A Journey Across The Wonderland That Is My Life.

Yesterday was a strange day, even by my standards.

First I had to handle an over-enthusiastic stage show producer who I can only assume had three Red Bulls with his crack at breakfast. Honestly, this gentleman made Richard Simmons look like The Pope. He carried down half his luggage, placed it on one of my carts and requested I visit his room to retrieve the rest.

“You could have left everything upstairs, sir,” I reasoned, “I’m going to get the rest of your things anyway.”


I think he was gone, gone, gone.

But he tipped well, so who cares?

My next call began on a strange note: A gentleman in a Boston Red Sox jersey, his young daughter in tow, approached my desk and addressed me in the thickest accent imaginable.

“Hey buddy! You got one of them there carts?”

I took a moment to compose my thoughts (between his accent and images of the events in Boston, I was understandably thrown off my game, though not for long), before I gave him the standard “We’re a full-service property, sir. But I’ll be happy to help you.” speech.

His response threw me off-balance once more.

“I can’t have my own cart? You realize I’m from Boston, right?”

I still don’t know exactly why this gentleman chose to throw the Boston card into play.

Did he feel the events in Boston somehow entitled him to an exemption from hotel policy?

Did he feel the location of his home would elicit a sympathetic response from me?

Did he have breakfast with my previous guest, and if so, was he suffering after-effects?

At any rate, I activated my patented “smart-ass answer mode” and went to work…

“The shirt was my first clue, sir. Plus, you sound like Ben Affleck in The Town.”

My response drew him back to our shared reality, although he stood motionless. And so I took the wheel.

“Just have your daddy call this number when he’s ready to go and we’ll get the bags, okay sweetie?” I handed his cherub-faced daughter a luggage tag and sent them on their way. The gentleman called back a half-hour later – his accent seemed to grow thicker in the interim – and I arrived at his room a mere two minutes later.

“Wow, you Canadian boys are fast!” he exclaimed in a hearty, boisterous tone.

“That’s what she said!” emanated from the back of the room. His wife emerged with their two Bostonian spawn and proceeded to toss bags of various sizes to my position in the hallway from inside the room!

Despite the playing of the Boston card, this was, by all appearances, a very happy family. The wife’s method allowed me to load their cart in thirty seconds. The happy couple however, took far longer to work out their exit strategy…

“Be sure to take that green bag off the cart and put it in the front seat, dear.” the wife instructed.

“Which bag, sweetie?” he countered.

“We only have one green bag, pookie!” (Yes, she actually called him “pookie”.)

“Fine baby, I got it!”

“You sure?”

“I’m sure!”

“You sure you’re sure, sugar dumpling?”

I had had enough.

“He’s sure, honeybunch!”

Fittingly, his mate was stunned, but they recovered in a flash.

“You Canadian boys are quick!” she pronounced.

“Yes, but that’s not what she said!” was my counter.

“Oh!” they hollered!

Once the laughter died down we headed to the parking garage, loaded their “Southie-Mobile” (To be honest, I’m not sure they actually hailed from the South side, but “Southie-Mobile sounds cool.), and my new friend handed over $9 in American funds before thanking me for my Canadian hospitality.

He returned thirty minutes later, huffing puffing, sweating and in a hurry; he exchanged the American for $10 Canadian and disappeared once more.

One word comes to mind as I record these events: Absurd.

The gentleman wasn’t rude or obnoxious, but he was very “on”. The whole incident felt very surreal to me. I know what Alice must have felt while on the other side of the Looking Glass.

Except Alice had long flowing hair.

And girl parts.

Other than that, I was in my own Canadian version of Wonderland. And I wasn’t leaving anytime soon…

Up next was the Real Canadian Housewife whose daughter was “the next Taylor Swift, except I won’t let her bang all those celebrities in order to get song ideas.”


Hospitality protocol dictated I allow myself to be held hostage in the room and watch a seemingly-endless array of homemade videos of this woman’s larvae as she screeched her way through Swift’s entire song catalog.

“She’s something isn’t she?” she beamed, her make-up cracking as her collagen-infused lips arced upwards.

Truthfully, the young lady had a body and stage presence designed for a career in porn, not music, but I had to tread carefully in order to avoid violating both hotel protocol and The Code of Hook.

“I’m sure she’ll go far… if she’s willing to compromise a little.”

