The Wisdom of Hook, Observations, ‘Cons and Plugs.

The majority of my guest interactions are limited to the standard formula: I load-up/drop-off the luggage, hopefully receive a tip, answer a question or two and move on. However, on those rare occasions that I share a small piece of my inner being with a guest, amazing things can happen.

Well, at the very least, mildly interesting things…

THE QUESTION: (Posed by a freshly-minted bride after learning I have been with Mrs. Hook for almost twenty years.) “Wow, you’ve been married for 18 years! What’s the secret?”

What, indeed.

THE ANSWER: (My answer, at least.)

“To begin with, be prepared to embrace the notion of Acceptance.”

“As in accepting the other person for who they really are, as opposed to who you want them to be?”

“No, as in accepting the fact that no marriage is perfect. Far from it, in fact. Prepare to feel completely screwed at times, because unless you married a machine you’re going to have to deal with human failings on a regular basis. The trick is to find the right person to screw up with.”


“Really. And be prepared to fight. A lot.”

“Really?” she repeated, giggling all the while.

“Couples that don’t fight are more likely to divorce or step out of the marriage. If you love someone, I mean really love someone, you need to have passion. And passion isn’t limited to the good times.”

“I guess that’s where make-up sex comes in.” she whispered, fearful someone would hear her in a deserted ballroom.

We were packing up the remnants of her wedding extravaganza and her curious mind couldn’t resist picking my brain. And so I shared a few bits of my wisdom concerning the fields of marriage and interpersonal relationships between those who have a penis and those who do not.

1)  When cohabitating with a person of opposite gender, it is best to break wind deliberately. Break the ice, as it were. It’s going to happen anyway, so you might as well take control of your destiny – and bodily functions – and get it over with. 

2)  Guys, always put a gift away in a secure place, for a rainy day when you need a “get out of jail free” card. (Trust me, you never know when its going to pour.)

3)  WOMEN ARE ALWAYS RIGHT.  (If I have to explain this, you’re already dead.)

4)  If you can’t master that which you don’t know, find a friend who can. In my case, this applies to virtually all home repairs. But remember, I mean well.

5)  The past will always return to bite you in the ass, so always try to tell your partner as much of the truth as you can. Personally, this rule has saved my bacon more times than I can count. Lies will sink you, my friends.

DISCLAIMER:  I have been informed by my wife that I do not actually posses “wisdom” per se, I have opinions, some of which are “the ramblings of a dumbass.” In my defense, I am a dumbass who means well.

Moving on…

I rarely write about the inner workings of the micro-reality that is my place of business – which explains why I’m still working here while writing a blog about the hotel biz – but sometimes things happen that are worth bending the rules for.

For example:

1)  We’ve replaced the giant fish tanks in our rooftop restaurant with two 51-inch televisions – that play a loop of fish swimming in a tank.

2)  My job depends on my ability to expedite my duties quickly and efficiently; that becomes next to impossible when my resources are depleted by other departments. While questioning a colleague about missing carts his fellow renovators have appropriated, I found myself fighting the urge to bang my head slowly and quietly against the basement walls.

“No sir, I don’t have ’em!” was my colleague’s “honest” response. No sooner had the words left his forked tongue when my eyes caught a glimpse of three familiar sets of wheels rolling by at the end of the hall…

Thirty minutes later, three carts had been recovered. Thirty-one minutes later I remembered the limitations of my pay grade. I’m not the guy who gets paid to worry about such matters and so I’ve resolved to let others sweat the small stuff. 

3)  A group of squealing teenage girls spent a full twenty minutes drooling at the site of a construction worker slicing up metal braces with a motorized saw.  (And you’re correct if you’re assuming my knowledge of power tools is quite limited.)  The young ladies were hypnotized and released a series of high-pitched screams as sparks flew across his manly frame. (Honestly, their combined pitch had every canine within thirty miles howling like a group married men at a bachelor party. In Vegas.)

“That’s so cool!” they giggled in unison. “You really know what you’re doing!”

“Well, I know how to handle my tool!” was his porn star-worthy retort.

He then lifted a Tim Hortons coffee to his lips, walked away…. and tripped over a pile of rubble as he looked back at his pack of followers.

I love my job and the point of view it affords me.

Be well, my friends.


June is in sight, my friends, so here is another plug for what is sure to the kick-ass event of The Hook’s summer…

It's Nerdrific!


