The Hook’s Top One Hundred: Part Four.

Time for our fourth fantastic (as in the Fantastic Four) and final installment, kids!

Yeah, I’m a nerd, but I’ve had sex with a woman, so what of it? Speaking of sex…


76)  I once shared an elevator with a hooker named Candy. More than once in fact. On one occasion, however, I couldn’t help myself; I had to comment on the young lady’s lack of creativity.

“But I taste great on the tongue… just like candy!”

77)  Once upon a time there was a hooker who walked into the lobby at ten pm. She left an hour later and returned at midnight. She left again and returned, at two am. At no point did she change her clothes.

I still get itchy just thinking about it.

78)  One particularly-industrious hooker developed a system that worked perfectly: she’d arrive in the middle of the night with a few of her colleagues, rent a few rooms, and hold “parties” in them. She’d bounce between rooms (and in them, no doubt) and make sure everything went as smooth as lube.

The hotel eventually shut her midnight party machine down but her legend lives on.

79)  A hooker once walked in with her two young children in tow and asked me to babysit while she met up with her new “friend”. I’m guessing his nae was John. I had to refuse, even though she vowed, “I’ll make it worth your while honey!”

She was missing two teeth. And if I had said yes, I would’ve been too.

80)  The pimp who came in on a Hoverboard. And checked in on a Hoverboard. And went to the room and helped unload his bags on a Hoverboard while his ladies got set up in the room.

81)  The first night the hotel was opened was memorable; we had a skeleton crew (I was the entire Front Desk staff), numerous issues ranging from dead phone lines to wonky plumbing… and the most unattractive hooker I’ve ever seen.

That said, I felt really bad for the poor girl when she was turned away by the idiot on the thirty-second floor who, upon opening the door t her, said, “Oh hell, no!”, before slamming the door in her face. Undaunted, he came down immediately after she left and asked me for some more numbers of escort agencies.

I love humanity.



Niagara is the destination of choice for thousands of people who want to scratch certain experiences off their personal “I have To See This Place Before I Die” list. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of these people and my life is richer for the experience.

82)  A middle-aged lady from Ohio, who was afflicted with breast cancer declared…

“I came to kick Niagara’s ass and chew Big League Chew! And I’m all out of Big League Chew!”

Anyone who can face the grim specter of death and laugh about is okay in my books.



83)  I met a man who had been given three weeks to live and he decided to blow his life savings at the casino while breathing in the natural wonder of Niagara. On one hand, I wanted him to lose (since that’s what he wanted) but on the other, what if he lost everything – and then went into remission?

84)  There was the forty-something stockbroker from NYC who developed pancreatic cancer just as his investment ship came in. He wanted to see the Falls for himself “Just to be sure there’s actually something good and pure in a cruel, cruel universe.”

85)  A couple that had been married fifty-five years found themselves behind an even bigger eight ball than the stock broker; they had both been given terminal diagnoses. Nevertheless, they were determined to make the most of the time they had left by breathing in the magnificence of the Niagara region. And by tipping me large.

And being the humanitarian I am, I let them.



86)  The little African-American teen from Watts – with the giant effed up afro – who approached my desk and asked, “Where the white women at?”

87)  Louis Farrakhan and his entourage took over the valet deck one night. His bodyguards were packing obvious heat and they refused to let me take their charge’s bags upstairs without an armed escort.

Who’s going to steal Louis Farrakhan’s bags?

88)  Love isn’t blind, the heart simply ignores what it cannot handle. I once shared an elevator with a petite, crimson-haired young lady with tears in her empty eyes. I recognized her as a new arrival; her boyfriend was a skeevy white boy with delusions of being the next Fifty Cent.

Her lover was a disaster but she was all over him in the lobby when they checked in though it appeared he had turned on her, and not for the first time, I was willing to bet. Normally, I’d avoid speaking my mind about a situation like this unless an opening presented itself.

But if not me, then who?

ME:  You must have strong shoulders to carry such a weight.

HER:  What? (She pondered my words for a moment and then continued.) Oh! Is it… that obvious?

ME:  I’m sure you’re very strong… but yes.

HER:  I’m just… dealing with some things right now. Sometimes… it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is, you know?

ME:  Actually, I’ve always believed that we instinctively recognize the right thing… but our emotions tend to override logic. Love is a beautiful thing but it makes fools of us all at times.

HER:  Oh. Uh… you sure don’t talk like other bellguys!

ME:  There are no bellmen like me, miss. Sorry I can’t be of much real assistance, but I’m sure you’ll do the right thing… eventually.

HER:  You don’t even know me. How can you have faith in me?

ME:  In this job you learn to read people immediately. Besides, it doesn’t matter if I have faith in you… as long as you have faith in yourself. Of course, now I sound like a fortune cookie.

She laughed. It was probably the deepest laugh she’d released in some time. We parted ways and that was that; no resolution or happy endings, just two strangers in an elevator.

