Meet The Greatest Parents Ever.

The tale you are about to read is the unvarnished, chillingly-real truth.

The participants are far too stupid to be anything but non-fictional.

Saturday, May 23, 8:20 am.  The hallway of an unnamed Niagara Falls luxury hotel.

I arrived, cart and cutting attitude at the ready,  at a two-room bell call as I have done literally a million times before. Though, as you’ve no doubt surmised by now, this call was going to be different than any other. This call was going to test both my resolve and a family’s intelligence.

I approached the pair of rooms quickly. (Speed is key in the bellman game, kids. In the bedroom? Not so much, but definitely in the bellman game.) However, my path was blocked by two strollers, one of which was overloaded with plastic bags. Assuming the other was similarly packed, I attempted to move it.

But it was occupied by a slumbering babe.

To clarify, by “babe”, I mean baby, not hot chick. To further clarify, the sleeping child was completely alone; no parents/caregivers/nanny/strangers were present. So there I stood, gobsmacked by the audacity (?) of a parent/parents who felt leaving a newborn in the hallway of one of the busiest hotels in Niagara Falls was anything but lunacy.

Then a thought occurred to me: since I was in the position to test the lunacy of this action… should I?

I think we all know the answer, right?

  • And so I took hold of the unoccupied stroller.
  • I headed for the guest elevators.
  • I boarded a guest elevator and waited for the doors to close.
  • I opened the doors nanoseconds before the elevator was in motion.
  • Returning the stroller to its original position beside the still-sleeping babe, I waited for someone, anyone, to emerge from one of the rooms.

Five full minutes later, the child’s young parental units (obviously, I’m using the term so loosely it’s almost criminal) emerged, smiling and completely ignorant. They were Iranian, super-friendly and completely ignorant. They were traveling light and were completely ignorant.

By “completely ignorant”, I mean this couple had no idea how close they came to losing their progeny, perhaps forever. I could have absconded with their child and been out of the hotel before they even left the room. But they had no idea; they simply gave me four suitcases to transport downstairs and we parted ways temporarily. I shook my head the entire time I was in the service elevator.

Fifteen minutes later, (I tried in vain to locate a clergyman to bless this poor rug rat), they brought their car around, tipped me two American dollars and sped off, completely ignorant.

I watched with morbid fascination as their vehicle faded from my sight. Obviously, their child had been born behind the Eight Ball – and was going to be there for a very long time.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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The Hook On… Tipping.

The worst tippers of ’em all?

Dead guys. Not only are they terrible conversationalists, all they have to offer is “wisdom from beyond the grave.” Like I’d ever have any use for “wisdom”…

Pharmaceutical reps pretty much suck too. What am I going to do with free samples of Viagra? I’ve been married for twenty years; I’m lucky the wife still tolerates me enough to share a bed with her, never mind anything else!

Stay thirsty, my friends….

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The Hook’s Mini-Guide To Hotel Sex.

In retrospect, using the words “mini” and “sex” in the same title may have been an error in judgement on my part…

At any rate, now that I’ve covered the general rules of travel, the next logical step is to cover some of the things that happen after you arrive at your destination. Namely, sex.

Call it what you will: intercourse, coitus, Operation: Ring Her Bell, copulation, slap ‘n tickle, pitching woo, fornication, lovemaking, making the Beast With Two Backs, bumping uglies, apologizing (wait, that comes after), intimacy, or a million other monikers. The point is, we spend more time pondering sex, scheming to initiate sex, manipulating events and people to get sex and of course, begging another person to provide us with sex, than any other endeavor.

So it’s a pretty big deal.

Especially when you’re traveling. So here are some rules that, if implemented correctly, should allow you to achieve maximum pleasure. I realize the blood will be rushing away from your brain when you need my guidance the most, but hopefully you’ll be able to retain a nugget or two. Here’s hoping…

10)  Treat your partner/ partners,/love pillows,/blow-up dolls/even yourself, with respect at all times.  Granted, this is applicable in any geographical location, but it bears stating regardless.

And by “respect”, I also mean be considerate of your partner’s preferences. Guys, be prepared to go South if your gal prefers you to. And ladies? If you don’t have diver’s lungs, it’s okay. As long as you’re able to channel your inner porn star, you’re good. Men are pretty easy to please, after all.

9)  It may be old school, but honesty really is the best policy.  Vacation may not be the best place to reveal that “Red Room of Pain” you envision in your mind, the one that you’ve been hiding from your partner. Many individuals use a change of scenery as an excuse to loose their inhibitions, which is great, but you need to be certain you’re not going to creep your lady/guy out beyond recognition.

It’s always best to ease into these things. That way, you can avoid any awkward situations. And chaffing.