Little Miss Wordy  has written a book. What else do you need to know? Okay, a little , maybe. Take it away, Miss Wordy…

Red Circle Days

This week I finally received complimentary copies of my book, Red Circle Days. I can’t begin to express what it feels like to hold my published book in my hands, see my words in print, my face on the back cover!

We all have dreams, and as we strive to make those dreams a reality the road is ever-changing. The smoothly paved stretches can be encouraging yet also deceiving at times, causing us to relax a bit and slow our pace, never anticipating the mountainous climb that awaits just around the bend. As we turn the corner and come face to face with yet another obstacle on our path, another winding twist, we take pause and wonder if we have what it takes to continue the journey.

In light of this reality, we question our very dream, the dream that at one time energized, lit a fire in us that we vowed nothing and no one would ever extinguish. It is when the climb is the steepest, that we allow the thought of quitting to enter our mind, overshadowing all the visions we spent so much time playing and replaying in our mind, like the reel on an old plastic viewfinder…each click an indicator that we’ve left one image behind for our eyes to focus on another, yet each image is part of the bigger picture we must always keep in our line of vision.

In that moment, the moment of doubt, the moment of questioning, the moment of fear, we may slow down or even come to a complete stop – weighed down with insecurity. The important thing is to take a deep breath, revisit that technicolored dream and allow ourselves to believe once more.

Those of you who have expressed an interest in a signed copy of the book, please contact me directly to place your order. Those who have already purchased a copy, I thank you for making me one of the Publisher’s Top Sellers right now, but even more for your support!

If you haven’t gotten a copy, here are a few options: AmazonKindleNook, the Apple iBookstore, and Sarah Book Publishing.


May 9 has come and gone, so put aside the gas bill and your kid’s college fund contribution and pick up Leanne Shirtliffe’s first literary offering…


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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72 Responses to The Wisdom of Hook, Observations, ‘Cons and Plugs.

  1. Wise words indeed on marriage

  2. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the laugh as I head off to dream land. I love your wife and whatever wisdom you possess was written at number 3!

  3. PigLove says:

    We all at the Hotel Thompson absolutely love your blog. We find it very enlightening and informative in the ways of the world. Dad has something to add on the marriage part. He said that a very old and wise man told him on his wedding day to mom, “Son, you can be right or you can be happy. You can’t be both. Choose wisely.” Snort – he hasn’t been right a day in his life at the Hotel Thompson – sorry mom 😉 BUT he has been happy 🙂 🙂

  4. loiswstern says:

    You never cease to leave me with a smile on my face. So before I leave to get my finger and toe nail painted this morning, I’ll share a tidbit on marriage from one who has been in the trenches for quite a while. My husband tells it as it is: “Lois remembers everything best that I wish she would forget;” He’s right on that score!

  5. Did you mention a Dumbass up there ^^^ ? 🙂

  6. We’ve been married 18 years as well, and just this weekend we were imparting our wisdom on marriage over dinner with friends. It sounded very much like your own tips here.

    ComicCon!!!! We are going this month and we couldn’t be more excited! I’ve actually never been so am a bit giddy over it.

  7. Cathy Ulrich says:

    All great tips, Robert, but my favorite is number 3!

  8. Whenever my wife wants to divorce me I just dry-hump her brains out and squeeze her boobs. After that she usually forgets about the whole thing.

  9. Katie says:

    Excellent tips, but about breaking wind–NO! Just blame the dog always. My boyfriend has other thoughts on this matter… He broke wind on our first date.

    I’m also very excited about Red Circle Days. Little Miss Wordy is one of my faves.

  10. Yup – ya gotta get over the wind-breaking issue quickly. You could be a couples counselor if you get bored of looped fish play.

  11. MissTiffany says:

    Love the tips on marriage – I think there are lots of young couples (and older ones!) who would find these words useful. I don’t see marriage in my near future, but hopefully someday. I’ll keep these words in mind.
    Also, applying these rules to to a non-marriage situation, I tried to tell my manager about rule #3 while were were perfecting a design yesterday, but he didn’t want to believe me. When it turned out that a few minutes later I was right and he was wrong, I just smiled smugly.

    Thanks for making me smile today.

  12. El Guapo says:

    For my girl and I, the list also includes don’t go to bed angry, and say I love you. A lot.

  13. twindaddy says:

    Eh….I’m done with marriage. You’re lucky to have found someone who’s willing to work with you to make a marriage successful.

