasoned TV veteran. Any advice for pitchers like me who have pretty much given up on seeing their “work” translated to the small screen?

If you have a dream, go after it.

The world is full of people that will tell you that it’s impossible, that your dreams are stupid and you should be realistic. They don’t want you to follow your dreams because it makes it easier on them for not following theirs. Every time I want to give up on this crazy business because I am NOT designing Star Wars, I think not of how far I have to go, but how far I have come and it gives me a bit of inspiration.

(I’ll say what we’re all thinking, “AWESOME!!!”)

breakFOUR)  As an official Kentucky Colonel do you get all the popcorn chicken you can eat?

Sadly I don’t get free stuff at KFC. I tried my Colonel card once and the poor kid freaked out. Some day I will get to use it at the Kentucky Derby to get into the Colonel box, which will be something cool.

breakFIVE)  Oreo is releasing a Swedish Fish flavor. Is this a stroke of divine brilliance or a sign of the impending apocalypse?

A Swedish Fish flavored Oreo is like a reboot of Big Trouble in Little China.

Don’t.

Stop.

Go no further.

oreo-swedish-fish-010-tease-today-160812_f66881a348a1dd7cd09aa13c128e3385.today-inline-large

 

breakI’d say we’ve reached a natural stopping point, wouldn’t you? I want to thank Dave Blass for pausing from his oh-so-cool daily labors to inspire us today with his words of Blassy wisdom. And of course, thank you all for being here and making me feel a little less alone in the blogosphere.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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The Hook’s Guide To Packing Like A (Fake) Pro.

As a bellman every day I see just what can happen when a traveler approaches packing with all the care and consideration Donald Trump approaches a run for the presidency of the United States.

Sure, on the face of it, packing seems pretty easy, right? Most men reading this are thinking, “Packing’s a piece of cake, Hook! The wife never seems to have any trouble!” Be that as it may, most guests I meet could use a little help in the packing department. Lucky for them, The Hook, the world’s greatest amateur travel blogger, is here to help. 

10)  Recognize any transportation limitations you may have.  If you’re driving a Honda, don’t pack like you own an eighteen-wheeler. I’m guessing you’re chuckling right now, but most people just don’t get it; they really do drag everything but the kitchen sink out to their trunk and hope for the best.

Hope is a fragile thing, kids, stretch its limits and it’ll snap like a Kardashian in a public school. And wishing won’t make the amount of space you have available to you double instantly. So be realistic and most of all…

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9)  Prioritize!  Let’s be honest, self-control really isn’t easy to master, is it? But when it comes to packing you have to separate the “Needs” from the “Wants” – especially if you’re flying. Charging extra for heavier cases is a dick move on an airline’s part, but it can work out well if you’re a traveler who can’t leave anything at home.

I’m not singling out the ladies – I’ve seen plenty of guys who bring a dozen pairs of sneakers with them to Niagara Falls – but regardless of your gender, you need to bring only what you’ll actually need with you while traveling. The consequences can be mentally – and financially – impairing.

And yes, your kids will want to bring all their toys – and in some cases this may be a good way to occupy the little devils – but you have to draw the line somewhere, something most parents refuse to do these days, sadly.

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8)  Buy an actual suitcase or two!  Yes, I’m a broken record, but this is important, people! Repeat after me…

A laundry basket is not a suitcase.

A bag – plastic, shopping, garbage or otherwise – is not a suitcase.

A basket of any kind is not a suitcase.

Duffel bags are not suitcases. Close but no cigar, bunky.

A cooler is a cooler, Styrofoam or hard plastic, not a suitcase.

Get my point yet?

I realize suitcases aren’t cheap (then again, what is these days?) but they’re a necessary investment for any serious traveler. And if you don’t ravel much you can always borrow a case or two from friends or family. Just be sure to treat them with care or you’re going to regret it, trust me. My cousin, Randy, still won’t talk to me after I “scratched” his beloved “Samsonite original”.

Thank Dog he’s a raging drunk anyway…

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7)  Learn to pack!  Again, it may seem simple, but trust me, it’s not. The average guest just jams everything in their bags and hopes for the best. If it didn’t work on your honeymoon…

Follow these steps to pack an actual suitcase and you should be good, though I don’t offer money-back guarantees.

  1.  Gather only what you need! (I’m serious about this.)
  2.  Roll your clothes like they’re a drunk during Mardi Gras.
  3.  Ironing on vacation sucks, so place folded items on top. …
  4.  Spread out longer pieces like pants and skirts as though they were a two dollar hooker. (Yes, I paint with words.)
  5.  Wrap your belts around your clothing like your wife used to wrap herself around you right before she… Sorry, I got carries away there…
  6.  Put a reasonable number of shoes in a medium-sized cardboard box.
  7.  Pack watches, rings, jewellery – if you really want to risk bringing them along – in a cloth bag and tuck them away.

