As per usual, the day started quiet, but nutty, with four consecutive people approaching the Bell Desk and pleading “May I borrow a cart?”
Of course, you have to answer politely and explain the whole “Full Service” concept to people whose idea of culture is to dine at a restaurant that doesn’t have a drive-thru! In total, there were nine such requests by 10 am!
As for my first call of the day, it consisted of two families that had their luggage waiting in the hall when I arrived, along with two crisp American ten-dollar bills.
And no, I didn’t faint.
Of course, Fate was just setting me up for call #2: a Yugoslavian Tony Soprano, sporting a wife-beater t-shirt and shouting “You take this for now and I call you later for rest. Wife is downstairs waiting!”
He then handed me a hamster cage – with the hamster! Funny thing though, the little fella stayed hidden in his little clown house (I swear, it had clowns all over it!), until we were clear of the room. He then emerged and proceeded to pull a Spiderman, scaling his cage and checking out the sights and sounds of humanity!
We arrived at the van and the wife, sporting an Old Country headband and outfit, began running around like she was on fire!
OLD COUNTRY WIFE: I am in big hurry!
THE HOOK: I noticed. I’ll take care of everything. You can just take the cage for me….
But the little guy had retreated back to Clown Town! I was going to comment on the effect her family seemed to have on rodents, but I decided against arousing her wrath. Still, the Old Country rodent was actually normal compared to what happened next.
A young, white wannabe rapper sauntered up to the desk, shirtless, his pants hanging low, and sporting a bandaged hand. Oh, and he even had a bunch of moronic tattoos and a cap. I think he was hoping to be recruited for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
WHITE BREAD PUNK: Hey Boss, can I get some gauze and a bandage?
Wouldn’t you know it? I had nothing in my quiver, no witty zinger to fire his way. We just fixed him up and sent him on his way, hopeful he would run into some real brothers who would go medieval on his white bread ass!
We then had a drunk (at least I hope he was drunk, and not just retarded!), in cargo shorts, his hands firmly entrenched in his deep pockets, who asked where he could find breakfast in the hotel. The funny thing is, he would have had to walk right past our buffet to find the Bell Desk!
There was a lightning strike that set off the fire alarm the night before; I think it set off the gates at the Looney Bin! The tide of weirdness just kept rising.
A young European couple were kissing rather passionately, which is certainly fine, except for the fact they were in line for the Front Desk at the time! He finally broke it off, but I noticed she began to lick her lips and develop a wild look in her eyes. She grabbed him by the back of the neck, but this time she seemed to actually be licking something off his lips. Sure enough, I noticed he had a canister of Pringle’s chips in his bag!
Imagine the new ad campaign? “Pringle’s, flavor so intense, you’ll do ANYTHING to get it!”
I love Sundays.
MONDAY, SEPT. 5 a.k.a. LABOUR DAY!!!
The big day has finally arrived; the season’s last act of madness before falling to the power of Fall and (shudder!), Winter. Let me tell you people, Summer didn’t go without a fight.
I walked into the lobby at 6:30 am and I thought I was in a bus terminal or airport – there were people sleeping, with pillows and blankets no less, on every bench in the hotel! A power interruption had knocked out the elevators in our largest tower at 4 am and so Front Desk had handed out pillows and blankets to whoever had chosen not to walk up.
The problem was rectified, three hours later! Needless to say, we expected people to be as warm as Simon Cowell when they started departing the hotel in droves, but it wasn’t the lack of hydro that set the crowds off…
ANGRY GUEST #1: (After entering a crowded elevator, with kids) What’s wrong with the elevators, man?
THE HOOK: We have over 800 departures this morning sir.
AG #1: And they’re all leaving NOW?
THE HOOK: (Looking around the full elevator car) Apparently, sir. When you see the lobby you’ll notice hundreds of people waiting for their cars and bags. You’re all in the same boat at the moment.
AG #1: THAT’S BULL!
THE HOOK:(Looking down at a little Asian baby boy just chillin’ in his stroller, sucking his thumb) Stay just as you are, right now! Don’t grow up and get old, grumpy and rude – at 10 am on a holiday!
The captive audience all roared. Especially when the next gearbox got on the elevator.
ANGRY GUEST #2: Hey Bud! Why’s it so busy on the elevators right now?
And the hits just kept on coming. Oddly enough, the rush built to a fevered pitch until about 11:30 and then… nothing. Labour day became “Nothing Day”, as in nothing was going on. It was eerie actually.
There was still plenty of nuttiness to go around, though. Like this little bit of fun I had at check-in time.
THE HOOK: Bell Desk. How may I help you?
FEMALE GUEST: Yes, I just wanted to let you know we were in our room…
THE HOOK: Thank you for letting us know, miss! (And I promptly hung up!)
I would have killed to see the look on her face! I called right back, and she was still laughing, fully immersed in the humor of the situation. Thank the Lord for good sports, right? My next guest was equally good-natured.
PERKY FEMALE GUEST: (On the phone) Yes, we’re in..
THE HOOK: Room 3054, I just need your tag number for the bags and we’ll get them right up to you.
PFG: Look at you! You know our room number and everything! You probably know our tag number too, don’t you?
THE HOOK: Hang on, I’m not Kreskin! I just happen to be able to read the display on the phone!
She continued to chuckle, proving once again, that I can actually have pleasant encounters with guests!
Not only was this a welcome respite from my usual mind-numbing routine, but it was Sarah’s first day at a new school! She actually raised her game since last year – it didn’t take a team of Clydesdales to get her out of bed – and she was ready for whatever her new educational institution had to offer.
But I wasn’t.
I’m very proud of my daughter and the young woman she’s quickly becoming, I just wish her personal evolutionary process would slow down. But it doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.
New comics, including the “New” New Teen Titans! Pizza! Pork chops for dinner! A night out with the Bell Department! And plenty of exclamation marks!!!