89)  The two drunken bridesmaids I lent my luggage cart to. They wanted to make a splash when they walked into their BFF’s wedding reception and so the hotel’s banquet manager wheeled them in the hall’s main doors when their names were announced. In they went, their inebriated nubile forms splayed across the cart.

That’s a wedding photo you don’t put on the mantle, that’s for sure.

90)  The two demonic African-American tweens who tried to shove their little white-as-snow sister down their floor’s laundry chute. (Not coincidentally, the hotel added locks to the chutes shortly thereafter.)

Why cant we all just get along and not try and shove our sister-from-another-mother down laundry chutes?

91)  The celebrity-obsessed nine-year-old girl who told me, “John Mayer is a man-whore! I bet he has more diseases than the CDC!”

This kid was awesome.

92)  The good ole boy from Alabama who pulled out a handgun and just started waving it around in the room while his friends just went about their business. The Hook, however, did his best Barry Allen impression and beat his feet out of there.

“Aren’t you gonna wait for your tip, boss?”

Hell, no.


93)  Another candidate for Mother of the Year: The moron on the thirty-second floor who allowed her twelve-year-old son to bring his camping axe into the hotel.

What could possibly go wrong?

94)  The drunken high school chick who got blind stinking drunk one Friday night and somehow made her way down to the hotel’s basement, where she passed out in the laundry sorting room – directly below the chute.

You can see where this is going, right? Let’s just say she woke up pretty damn quick once enough laundry piled up on her. She scared the spit out of a couple of Mexican laundry workers when she started to get up and stumble around while covered in white sheets and mumbling like a creature of the night.

I’m pretty sure they both ran back to the border that very night.

95)  Dakota, the dog whose home flooded two months ago and has been a fixture around the hotel ever since. Dakota will be leaving us soon and that’s good, since “Big D” needs a yard to run around in, but it sucks for all of us and our guests since we all love having him around. Then again, Dakota has been going stir-crazy lately and has taken to diving up at his mistress in an attempt to eat her face, so maybe it’s time for a change in scenery?

And doggie downers?

96)  That crazy Shih Tzu that kept charging that “other crazy pup” it kept seeing in one of the full-length mirrors in the lobby. The best part of this story was the equally-crazy Asian woman who kept shouting, “How cute! You go, Princess!” every time her little doggie nearly bashed it’s brains out against the mirror.

97)  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who were beyond incensed when the Front Desk inadvertently put the kibosh on their sting operation. The RCMP had rented a room to spy on the suite next door which was apparently occupied by some nefarious types, who may have known the jig was up, and so they switched rooms.

Sadly, this didn’t lead to a high-stakes showdown or any gun play. But you can’t have everything, right?

98)  The other hotel sting operation. The Niagara Regional Police aren’t extremely Chatty Cathys so I don’t have all the details, but here’s a quick rundown:

  •  There were hookers arriving at and departing the hotel in large numbers. (I’m not sure but I think the plural for large numbers of hookers might be “hooki”.)
  •  Several men in different vehicles arrived shortly thereafter; they weren’t staying in the hotel but requested parking.
  •  Several police officers ad detectives swarmed the deck as soon as the men went upstairs; the cops insisted the valet drivers leave the cars on deck so they could record the license plates and search the cars. (Don’t ask me about whether or not the cops had warrants. I don’t argue with people who have mace and guns.)
  •  The hotel was getting slammed so the valet drivers argued against leaving all those cars on deck.
  •  The valets lost.
  •  Various law enforcement agents proceeded to the rooms in question.
  •  Arrests were made.
  • Turns out the hookers were acting as drug mules, their pimps were acting as dealers, and the cops were acting as cops.

Being a bellman may not always pay much, but at least it keeps me out of jail.

99)  Reader’s Choice. Yes, you read that correctly! I’m putting the power back in your hands, friends! Everyone has a favorite Hook adventure they like to revisit at those moments when the mind is prone to wandering, like at the birth of your first child or during a disappointing sexual encounter.

So it’s up to you, readers, search your memory, find a story I haven’t recounted here and say to yourself, “That looks good… I think I’ll throw that sucker in this space!”

And yes, that is what she said, actually.


100)  Rockin’ Ronnie. No list of my unforgettable encounters as a bellman would be complete without mentioning my rock ‘n roll bellman-brother-in-arms, Ron Stevens. I’ve written extensively about Ronnie in the past and honestly, it would be impossible to pick one story to feature here, but many of you have asked to see the man himself, so here’s a clip of my fallen brother in action alongside other members of his extended family.

Every damn day, Ronnie.  Every damn day…

See you in the lobby, kids…

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The Hook’s Top One Hundred: Part Three.

I’m not usually one to wax nostalgic, or anything else for that matter, but as my wife often says, “I’m really not into this anymore… but we’ve already started so we might as well finish.”