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6)  Use plastic bags for garbage or vomit only!  Honestly, using plastic bags in place of suitcases or even duffel bags makes you look like white trash – even if you aren’t white. Opening a trunk and discovering a dozen bags where two would do makes me feel sad for humanity.

As a bellman I’ll admit bags are better to hang on my luggage cart’s crossbar, but only when they’re quality bags, people.

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5)  Clean your trunk!  I’m not being dirty; your vehicle isn’t just a mode of transport when you’re on vacation… it’s a rolling suitcase. So keep it clean and you’ll find it unbelievably-easy to fit everything you need – and only what you need – in there. So gather those coffee cups, fast food wrappers, sporting equipment, loose tools, ammunition, (seriously), and put them in the garbage or the garage.

And a quick sweep with a vacuum and an air freshener or ten couldn’t hurt. Many trunks smell like a body has been rotting away in them for weeks…

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4)  If you’re bringing a furry friend… be prepared!  To be clear, I’m referring to a pet not an actual Furry.

I’ve seen pets arrive at the hotel in cardboard boxes, duffel bags, cracked/broken carriers, even beer coolers! Okay, the cat who arrived in the cooler was dead so that doesn’t actually count, I guess.

My point is, just because someone isn’t human doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated with respect and care. Take the proper steps to ensure your pet enjoys the journey – including ensuring your destination accepts pets in the first place.

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3)  Be discreet.  I cannot stress this enough; packing sex toys, sexy outfits or any form of sexual accessory in plastic bags is not cool. Discretion is a lost art these days, especially in the age of social media. Even in real life, people share the most intimate details of their lives openly by either discussing salacious matters in earshot of bellmen or by packing bondage gear in open plastic bags.

This needs to change.

Yesterday.

So knock it off, people. Otherwise, you’ve earned yourself a spot on the blog…

break2)  Try to think ten steps (or so) ahead.  I realize this isn’t always possible (not with a million thoughts running through your mind) but try to picture just what will happen when you arrive at your destination with your clan and a million bags. Ask yourself this question: 

“How on earth am I going to get all this shit up to the room?”

Always remember…

A baby stroller is not a luggage cart.

A wheelchair/walker is not a luggage cart.

Kids are kids, not bellmen.

Your kid’s little red wagon belongs at home; it is not a luggage cart.

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This brings us to our final point. A detail that isn’t necessarily a part of packing, although it can make all the difference in the world…

1)  Use a bellman!  No, I’m not giving you permission to ravage your local baggage handler, all you cougars out there. No, I’m referring to the service bellmen such as myself provide to travelers. We certainly can’t help you pack at home but we can show you how to prepare yourself for the next leg of your journey. 

Getting to the room is a snap when you’re not schlepping a dozen bags while scrapping it out with your spouse and rugrats. And I’m not just a pretty face on a body the David would be envious of; I guarantee you won’t find a smartass bellman who goes by the moniker, The Hook, anywhere this side of Neverland, folks.

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This concludes today’s lesson. (Always quit when you’re behind, kids.)

See you in the lobby, friends…

Hook and SmithKevin Smith followed my tips. Now he has more room for his “medicinal herbs” while traveling…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Marital Interlude: A Conversation/Battle With My Wife.

I deal with marital strife at work all the time. Arguably, couples fight more on vacation than when they’re at home, and so I often take it upon myself to intercede.

What makes me think I’m qualified to do so? Looking at my own home life, I have no idea…

To begin, I love my wife. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she’s one of the few people alive who “gets” me.

To clarify, she doesn’t understand me (at all), but she gets me.

Whether she likes it or not.

MY WIFE, KNOWN TO MY LONGTIME READERS – ALL FIVE OF YOU – AS “VAMPIRELOVER”: (Walking into the living room.) Hey, Skippy! (She then proceeded to flick my ear -hard.)

Yes, she calls me “Skippy”. And she sometimes beats me – in a loving way, I’m guessing.

ME:  You’re a real pill, honey.

VL:  A “pill”?  Listen, Sugar Pumpling… what are you, seventy?

ME:   Yeah, seventy like a fox!  And by the way… “Sugar Pumpling”?

VL:  I started to say “Sugar Plum” and then I was gong to go with “Sugar Dumpling” and it all got mixed up… shut up!