8)  Whenever possible, book a corner room.  Building, insuring, maintaining and staffing a hotel requires millions of dollars in capital. And so some hotel room walls can be notoriously thin. If you’re into listening to your neighbors utter cries of passion that include such wonderfully nutty phrases like…

“Take me like a Kardashian!”

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Bringer of Sensual Pain!”

“Treat me like a naughty school girl. Put me in the corner!”

… then you’re all set. If you’re not, and if you’re inclined to utter such phrases yourself while in the throes of passion, then you may want to consider an isolated room. Of course, there’s only so much isolation you expect to receive (not everyone can book an entire floor like Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark), and a corner room may not always be available, but it never hurts to try.

7)  Assuming you’re not a Kardashian, there’s no reason to advertise your every move to the world.  Every day I serve guests who refuse to let discretion be their guide. It’s funny most of the time but not always. I’ve lost track of the number of these I’ve had to handle lately…

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Fortunately, they’ve been boxed up and so the chances of cross-contamination have been significantly reduced.

But it’s still creepy.

I’ve accepted that my DNA contains an unknown quality that compels guests to share their innermost secrets with me (not to mention the fact people love to share everything with the world these days), but that doesn’t mean guests should transport their sex toys and apparatus openly. Kids today grow up far too quickly as it is; there’s no need for Little Timmy to put Sportsheets on his Christmas list…

And speaking of apparatus…

6)  Don’t ask Hotel Maintenance to install a sex swing in the room.  Or any type of sexual device, for that matter. The last hotel employee that filled that request is now working the midnight shift at McDonalds…

Exercise your creative muscles – as well as those of the love variety – and make use of your room’s furniture to spice things up a notch or ten. Trust me, we really don’t expect you to use the desk for work or correspondence. Never forget, kids, the mind is the most powerful sexual organ.

5)  Carry several packs of disinfectant wipes.  For all those surfaces you plan on fornicating upon. The Housekeeping department does its best but there’s no point in taking chances – especially when it comes to your naughty bits.

4)  Choose your poison carefully.  Contrary to popular belief, alcohol actually inhibits sexual performance. So go easy on the booze. Beer is great if you and your partner want to indulge your “street side”, but I recommend some local wine to prepare you for the revels to come.

Pun intended.

3)  Keep the PDA classy.  Having been a bellman for seventeen years, it takes A LOT to phase me. But not everyone has seen the things my eyes have beheld. Lust is a wonderful emotion. Love even more-so. In fact, growing up, I was told love is exciting and new. (The Love Boat had no reason to deceive me, right?) But it keep the public displays of affection under control, folks. Here’s a quick guide-within-a-guide to help you keep things straight.

Pun intended, ‘natch.

  • Holding hands is fine, and sweet even.
  • Leaning into one another while walking or while in line to check-in is equally acceptable and moving.
  • Pecks on the cheek, hands, neck and shoulder are perfectly acceptable.
  • Petting, soft and heavy, isn’t too bad – if you keep it controlled.
  • Snogging in the lobby? Again, keep it controlled.
  • Snogging on the lobby furniture isn’t indictable as long as you don’t wind up straddling one another.
  • Dry-humping in dimly-lit corners of the valet deck is titillating to the average guest – who isn’t a jaded soul like yours truly.
  • Dry-humping in the elevator in the middle of the night? You’re good.
  • Dry-humping in the elevator in the middle of the check-out frenzy? On Mother’s Day? You’re so far from good it’s not even funny.
  • Dry-humping at my desk? You’re in a grey area.
  • Dry-humping on my desk? While I’m working? Just leave me a tip, and we’re good.

2)  Be realistic.  It’s all well and good to take cues from porn – as long as you realize porn is porn, not a documentary.  Not everyone is cut out to hump like a machine for hours and spout dirty talk like Jesse Jane. Not to mention how degrading some adult films can be to women. Never take your partner for granted. (They may be the last person you get to see naked – ever.) Don’t try to be a hero; just be you. 

 

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And finally, after much heavy breathing, work, and even the odd near-premature-ending, we’ve reached the climax of our little odyssey. Here, straight from the vault of my encyclopedic knowledge of the hotel biz, is the most important detail to bear in mind when engaging in hotel sex…

1)  Keep plenty of food and water on hand.  Especially if the plan is to ensconce yourselves in the room for days. Cereal bars, fresh local fruit that you can keep in the fridge, and healthy, energy-providing foods from room service will keep you going.

Above all else, keep reaching for the water, not soda or booze. Dehydration is the enemy, friends.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m spent. I hope it was good for you. See you in the lobby, folks…

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The Hook’s Definitive Rules of Travel.

I’m going to keep this brief, because let’s face facts, our society has become conditioned to switch our focus every ten seconds…

I’ve already lost you, haven’t I?