51)  The blonde Return Guest (a frequent flyer of the hotel set) with comic book sized breasts (male comic book artists tend to draw their female characters with chests that defy gravity and good taste) and the same blue mini skirt that she wears regardless of the weather. Her legs were as blue as her skirt the last time I saw her. Canada gets cold, kids.

52)  The jackass I just served who arrived in a t-shirt and shorts. In March. To make matters more interesting, his “luggage” consisted of a laundry basket and a hamper… of dirty clothes.



53)  My first job as a bellman was for a company that owned two properties on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls. One of them, the Quality Inn, had a wing that bordered a small treeline directly across from the Niagara river. Raccoons would often scale the trees and dive onto the balconies – and into the coolers that, despite our warnings, guests would keep on their balcony. The furry little bandits would often be interrupted and their screeches could be heard for miles.

Urban wildlife rocks.


54)  The Quality Inn had an outdoor pool and a playground; one winter I caught a couple that decided fooling around on the kiddie slide would be fun. And it may very well have been.

But the frostbite on their butts sure wasn’t.

55)  Speaking of outdoor sexy shenanigans, time for an abridged version of a tale I’ve told before. A trophy wife once hooked up with one of my fellow bellmen as her hubby sat in the room, completely oblivious to his spouse’s deception.

The act itself was forbidden by company standards, but to make matters worse, Trophy Wife decided the hood of her spouse’s prized automobile was the perfect spot to do the dirty deed. They would’ve gotten away with it too… if not for that meddling bellman who would someday be known as The Hook. I deduced that Trophy Wife’s shapely backside fit perfectly into the dent her extramarital activities produced.

Holmes has nothing on me.

56)  The coolest thing about being a bellman at a two-hotel property with rooms that were accessible from outside? The golf carts the bellmen used to shuttle between hotels and to escort guests to their rooms. Of course, it’s not cool when a bellman runs his cart right into a Japanese bus tour.

It’s not cool, but it sure was hilarious. And no, I wasn’t the bellman in question; I’d never do that.

I ran my cart off-road and down a steep hill after being distracted by a bevy of California beauties. How I managed to keep the cart from tipping over as I descended, I’ll never know.

57)  The foursome from parts unknown. The driver picked up the girls along the way, they in turn, picked up the other guy. The driver got blind stinking drunk but somehow managed to drive hundreds of miles to Niagara. He ran into the building while puling up to the hotel’s front entrance, so he tipped me forty bucks to play valet driver at a hotel that didn’t offer valet parking.

58)  There was a Golden Griddle located on the property in question and one day, while I was escorting a mountain of a man and his hotter-than-hot girlfriend to their car, a distinct smell crossed my path.

ME: Do you smell bacon, folks? I smell bacon!

HIM:  Is that supposed to be fuckin’ funny?

ME:  (In obvious fear of my life.)  Uh, no…

HER:  (In a super condescending tone)  Uh, he’s a police officer… and he doesn’t find that funny!

ME:  Well… I’m a bellman and I actually smell bacon! Most likely from the breakfast menu at the Golden Griddle!

BOTH:  Oh!

I understand if this image makes you take a bacon break…


59)  The second hotel on the property I made my first home-away-from-home at was actually very cool in the sense that it contained some fascinating nooks and crannies. Like the closet at the end of one of the halls that sat directly beside a room.

Let me tell you, air vents are the windows to hotel coitus, and overhearing hotel coitus is never boring, kids.

60)  One of the first bellmen that ever trained me was an old school Italian gentleman named Louie. Like any seasoned veteran from a certain era, Louie had a routine that he had perfected over time: his sometimes-limp became more pronounced when carrying luggage. This of course led to larger tips and my eternal admiration.

61)  Jim was another veteran bellman who taught me the ropes. He was also as strong as an ox. I one put his strength to the test and loaded a suitcase with bricks – which Jim lifted like they were foam blocks. He also taught me how to put your palm out for a tip without being too obvious about it.

It pays to have a mentor, children. Literally.

62)  My first two years as a bellman opened my eyes to what should’ve been an obvious truth about the hospitality industry. I should have realized that putting people together for hours a day and moths at a time while surrounding them with beds and closets filed with linens is going to lead to one thing and one thing only.

If it isn’t obvious by now, I’m talking about sex.

I’ve seen staff members hook up in:

  •  Handicapped washrooms.
  •  Darkened reservation offices.
  •  Change rooms.
  •  The aforementioned linen closets.
  •  Breakfast nooks.
  •  On dining room tables.
  •  On laundry folding tables and industrial size washing machines.
  •  A giant fiberglass whale.
  •  Those golf carts I mentioned.
  •  Guest room beds… minutes before a guest checks in.
  •  Pretty much any out-of-the-way spot two bodies can press together to form the Beast With Two Backs.



63)  Those three young punks from Vancouver who walked all around for three days saying, “Que pasta, man!” in thick, horribly-offensive Mexican accents.