ME:  Well, that clears it up then…

Rather than waiting for her rage-filled answer to that little zinger, I struck like a pasty-white ninja, and retaliated by grabbing one of our dog’s beloved toys/love partner, a giant stuffed dog that has seen much better days. My attack was successful: our dog’s “baby” struck my wife right in the ole kisser. Fortunately, it had been softened after hours of licking – and doggie love – a fact that was not lost on my beloved bride.

VL:  ARGH!!! I’LL KILL YOU, SKIPPY!  DO YOU KNOW WHAT CHELSEA HAS DONE TO THAT THING?  I… I’LL… I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M GONG TO DO… BUT YOU’RE DEAD!

ME:  Now hang on, sweetie –

VL:  (Lowering her voice an octave.) You hang on, you’re dead!

As many a husband can attest, my attempt to infuse logic into a marital battle was doomed form the start.

But being a husband and a poor dumb bastard, I kept going anyway.

ME:  Hear me out… you struck first, so that was a “tit”. I struck back, so that was a “tat”. If you keep going that will be another “tit”…

VL:  So?

ME:  So then you’ll have two tits.

As you can imagine, my humor fell as flat as Jennifer Lawrence walking a red carpet at an awards show. My vampire-loving-wife continued to seethe with rage and I paid a high price later on in the form of a mega-extreme purple nurple that left me ruing the day I emerged screaming from my mother’s womb.

(For the uninitiated: a purple nurple is the act of grabbing and twisting a nipple of another person, one’s self, and even occasionally other mammals, though I don’t recommend attempting a cross-species purple nurple.)

Ain’t modern love grand?

See you in the lobby, kids…

f00fb759-ad5b-4288-a952-f5f411db38bbIf I was a mutant – I’d still lose every battle…

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The Hook’s Guide To Being A Traveling Dad.

When I was a kid, my father just didn’t give a damn about being a dad.

That’s the long and short of it; there was no father/son bonding time, no cherished childhood memories. Growing up, I had a buddy, Ralphie Newton, we called him “Crazy Fat Ralphie”. The kid would do anything he was dared to, you didn’t even have to pay him.

One day Ralphie’s dad, Crazy Senior, took him on an excursion to buy some weed. (Hey, it was the Seventies.) The deal went horribly wrong and they wound up in a high speed chase with the Niagara Regional Police that lasted through three cities and only ended when they crashed through a fence onto a farmer’s property and hit a cow. In the end, the NRP wound up with a ton of beef and Ralphie wound up with the best father/son story ever.

I remembering envying the hell out of that chubby bastard.

My father just never had a genuine interest in being more than a sperm donor. Now that I’m a father I’ve vowed to never make the same mistakes as my own progenitor.

And I’m here to do the same for you. If you’re a dad and you’ve taken a break from ESPN and Game of Thrones to read this, pay close attention. I’m about to give you ten travel tips that you won’t find anywhere else; these are “pearls” of wisdom I’ve accumulated after spending nearly two decades observing traveling dads.

Enjoy them. Pay heed to them. Live by them. Don’t blame me if they explode in your face.

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TEN)  Never slip out of character!  No matter what may be transpiring around you, never, ever, stop being a husband/dad. Respect the role. Always. As I write these eloquent words to you fine people, a Bostonian dad is watching two Scottish lesbians paw each other on a lobby bench.

And his wife and kids are watching him watch them. In fact, his spouse is doing her best to burn a hole through the back of his head with her heat vision. But she isn’t Kryptonian so it won’t work.

However, one way or another, he will pay for his actions, of this I am certain.

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NINE)  Do your homework!  They sometimes require more effort than we feel we can spare, but a sound plan can make a vacation EPIC rather than simply “meh”. Before you arrive at your chosen destination, use the world wide web for more than what you usually use it for. Scope out everything your vacation spot has to offer beforehand and maybe you can avoid the dreaded symphony of “What are we doing today?” that can ruin the day before it begins.

Find those little out-of-the-way spots, those awesome hidden gems that make a trip an adventure. (There are literally millions of travel bloggers who have already done the legwork for you.)

Heed my advice and your partner will be impressed beyond measure and who knows where that might lead?

52d472045ef73f3117107cd3f8e28b3aYou may not be built like a cartoon, but you can still be a hero, dad.

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EIGHT)  Don’t be afraid to go “off-road!”  Yes, I’m a man of wild contradictions, just accept it. Plans really are important when it comes to constructing a memorable family vacation, but spontaneity is equally important. Just be sure you don’t put your family in danger by booking a last-minute tour of your destination’s seedier spots run by a toothless chap named Chaz…

Winging it every once in awhile rather than all the time can be fun if you exercise caution along the way. “And how do I go off-road, Hook?” I’m so glad you asked…

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SEVEN)  Make sure to become “insta-pals” with the staff.  I’m not suggesting you ask the bellman to join you and the wife in coital congress – although that does happen more often than you think – but hotel staff are locals and locals know the best spots to be treated like a regular person rather than a tourist.