Oh well, for those of you who are still here, we’ll jump right in and see what happens. Worked on my honeymoon…

10)  Leave your baggage at home!  To be clear, I’m not referring to your luggage (more on that in a moment). No, I’m referring to your mental clutter; all of those little details that are so powerful they not only nag at you late at night, they haunt your time in the waking world.

  • That weaselly idiot Johnson at work. (Everyone has one; you would have ended him years ago but you’re too pretty to go to prison.)
  • The price of gas.
  • Your ever-growing metaphorical mountain of bills – which is about to grow even larger after your latest trip.
  • The inescapable notion that your offspring regard you with as much respect as one would a serial killer. Or a Kardashian.
  • The fact that your wife hasn’t done that thing with her tongue in over a decade.
  • The fact your dog can do that tongue thing to itself.
  • The fact you’re not a dog.
  • All those aches and pains that occur more frequently every day.
  • The delightful prospect of death.

It may be easy for me to say – and even easier to type – but you need to shove those little fears/realizations/details to the back of your brain-box while you’re traveling. If you can’t, well then there’s no point in leaving your driveway. This point pops up in my writing often. (You’ll see it covered again in my second book, assuming it ever sees the light of day.)

But I cannot stress it enough.

I’ve encountered guests whose minds are literally weighed down with such clutter every day for seventeen years and I have to tell you, it’s starting to get old.

9)  Don’t bring your mistress/boy-toy to the same hotel you visit with your spouse.  If you have to ask for more information about this one… you’re not worth saving. Enjoy your private reality, you poor, deluded bastard.

8)  If you insist on traveling with your own pillow, invest in a clean, strong tote bag.  Germs are not your friend, my friend. They exist for a singular purpose: to multiply. Throwing your pillow in the as-far-from-sanitary-as-Kris-Jenner-is-to-sanity-trunk of your car before placing it on a luggage cart that has had more bags on it than Madonna is a great way to spread those germs all over your face.

So don’t do it. Practice safe sleeping. The body you keep germ-free will be your own.

7)  Take the road less traveled.  Though not the actual road; that’s how you wind up in a horror movie. What you need to do is take advantage of the places and experiences your destination affords. Bellmen and concierges can be invaluable allies.

Whenever possible, consult a local. They’ll steer you in the right direction. Unless you tick them off, then all bets are off.

6)  Play those cards close to the vest, gambler!  You’ll meet many friendly and fascinating people along the road, kids.

But they aren’t the only souls out there.

Be ever-vigilant of the rapscallions, the grifters, the con artists. Don’t shout room numbers out. Don’t flash your wad. Use a credit card whenever possible. (Just be sure to pay it off at the end of the month; you’re not crashing on my couch, you bankrupt schmuck.) Don’t travel like a secret agent; just be smarter than the average traveling bear.

5)  Be flexible – and not just in the bedroom.  In travel, and in life in general, one must learn to expect the unexpected. Hell, at this stage in my hospitality career and life, I welcome it. The X factor keeps my existence from becoming as stale as an airport sandwich.

I have no idea what’s coming when I clock in. It could be a drunken cast member of The Sopranos who passes out in the hallway, a young virginal guest who decides to entrust me with the knowledge that she intends to lose “the purity of her secret garden” in the hotel (while Like A Virgin plays), or even a visit from a miserly, cranky CNN anchor who asks for change from a five dollar bill. Good times, indeed.

Granted, my life is not typical of… well, anyone’s. But your vacation is sure to be fraught with moments of peril, you can count on it. Make the most of those moments; turn them around and be grateful for the intervention of Fate.

And speaking of unexpected moments…

4)  See the humor in every situation.  For example, here is an exchange between myself and a female bus traveler. The “young” lady in question was actually older than soil itself but that didn’t prevent her from enjoying a chuckle or two.

GOLDEN OLDIE:  (Responding to my knock at her door.)  Who is it?

ME:  It’s the bellman with your bags, miss.

GO:  Is it really the bellman?

ME:  Yes, but let’s be honest, miss… a serial killer wouldn’t answer “It’s a serial killer!”, would they?

GO:  (Chuckling slightly.)  No, but I’m still not sure.

ME:  (Knowing the path is clear.)  Listen, lady… you don’t have much time left! Open the door!

That did it. She broke into a fit of hysterical laughter that almost depleted her oxygen tank. She didn’t freak out at my “comedic genius”, she ran with it and everyone won.

3)  If you can’t afford to travel… DON’T!  Yes, this is strange advice when one considers the source, but ponder this: couples fight about money more than anything else. And I have to serve those couples.

  • Travel is wonderful.
  • Travel expands our consciousness.
  • Travel can relieve our stress and extend our lifespan.
  • Travel can keep us from snapping and finally stuffing Johnson’s face in the office paper shredder.
  • Debt sucks.

Don’t let debt win. People have forgotten how to budget. Reacquaint yourself with that ancient practice and your life will be less stressful. Trust me.