64)  The two young Jewish punks from Queens who ordered themselves two even-younger hookers on a Wednesday night and then came back Thursday, bragging, “Hey, Mr. Bellguy… those girls from last night are going out with us again… for free! For free!”

They two took the girls out to dinner and for drinks. They bought them jewellery and clothes.

Define “free”, fellas.

65)  Young punks are not only great for blog fodder, they’re walking PSAs for birth control; like the young punk that was so obsessed with his new smokinh hot girlfriend he loaded his car in an instant and sped off down the valet deck so fast he almost hit three people. We were glad to see him go, to say the least.

Until we realized he left his two toddlers in the lobby on a bench. We seriously considered adopting the kids rather than return them to an obviously messed up situation.

66)  All the young punks who engaged in a brawl in the lobby one hot summer’s night. Only in Niagara Falls would metal tissue covers become weapons of urban warfare. 

67)  The punk who ran into my cart with his corvette.

68)  The female punk (yes, they have those now) who was swinging her bags so wildly she hit me right in my… male identity.

69)  The young punk couple who decided dry humping in the corner of the lobby during the peak of the Sunday morning departure period – while a group of kids watched – was a great idea.

And speaking of dry humping and other public softcore shenanigans…



70)  The couple who got it on in the men’s washroom on the hotel’s  mezzanine level decided against the conventional route and opted for the counter – while his friend watched. Seriously, his buddy was right there but they just kept going until Security showed up.

71)  Elevators seem like the ideal place to start a coital encounter but people tend to forget the average trip is ninety seconds. And you can forget about hitting the emergency stop button, those are only accessible with a key. Of course, that doesn’t stop guests from trying; in fact, there are so many travelers who try to mess around in the hotel’s elevators that I’m grouping them all together.

I salute your moxie, your horny devils.


72)  It was never confirmed but one couple (he was old, she definitely wasn’t) appeared to be father and daughter, though I sincerely hope they weren’t… because they were all over each other on the valet deck. Honestly, the resemblance was uncanny – and highly disturbing.

 73)  The Irish lesbians who made out in front of – and on – the valet desk in the lobby. They apologized to the attendant when they finally came up for air but they should’ve apologized to me; they finished five minutes before I started work.



But who get their grubby little digits on them nevertheless. Parents who let their rug rats call down to the Bell Desk for the luggage obviously think it’s a cute experience for the bellmen.

But it isn’t.

It can be fun for this bellman though…

74)  Like the time I told a particularly-pixie-like six-year-old that she needed to have milk and cookies ready for me when I arrived. “Just like with Santa?” she asked.


Sure enough, she insisted her parents order some chocolate chip cookies and a pitcher of milk from room service, ASAP.

They were delicious.

75)  Another rug rat, this one was demonic rather than pixie-like, was ridiculously-nasty on the phone.

“And you better not lose my shit like they did at the last hotel! Or my mommy will sue you!””

But I took it in stride. I told her if she didn’t tip the bellmen, a large, ravenous troll with a hunger for faces would be released from the closet at midnight.

Easiest twenty bucks I ever made.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m knackered! Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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The Hook’s Top One Hundred: Part Two.

All right, there’s no time for this foreplay stuff… so let’s get to it!

Here are a few more of my most memorable moments at my place of business, my hell-away-from-home, my hood, if you will.

26)  My “101 Dalmatians Moment”. My math is slightly off but here’s the skinny. I made my way to the parking garage one evening to help a nice couple check in.

(Great story so far, right?)

Anyhoo, they gave me the usual travel items: suitcases, garment bags, shoes, a large dog carrier filled with three puppies, a goldfish bowl in a box (with a goldfish, ‘natch), and a cat named Lucky that kept jumping on the cardboard box. Oh, and did I mention the two puppies in the car as well?

27)  The drunk chick who trashed her room and who left the hotel in zip ties.  With a police escort. All she could say between sobs was, “I just want to go home!”

Sure thing, babe. As long as your home is a jail cell.

That’s it, drink up.  What’s the worst thing that could happen?


28)  The young couple who ingested a few too many edible marijuana treats. She left on a stretcher (but continued to text) and he stumbled behind her while vomiting into a plastic bag.

29)  Another extremely inebriated young lady whose boyfriend kept bouncing her head off the sliding doors as he carried her into the lobby. I hope he wasn’t planning on being romantic that night…

 30)  The Little Bo Peep (a female this time) who left her basket of goodies (her characters were a bit mixed) behind in the lobby after midnight one memorable Halloween. Among the items in her basket were some pics that were definitely not suitable for a fairy tale.

Little Bo Peep, God bless her, was a freak.

31)  Valet drivers get lonely too, apparently. One older driver was caught copulating with a hooker in his car on a midnight shift. His excuse?

“But… but… I was on my break!”



32)  The grandma who sat in the closet while her family enjoyed the room. They didn’t stick her in there. It was just her way.