Plus, staff members can score you pretty much anything you may require (like, for instance, a kidney) or desire (like, for instance, two hookers dressed like Sandy and Rizzo from Grease).

You’re either laughing or rolling your eyes, but this sort of thing can happen anywhere – even in sleepy little Niagara Falls, trust me.

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SIX)  Tip the bellman, ya cheap bugger!  There is no creature more loathsome to behold than the Cheap Dad. This is a fact, kiddies.

The Cheap Dad makes his wife walk behind him with her head down. He inspires his kids to deny their parentage. Hell, even the family dog – if its unlucky enough to be brought on vacation – will pull away from him, that’s how embarrassing it is to be seen with this prick.

“Do I need a bellman for the bags?  Hell no! I’ve got kids! Let them work for a change!  They’re twelve… they can handle it!”

Don’t be this guy. If you can afford to go on vacation, you can afford to let yourself relax and be taken care of for once. If you can’t afford a bellman, if you truly can’t afford a vacation, if you’re maxing out your cards or line of credit… THEN DON’T GO ON VACATION!

Sometimes it takes a bigger man to admit the family needs to cut back in order to get ahead down the road than to go crazy traversing the world while racking up more debt than he can ever hope to eradicate.

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FIVE)  Stay off your device while traveling.  Im going to avoid using the slammer on this one – but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, this one could be the difference between raising happy, considerate kids who know how to communicate with people face-to-face and having kids in your family who can only communicate by text. I hate seeing dads walking around with their families, their eyes glued to cellphones or tablets, the family unit disintegrating before their eyes.

Scratch that, the family units in question aren’t disintegrating before the negligent dads’ eyes – because the dads in question are too stupid to look at their own families in the first place!

Children learn by example, people, this in by no means a revelation, so set an example your children deserve to behold.

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FOUR)  Don’t dress like a drunken crackhead – ever!  Admittedly, I’m not the snappiest dresser to ever help raise a kid – but I know enough to take my wife with me when I buy clothes. I  realize most men liken this experience to being back in the fifth grade and accompanying your mom to Sears for back-to-school outfits, but again, you don’t want to embarrass your family any more than you need to, right?

breakTHREE)  Don’t plan on getting laid.  You’re on a family vacation, buddy, get lucky on your own time – and on your own spouse.

Yes, I know every parent needs to be a human being and not just a caregiver and wiper of boogers all the time, but far too many parents act selfishly while on vacation and their kids – and society eventually – end up paying the price. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve arrived at a room to find kids exiled to the hallway or glued to the TV while mom and dad defile each other in the shower, the desk, against the window, etc.

Act like a responsible parent while traveling with the clan and make time to act like a porn star when the vacation is over. 

giphyPut these thoughts out of your head, ya horny devil… you’re on vacation with the kids for Crissakes!

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TWO)  Never forget… things are going to go haywire!  We rarely vacationed but when we did, my father let me run wild. Like a wildebeest. But one who would rather read comics underneath a tree while camping rather than actually run wild.

At any rate, he once let me eat all the candy I could shove down my gullet – right before we left Blue Mountain. Oh, and did I mention he let me have have a beer too? it was great.

Until I yakked all over the backseat of one of his favorite vintage cars.

Now, my father could have taken a deep breath, accepted the situation for what it was and found a way to move on… but of course, he didn’t. It was easier to lose his shit – which I almost did as well, by the way – and freak the hell out than salvage the moment and rise above.

You’re going to screw up. Life is going to throw curve balls at your nuts. Accept it and be prepared to be the truly cool dad.

batman superman comic con 2

Be Batfleck, stay calm cool and collected – even in you are overacting…

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ONE)  Live in the moment!  I get it, it’s never been more difficult to survive and thrive in this world, never mind be a good husband and father.

Then again, this isn’t the Crusades or the French Revolution, so what the hell are you complaining about?

Be a good person. Period.

Sure, it’s not always going to be easy, but you can do it. Have faith in yourself. You say you don’t like your wife or kids? Well, that’s your problem, get over it! But if you do like your family, be there for them.

Focus is key, people. Put your worries aside for a few days, or better yet, deal with them before you go on vacation. We tend to ignore the big issues these days; it’s easier to bury them with artificial joy or affairs. You’re better than that.

Be the dad you always wanted – or maybe you had – and you’ll be all right.

See you in the lobby, dads…

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