“Oh she’s ready, willing and able! She’s already beating off offers from music producers!”

Admittedly, a grin as wide as Texas crossed my lips as the words left her middle-aged throat. I have no doubt her words rang true, in a sense. The only chance her daughter has of succeeding in the music biz lays in beating off music producers.

And my journey across Wonderland continued.

The events in Boston dominated the majority of conversations I engaged in yesterday, most of which were unusual and even downright bizarre.

“You just know a man is responsible for the bombs. It’s always a man. Men have all this unfocused rage that seems to drive them to commit these terrible acts.” This logic sprang from the mind of a fifty-year-old grandmother from Illinois. I wasn’t about to argue.

An examination of the Boston tragedy is far above my station; I am but a simple man who carries luggage for a living, folks. I wish I understood the human psyche well enough to offer a plausible explanation for Monday’s events, but I don’t.

However, I do know this: There will be plenty of empty rhetoric from politicians in the coming days, plenty of media exploitation of every single facet of this situation and in the end, the world will keep spinning and our society will refuse to address just why we seem to produce so many impotent cowards who lash out at innocents rather than face their own demons.

The day held even more strangeness for me, but for some reason I no longer feel like sharing.

Until we meet again, be well, folks.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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61 Responses to A Journey Across The Wonderland That Is My Life.

  1. Pyx says:

    larvae – I like the little nicknames you use for children more than pookie and cupcake there enjoy rotting other people’s teeth.

  2. mairedubhtx says:

    How strange that you have a guest from Boston when we are all dealing with the events in Boston this week. What a strange coincidence! And then to have to deal with the Taylor Swift wanna-be. You get the oddest people in your line of work. You need to start book 2, Robert.

  3. The Cutter says:

    The one thing I’ve noticed about people from Boston is that they really want you to know that they’re from Boston.

    • The Hook says:

      Truer words have never been typed here.

      • And did they tell you? They are from Boston. (lived near there as a kid once…still hesitate to step on green grass from getting shouted at so much about that)
        Tough week everywhere. Almost expected to hear you say you spotted the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat…or maybe you did as they were incognito – and the cat wasn’t grinning.
        Sounds like the baggage is heavier than usual, Hook. Hang in there.
        Parents that do take time with their kids and try to do right by them are golden. You just hope there more of the observant dedicated parents than the others.
        Thanks from all of us

  4. Combat Babe says:

    I never knew “them there” originated from Boston. Aside from the tragedy that happened, I thank you for sharing with us and only feel slightly selfish when I wish you posted multiple times a day. I know, I know that’s just crazy talk.

  5. I was really enjoying your recount of your baggage experience with such an interesting family – so much so that I wished you had ended there and left me with a smile on my face. Perhaps you can write about the events following the Boston Marathon in a separate blog posting.

    • The Hook says:

      My apologies. The post simply flowed from my consciousness and i went with it.
      I won’t be revisiting the Boston situation at all, though: I’m not cut out for such weighty discussions.

  6. Littlesundog says:

    Nice post… rolled along smoothly this morning with my cup o’coffee. Always a pleasant and humorous read, my friend!

  7. Cathy Ulrich says:

    I appreciate your assessment of Monday’s events and I have to say, I agree with you. And I’m glad your recounted your strange day for us. I am so enjoying your writing style and getting to know you.

  8. wisejourney says:

    Thank you for inviting us to join you on your continuing journeys across wonderland

  9. vrbridge says:

    Oh dear,
    You get some strange Americans up there. I promise we aren’t all like that! Anyway, I agree with your last statement. The media has had a field day with Boston, and it’s just going to get worse until something more terrible happens. Sigh, what a world we live in.

  10. MissTiffany says:

    The woman actually made you watch the videos of her daughter singing? (I can see the daughter ducking her head in shame – as any self respecting teenager would in the face of such parental behavior). Wow. And the Boston family…they’re something else. What’s next, will you get a Texan claiming they deserve special treatment because of the fertilizer plant explosion? That’s just odd. Thanks for sharing, these were certainly amusing!

  11. You have such a way with words. I enjoy your posts they usually provide a good chuckle for me from your “adventures”

  12. moi says:

    So they say “That’s what she said” over there too huh, a small world indeed.

  13. Katie says:

    We hate men here in Illinois. We’ve been burned by too many corrupt politicians.