33)  An encounter to remember: the time that old man came to my desk late one night and kept banging his cane on the Bell Desk, demanding service. I told him I’d be right with him bu the insisted on smashing that cane… until it broke.

I really wish I could record these encounters, because the look on his face…

34)  The World War Two vet who told me about his trip to Niagara Falls  after the war.

“It was the dead of winter. I stood there all alone, not a soul in sight, letting the mist wash over me. It helped to wash the memories of what I’d seen… and done… away.”

35)  Every old couple who checks in with the Liberator sex pillow. You gotta respect the effort.

36)  The one old man, I believe his name was Norm, that stood up for his rights and took his wheelchair-turned-luggage-cart back from his family. I see this at least once a week; there is an unusually-high number of mouth-breathing idiots who think it’s kosher to take a senior’s mode of transport in lieu of using a bellman. It really burns my brisket.


God bless old folks, they rock.


All right, let’s pick on some other poor souls, what do you say?

37)  The tour guide of advanced years (I believe she booked her first tour on Noah’s ark) who, upon realizing she had literally missed her bus as it drove off for New York City, raced across the valet deck, through the hotel’s flower bed, and came thisclose to actually touching the bus before tumbling down and landing on a very unlucky Asian tourist.

The guide and tourist were both fine. The flowers were not.



 38)  Louie the Lobster Boy. An irate mom once dragged her poor little boy over to our desk to lodge a rather unusual complaint. It seems the lad was as red as a beet after spending some time in the hotel’s pool. When asked just how long her son was in the pool, the mother-of-the-year candidate replied, “Only eight hours!”

 39)  The tween siblings who used a skipping rope to lash their four-year-old sister to one of the trees we used to have in the lobby… and then attempted to leave her there.

 40)  Attempted “siblingcide”. A particularly-cruel young man once decided to clamp off his newborn sister’s nose and mouth for seconds at a time while his clueless parents turned away while waiting for their car. I raced over to the would-be murderer in question but mom and dad finally looked back and put a stop to the diabolical proceedings.

41)  The little girl who swore a blue streak when she realized the hotel’s pool has been ripped out until a new one is put into place.

“This sucks balls! Why didn’t we check these mother fuckers out before we came to this fuckin’ hellhole?”

Seriously, this little girl appeared to be sugar and spice and everything nice… but she’d make a sailor blush.



42)  The young, incerdibly-tanned couple from California that brought a drill, high-end camera equipment, movie quality standing lights and audio equipment, and costumes for a “working vacation”. I didn’t ask what line of work they were in. But I really didn’t need to, did I?




43)  Mr. L was a high-roller from Toronto with his own business, a vengeful ex, a murky past and even murkier present. He lavished gifts upon the Front Desk clerks (a great way to get the rooms you want when the hotel is otherwise booked, friends) and he tipped the bellmen very generously.

I once had to stand with room keys in my hand in a quiet-as-a-church hallway late at night for over thirty minutes as he chatted up some young ladies in the lobby. Needless to say I was fuming, especially when I finally called downstairs and was informed he wasn’t taking the suite in question. I headed back to my desk, my blood boiling, and four hours later Mr. L sauntered over and gave me a devilish smile and one of those handshakes that ends with a few bills folded into a single cube deposited in my hand.

“Sorry, Rob… but the good news is… I got lucky with those three cheerleaders!”

Realizing where my bread was buttered, I neglected to inform Mr. L that the three cheerleaders in question were so damn young, that combining their ages still wouldn’t have put them on par with him.

Lord, I miss that crazy, pedophiliac son of a bitch.

44)  Mr. Cloak and Dagger checked in during the midnight shift only, tipped extra to have his truck parked on the loading dock so it was readily accessible, had a mistress he was putting through university, and even scheduled a breakfast with his parents so they could meet his new on-the-side-squeeze.

I wonder how that meal went? For that matter, I wonder how things ended, though I’m not surprised they did; you can only dance on the edge of a razor for so long before you slice your toes off.

 45)  Ms. K (she was really a Mrs. Somebody Else) loved three things above all else: wine in copious amounts, cheating on her husband with a succession of young studs and battery operated devices (which definitely were not toothbrushes) that she always “forgot” to turn off when she packed them in her leopard print suitcases.



46)  Mr. and Mrs. J from Cleveland always brought homemade baked goods and plenty of chatter to the Bell Desk. Both were appreciated beyond measure.

47)  Mr. and Mrs. C were world-travelers on a literal deadline. He was dying. She was determined he live life to the fullest until he couldn’t anymore, and so they spent as much time as possible in the city he loved, surrounded by one of nature’s greatest creations. The moment she walked in without him two years ago was one of the saddest I’ve ever experienced at work.

 48)  The Star Wars Family was just that; a clan that worshiped at the altar of George Lucas’ universe. They had Star Wars luggage, water bottles, van decals, etc. They even came in dressed as Wookies once.