2) Keep it clean!  To be clear, I’m referring to…

Your car:  A vehicle covered in coffee cups, empty cigarette packages and fast food containers will start to smell like the “dressing room” of an adult film shoot pretty fast. You may not realize it, but those odors will wear you down before the fun even begins.

Your luggage:  Compartmentalize everything; pack shirts, socks, your Batman Underoos/underwear, etc. in separate bags. You’ll be able to unpack in a flash and get on with the business of having fun!

Your room:  A clean space effects your state of mind. And housekeepers put up with enough garbage as it is.

1)  Be efficient.  You may scoff, but if you can’t unload your vehicle in less than sixty seconds? Well then, you’ve failed, Grasshopper. When you arrive at your hotel/resort/cave/destination, the mission is clear: Make the most of your time. Squeeze every ounce of fun out of your vacation because you’re on a Jack Baueresque timer, my friends.

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And that clock waits for no one.

So clean out the kids’ sporting equipment, the dead hookers, the cloth shopping bags, etc., and above all, pack as much as you can in as few bags/suitcases as is humanly possible. It’ll be better for you, for your bellman, and for America.

 This concludes our time together. See you in the lobby, kids…

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Overheard In The Hallway…

Sometimes all you need to do is cut to the chase…

And let the blogging chips fall where they may.

Here’s a snippet of dialogue I was privy to this week as I made my way past a room with an all-too thin door. Enjoy.

FYI: Add a thick-as-a-Kardashian British accent to fully enjoy this line, kids.

“Get ready, Evie… I’m about to give your lady parts a good jostling!”

I wonder if Evie survived the experience?

See you in the lobby, kids…

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Monday Morning Wisdom From The Hook.

Yes, technically, it’s Tuesday.

No, you aren’t so hungover that you slept through Monday. Again. And no, you haven’t fallen into an alternate dimension where super-intelligent dolphin overlords keep a restless human populace calm by eradicating things they hate, like Mondays, Justin Bieber, premature ejaculation, people who shame their pets on the interwebs and the Kardashians. I just feel extremely lethargic today so I’m declaring this “virtual Monday” on my blog.

That all right with you lot?  Thanks. This is why I love you all. And now, onto the wisdom portion of our program.

One must have a code of conduct from which to govern their path through this world.

Adhering to said path can be a pain in the ass. In fact, it can be a real bitch at times, but it must be done. A personal code separates us from the animals and other baser life forms.

Like joggers.

That’s it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? What’s that, readers? You don’t have a code? Well then, time for a bonus piece of wisdom.

If you don’t have a code of conduct from which to govern your path through this world, don’t ask others to help you write one. And above all, don’t copy another person’s code.

Codes are deeply personal and attempting to emulate another individual’s code can lead to disaster. Like the time I foolishly decided to copy Mike Tyson’s code when dealing with a drunken guest. Her ear tasted like tequila; I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth for days….

The rest is up to you.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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Pearls (?) of Wisdom From The Hook.

Saturday, April 18, 3 pm.

An over-crowded hotel lobby in Niagara Falls: As I stared out at the massing horde, a specific family caught my attention. And so the following pearl sprung into existence.

“Men (and women, for that matter), never, ever date a cougar with an uber-hot daughter who likes to adorn herself in the uniform of a slutty Catholic schoolgirl. Bad things can only happen.”

Unless you have exceptional self-control, of course.

Which the poor middle-aged bastard I was observing did not posses. At all. This clueless bugger was literally vibrating as he stood off to one side, visibly drooling as his eyes scoured every… single… inch of his girlfriend’s daughter’s young, ridiculously-nubile form.

Here’s an approximation of what this guy was dealing with…

catholic_uniformTo be clear, this image really isn’t far from the reality; this girl may have been a diabolically mad genius who knew exactly what she was doing to her creator’s consort. She paraded back and forth in the lobby as her mom parked the car, all the while, her possible step-dad continued to sweat through his tweed sport coat.

No wonder I love my job.

Care For One More?

There’s always room for one more right?

A young couple was attempting to steer their brood through the lobby, but their rugrats weren’t making it easy. In fact, their youngest boy decided he was going to stop and rest.

In the middle of the lobby.

And when mom tried to move her little demon spawn?

“I’m not moving! And you can’t make me… you she-devil!”

Lord knows where this little thumbscrew picked up that turn of phrase, but it worked; his mother flung her arms in the air (like she just couldn’t be bothered to care), and basically gave up. Personally, if the little guy had called my wife a she-devil, he would have indeed stayed put… but only because his backside had been whacked beyond recognition.

Never let the parenting ship get out of control, young parents. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times and make sure every passenger knows the score. Otherwise, you’ll know exactly how the captain of the Titanic felt.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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