  14. "HE WHO" says:

    You’re like a good book, Hook – always leave us wanting more.

  15. I live (according to Mapquest.com) 161.79 miles from Boston. I deal with the “Southies” on regular basis. But they don’t tip me for shit when I lay some of my homespun Texas humor on them. For example, they ask, “How ah you theah?” I reply, “Finer than frog’s hair split four ways”. They look at me like I came from a foreign country or something. Oh, wait, I *am* from a foreign country – Texas.

  16. twindaddy says:

    “There will be plenty of empty rhetoric from politicians in the coming days, plenty of media exploitation of every single facet of this situation and in the end, the world will keep spinning and our society will refuse to address just why we seem to produce so many impotent cowards who lash out at innocents rather than face their own demons.”

    Yes, yes, and yes. The media is shameless and it’s quite embarrassing that nobody is the least bit offended by the way they operate. And don’t get me started on the politicians….ugh.

  17. TBM says:

    Oh my little suger-booger Hookie, you meet all types.

  18. rebecca2000 says:

    LOL the director sounds addorable and the Boston card is very strange, Pooky.

  19. Cameron says:

    ““Hey buddy! You got one of them the(y)ah cahts?” The “y” sound is optional depending on the specific sub-region of Boston accent, of course.

    Still trying to process the violence from my position of safety not so far from mile 4 or 5 of the marathon route. A few years ago I would have been somewhere along those couple of blocks cheering on runners with the kids I nannied for. The finish line is amazing. Not was. Is.

  20. JackieP says:

    I’ve dealt with the public in retail, which isn’t far off from the hotel biz you are in. We need to keep a civil tongue in our mouth while thinking of what we would really like to say. It was a curse and a blessing dealing with people. I enjoy the crazies and bizarre, without them we would have no interesting characters in our books. As for the insaneness of recent events, I’m like you, I feel so inadequate to say what emotions it brings out. (and Canada has its fair share of pookies and honey bears….just sayin)

  21. LOL. sounds like myself, well the days I’ve had. They’ve been the craziest with the most “interesting” people. I like hearing your days though! They’re more entertaining.

  22. Jennifer says:

    Can I play the Aussie card when I get there…?

  23. Rohan 7 Things says:

    “I’m from Boston”?! Oh my God lol, I should go around saying “I’m Irish…you know, famine, 800 years of slavery and oppression…” People will hijack anything I guess lol. How about “I’m a human from Earth, yeah, THAT Earth!”

    And I definitely agree that the young lady has a bright future in the industry lol!

    Thanks as always for sharing, people just never cease to amaze with what they come out with do they!

    Hope you’re keeping well 🙂


  24. “why we seem to produce so many impotent cowards who lash out at innocents rather than face their own demons.”

    That sentence alone deserves to be Freshly Pressed, Nobel Award Winner, hell, even an Oscar!

    That’s the question everyone should ask themselves: why do we produce so many impotent cowards who lash out at innocents rather than face their own demons?

    I know the answer, but it’s too long for a comment. 🙂

    • The Hook says:

      I smell an award-winning post coming up, Daan.

      • Nope, no place for that on my blog. The world isn’t ready for my opinion. Besides, I devoted my blog entirely to poetry, art, nothing else.

        But you’re more than welcome to share your point of view on the subject! On your blog of course. 😛

  25. I’m with you on this one. It is also above my station. Here in my weird, weird world I am reading your post late. It is Friday morning and in the background is CNN live while the authorities are trying to capture the surviving brother of the brothers who claimed earlier to be the Boston bombers. You are right about the politicians but my dismay is centered around the media. Since 9/11 I have become acutely aware of how bad some of the choices made by people who I have considered my colleagues are. And they are choices. Very poor choices.
    Thank you Hook for sharing your surreal world, if only for awhile, so I can escape from this one.

  26. For the examination of events in Boston being “above your station,” I think you articulated this very well. In fact, it’s probably the most honest and heartfelt thing I’ve read about this tragedy. I enjoy reading your posts, Hook. Not just because they are hilarious (and they are), but also because of your perspective of the human condition. Good stuff 😀

  27. I don’t get Taylor Swift – great great post

  28. Pingback: Pointing Fingers - by Daan van den Bergh - Poetry, Flash-Fiction & Short Stories.

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