The family that nerds out together stays together, I guess.

 49)  Mr. P, as in “pizza”, which he faithfully ordered immediately after checking in – along with a hooker.

50)  I met “Carol from Ohio” as she became known to me and my family, twenty years ago at the first hotel I worked at on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls. She was on a ladies-only weekend. A ridiculously-sweet lady, we hit it off immediately and she took a motherly interest in me, bringing me gifts for my wife and then-newborn daughter.

In a rare instance, we exchanged phone numbers and my wife came to learn Carol was vastly wealthy and connected to the Big Boy restaurant chain in the United States. In time she stopped coming to the Falls but would call us faithfully every few months, sending gifts and cards, until we simply lost touch.

An older lady in failing health, I can only assume she’s moved onto the Big Boy in the sky. I hope she’s at peace; Carol was and always will be one of the reasons I love this job so much.


Not that Big Boy, Emma Stone…


Until next time, when we continue this journey through The Hook’s past, see you in the lobby, kids…

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The Hook’s Top One Hundred: Part One.

So the other day I was escorting a yuppie (sorry, but they weren’t all exterminated in the Nineties, kids) corporate drone into the hotel and as I wheeled his packed-to-capacity-and-beyond cart of foam blocks, printers, posters and easels through the lobby we quite literally ran into a rather excitable young lady and her boyfriend as they were making their way to the Front Desk to look for some scissors to remove the zip ties he had used to fasten her wrists together.

“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this, Chip!” she exclaimed, venom dripping from her ruby red lips with every syllable.

We kept walking. Well, I kept walking, the yuppie just stood there, lost in the shock and awe of the moment.

“Stick around this city long enough and that’ll seem normal, sir,” I reassured him as I tapped him on the arm, “Trust me, Niagara is much more than tourist traps and chain restaurants. Plus, that’s what she gets for trusting a guy named Chip with zip ties.”

“But that doesn’t phase you?” he inquired. “I mean, I know you must see all kinds… but seriously?”

“Sir, that doesn’t even crack my top one hundred.” I deadpanned.

He let it go, but it did get me thinking: After twenty years in the hospitality trenches, what has cracked my top one hundred?

I’m so glad I asked.The following list is comprised of guests that were naughty and nice, sweet and sour, and good and bad, all in their own way. I know you all have cat videos to watch on YouTube, so here’s my top twenty-five for starters.

1)  The Krysten Ritter lookalike hooker who strolled out of the hotel last Sunday who hiked her barely-there skirt up her hip to reveal a, “THIS SPACE FOR RENT” tattoo. Why it wasn’t on her butt, I’ll never know.


Hookers love being featured on my blog, can you tell?


2)  The Return Guest (someone who stays at the hotel frequently) who dropped off a picture (this was before e-mail or text was used regularly, kids) of herself to one of my fellow bellmen; the pic in question displayed the young lady placing her fist somewhere it should never go.

He was turned on. I was in therapy for a year.

3)  An American pastor who used to check in and promptly order himself a hooker who looked under-age. He did this every time for a year before he just stopped showing up. Maybe the law – or a Higher Power – caught up with him?

4)  The fat guy dressed as Little Bo Peep.

5)  The family that brought their dead frozen feline into the hotel in a Coleman cooler. Which slipped off the cart (in my defense, they loaded it) and popped it’s lid, sending the cool cat sailing across the just-polished marble floor.

6)  RCMP recruiters who were so tough on the police officers who turned up at the Mountie recruiting drive cry like little girls. Honestly, there was more than one seasoned officer who stumbled out of that meeting room with tears in their eyes.


Fun With Celebrities.

7)  DJ Jazzy Jeff.  Yes, the guy Will Smith left behind when his movie career exploded. I can’t say much without violating guest confidentiality (then again, I’m not an MD or lawyer) but let me say this: Smith made the right decision.

8)  OJ Simpson.  The Juice tipped me large and may or may not have uttered the greatest line in guest history to some kids who were too nervous to come out of their room and meet him, “It’s okay, kids… I won’t kill you.”

9)  A certain pop star who had just reconciled with her significant other; the entire staff was forbidden from acknowledging her presence, for fear of making her spouse feel overshadowed. At the time I felt it was a ridiculous rule but in retrospect… I still do.

10)  Air Supply. They’re the most low key duo in pop music history. That may not seem like a characteristic worthy of inclusion here, but compared to some celebrity guests I’ve encountered, it’s downright otherworldly.

11)  Shantelle Bisson and her husband.  (I believe he plays a certain TV detective.) They’re accessible. They’re fun. They’ve both been a major presence on my blog and Twitter account. What else is there to say?

12)  Silent Bob. Kevin Smith recently suffered a major heart attack. It would’ve been an immeasurable loss if we lost him; hyperbole aside, he’s one of the nicest mammals I’ve ever met anywhere.

I really have to adopt Smith’s “photo face”.  It beats smiling any day.


13)  Thomas Craig.  He’s Inspector Thomas Brackenreid on CBC television’s Murdoch Mysteries and I almost ran him over with a luggage cart. Twice. He’s a Brit, so he would’ve given me a jolly good throttling…


(Messy) Fun With Sorority Sisters.

14)  Sorority sisters who vomit on each other in the lobby. Yes, there’s been more than one.

15)  Sorority sisters who run to their car to vomit… only to realize, afterwards, that they’re in the wrong car. Yes, that’s also happened more than once.

16)  Sorority sisters who run into walls, trip over suitcases, and generally wipe out due to a heightened state of inebriation.

17)  The sorority sister who not only vomited in the lobby, she vomited on a small child. I know it was wrong, but I laughed. Hard.

 18)  The sorority sister whose sisters brought her to the lobby in an LCBO (that’s a Canadian, located in the province of Ontario, liquor store) shopping cart during a frenzied Sunday check-out rush. She was effed up but it was glorious.

19)  The cougar who I had to get stern with in the room who later told me, “Talk to your wife or girlfriend like that tonight and she’ll do anything you want.”

I have a special rapport with cougars.


20)  Honeymooners from Boston who checked in on Friday, got married on Saturday and left in handcuffs (back when cops were actually using them instead of zip ties) and in separate police cars on Sunday. Ain’t love grand?


 21)  While delivering the bills early one morning I strolled past a room where some sexy shenanigans were taking place. (Thank heavens for cheap hotel room doors.)

HER:  Oh yeah, baby! Fuck me like a black man!

HIM:  But… I am a black man!

I felt so bad for the poor, poor bastard I was almost inclined to walk away. Almost.


22)  The unbelievably-cheap Parisian goofball who, after realizing the hotel was full-service, stole a housekeeper’s cart and brought his luggage through the lobby and past hundreds of guests, on it. The only silver lining to this tale? His wife and kids were so mortified they pretty much disowned the scumbag.

 23)  A rouge pharmacist (she shut her pharmacy down but kept bringing in product – which she sold under the table to a stable of clients) and her brother, a John Lennon lookalike with a penchant for setting up model railways in the room. They were great tippers. Until the long arm of the law caught up with them.

Then they got a prescription for some jail time.


24)  The gentleman who called down to the Bell Desk raving:

HIM:  I called down two hours ago for my bags to be picked up!

ME:  I’m sorry, sir, I’ve been here all morning, we must be experience trouble with out phones…

HIM:  Yeah, that happens to me all the time! Must be dimensional portals intercepting the phone signals!

ME:  Yeah… that must be it.

HIM:  I hate when that happens!


25)  That dishwasher who smashed the punch clock at the beginning of what turned out to be his last – and shortest shift – ever. I salute you, sir.

I think that’s enough for now, don’t you? Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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Hey, Who Wants To Compose A Song For The Hook?

As much as I am a fan of foreplay, sometimes it pays to cut right to the chase.

I have a problem and I’m hoping someone out there in the blogosphere and/or the interweb can help. The short film I’ve written as a sample of what a series based on this blog would look like has run into a few problems but it’s still going ahead.


Word to the wise: if you’re going to schedule a film shoot, and some of your actors are a tad forgetful, maker sure you physically place the request forms they need to book the days off in their hands. Otherwise, your production day will approach and you’ll find yourself perilously short of talent and be forced to reschedule. But enough about some of my other problems, let’s focus on today’s issue, shall we?

I’ve written lyrics for a short theme song to open my film but I’m missing a few key ingredients.

Like music.

And voice talent.

And the talent, funds or ability to secure any of them.

That brings us to this post. It is my hope that one of you burgeoning singers/composers out there will be inclined to make a name for yourself by hitting this challenge so hard you give it CTE. Yes, that joke may have been inappropriate, but admit it, you chuckled, right?

Here are the lyrics. The rest is up to you. Make it a jazzy Broadway number, a hard rock anthem, a country diddy, I’m not paying, so what do I care? Feast on the brilliance that my pasty white mind is capable of:

“This is The Hook’s show, he made it, won’t you stay?

It’s really good, it’ll make your day!

This show’s so good, it’ll make your dog’s tail wag

The Hook’s a bellman… if you don’t tip him, he’ll call you a douchebag

If you’re watching this, you’ve been hooked…

You’ve been hooked…

You’ve been hooked, mutha fucka…”

And there you have it. I leave this task in your capable, musically-inclined hands. As I’ve said, I cannot afford to pay you in anything of monetary value but you’ll get full credit, you can stick your creation on the YouTube (as the kids call it) and who knows? This could be the springboard that launches your music career and leads to fame, fortune, and sex tapes.

Or not.

We’ll see, won’t we?

See you in the lobby, friends.


Put on a pot of coffee and get composing!

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

The One Where The Hook Rambled.

Question: What do you do when you’re a blogger who is as blocked as a fat kid after eating entire triple-cheese pizza smothered in Velveeta?

Well, we’re about to find out.

If this picture of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes you feel uneasy and embarrassed to be Canadian (even though you aren’t) then congratulations, you’re now an honorary Canuck.

Image result for Trudeau in India

Yes, it’s safe to say that the Great White North’s elected leader shot his image in the nuts from the get-go, when the Trudeau delegation, including his kids, who will no doubt one day roll their eyes at photos and news clips of this mess, was received at the airport by a minister of state, not even a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet.

And it all went downhill from there, faster than a camel with cement blocks strapped to its humps.

After he went to great lengths to convince Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that the Canadian government never associates with radicals, the world and millions of groaning Canadians, learned that one such deranged goofball was part of Trudeau’s own entourage in India.

Jaspal Atwal, who at the time was a member of the International Sikh Youth Federation, a terrorist group now banned here in the land of moose and back bacon, was convicted of attempted murder in Canada in 1987 after he attempted to assassinate a visiting Punjabi cabinet minister. Incidentally, why don’t these groups ever considered naming themselves using letters that can be used to spell a cool evil name? Like E.V.I.L.? People just don’t put the effort in anymore.

Of course, JT’s government tried to distance itself from Atwal, saying it was all a “mistake”, blaming an alternate universe version of the PM for the error, or something like that. I don’t have all the details. The point is, this monumental mess-up was compounded by the entire trip’s lack of official business, excessive photo-ops (which have become Trudeau’s calling card) and his ridiculously-insensitive overuse of Indian clothing. To make matters worse, Trudeau’s tax-payer funded tour to India was actually yet another lavish family vacation — including his own celebrity chef flown in from Vancouver, Vikram Vij.

Because apparently there wasn’t anyone in India who knew how to prepare authentic Indian food.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Now take us into the next segment, Barry!


So what else is on my mind?

Oh yeah, this happened.

“Barbra Streisand Had Her Beloved Dog Samantha Cloned: Meet Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet.”


Yes, according to Variety, Streisand revealed in an interview that two of her dogs, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, were cloned from her 14-year-old Coton du Tulear, Samantha, who perished in 2017. (Most likely by her own hand, er, paw, after having to endure years of listening to Streisand’s voice.) Before Samantha died, Streisand had cells taken from her mouth and stomach.

By the way, am I the only one who thinks the “Barbara” in this picture appears to be have cloned from an earlier version of Streisand? I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s freaky, isn’t it?

All right, I’ve done enough damage to your psyches for today, wouldn’t you agree?

See you in the lobby, kids…

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It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Post…

I have decided to choose a path after being at a crossroads for far too long, my friends.

It’s taken time, more grains of sand through the hourglass than I could ever count in fact, but I’ve finally emerged from the shroud of darkness Rockin’ Ronnie’s untimely end thrust me into. So I have that going for me. Which is nice.


But even though he met a tragic end Rockin’ Ronnie has been and always will be a source of light in my life.

And I’d like that light to keep shining for as long as I’m here on this plane of existence, kids.

But in the early days of this tragedy I had no idea how that was ever going to happen. Then my wife, Dog bless her, hit on a golden plan.

And so, at her urging, the Bellmen and virtually every other department in the hotel opened their hearts and, most importantly, their wallets, to raise funds to do some good in the name of our fallen brother-in-arms.

I’m happy, no scratch that, I’m overjoyed to report that it took less than a week of actual effort to raise a thousand Canadian dollars (which is about $8.50 American) which we have donated to two diverse, yet equally significant causes.

Project SHARE is a Niagara Falls based organization that helps people below the poverty line keep food in their cupboards and hope in their hearts. And A.N. Myer is a local high school here in Niagara that is known for it’s students’ academic excellence. Thanks to the generosity of my fellow wage slaves we have established The Ronnie Stevens Christmas Wish and The Rockin’ Ronnie Backstage Pass For Music Education.

The Rockin’ Ronnie Christmas Wish provided five hundred bucks to ensure a six-person (two adults, four rug rats) family had a decent Christmas last year. And The Ronnie Stevens Backstage Pass For Music Education (you can blame yours truly for that mouthful) is about give five hundred bucks to one or two students who wish to pursue a higher education in the art of transmuting noises into music.

Granted, we’ve only acted on a small scale with these causes, but that’s exactly the point. My friend wasn’t a world famous rock ‘n roller. He wasn’t a philanthropist who wielded immeasurable power. He didn’t change the world.

But he was a good father and a loving husband. He was a local rock ‘n roll hero who played countless benefits in the Niagara region.

And he was my friend.

And my wife, my beautiful, amazing wife, wanted him to live on in some form and so he will. Now I have to listen to what my soulmate has been telling me for months and get back to the business of living while still keeping the ballad of Rockin’ Ronnie in my heart.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

See you in the lobby, friends…

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