  14. mairedubhtx says:

    You are absolutely spot on about the fighting. My ex-husband and I NEVER fought. It was not good for our marriage. I should have fought but I didn’t. It probably would have ended my marriage sooner, which would have been a good thing, because it was a very toxic relationship. Who knows? I just know we didn’t fight, which isn’t normal and isn’t healthy.

  15. “3) WOMEN ARE ALWAYS RIGHT. (If I have to explain this, you’re already dead.)”
    In my books, that right there, takes you off the “dumbass list” and puts you at the top of the “wise words of wisdom” list.
    I have to laugh at the replacement of the fish tanks with video of fish swimming in fish tanks. One of the funniest posts my nephew ever put on facebook was of his parents watching the burning Yule log station on their flatscreen that was placed beside their not burning fireplace. I laughed all through Christmas.

  16. Next you’ll have a crate and a sign like Lucy in Charlie Brown. Advice just as worthy

  17. MissFourEyes says:

    I really loved your bits of my wisdom on marriage. Especially #1,2 & 3. What can I say, they were so brilliant I couldn’t pick just one.

  18. Chatty Owl says:

    Throwing china across rooms doesn’t make me feel guilty anymore. Phew.

  19. djmatticus says:

    That always used to happen to me… I’d be doing something I’m good at (dj’ing for instance) and someone would compliment me and I’d take it in stride… and then promptly trip over something or run into something or… Yeah, oops. So, I just stopped doing the stuff I was good at so I didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

  20. MJ says:

    no. 1 on your list made me LOL! OMG…so, so, so funny. I think my husband would agree with you on that one. Me, on the other hand….well, there’s a blog post there…Loved it…xo, J

    • The Hook says:

      Thanks, MJ!
      I consider you a good judge of blogging character!

      • MJ says:

        Why, thank you! ::whispering:: A slow moment at work? I’m resting from vacuuming the Lair…that would be where the teens abide…upstairs. Lawrd…what do they DO up there? Wait…do NOT answer that. Just…don’t.

      • The Hook says:

        I won’t, trust me!
        And I’m at home, waiting for the Doctor Who season finale to start. My daughter and I can’t wait!

      • MJ says:

        Aaaw, man!!!! First Star Trek and now this! You know what you are? You’re a tease! Okay, okay…AHEM…I hope you have an awesome evening with your daughter. May it be free of Cybermen, invasions, and unexpected, tearful endings where beloved characters are made to live in another dimension and fangirls everywhere weep for days….

      • The Hook says:

        I won’t spoil it, but it was mind-blowing, MJ!

  21. Lily says:

    Haha what a great list! You sound like a pro. It’s true about women being right. Even when we’re wrong, we’re right.
    I’ve never been to a comic con. They seem fun though!

  22. renxkyoko says:

    Re your thoughts on marriage…. You’ve just confirmed my belief that you really are a good man, a good dad, and a great husband, Mr. Hook. The Missus is sooo lucky to have you. * touched and misty eyed*

  23. Very wonderful advice/opinions/blatherings. I have not found someone who will put up a fight for me, or with me. You are so right, that part IS inevitable and IMPORTANT because the good stuff is just the icing, its the bad stuff you gotta wade through. Cheers! (I love a man who knows how to use his tools too.)

  24. Ah…good advice as always Hook 🙂

  25. Cayman Thorn says:

    You’re a better looking Yoda, tell you that. And even as a bachelor, I wholeheartedly agree with #3. If I don’t, my girlfriend will introduce me to her own personal octagon.

  26. Theasaurus says:

    “We’ve replaced the giant fish tanks in our rooftop restaurant with two 51-inch televisions – that play a loop of fish swimming in a tank.” – I laughed out loud for a good while at this, but stopped as I thought: “What’s the world coming to?”

    And then I read the power tool scene. Gold.

  27. wisejourney says:

    Embrace acceptance- spot on !

  28. Katalina4 says:

    One of my most favorite people, A, has a story about going on a great date with a wonderful guy, and walking to his place after the meal and as they walked through the night, she farted. He was disgusted. A big fight ensued. Back at his place,still fighting, he insisted that by farting she had ruined the meal. Furious, she made for the front door. He realized this was it, he was about to lose her, and he blocked the front door. Relented. Said, Okay, maybe farting wasn’t the end of the world after all. They’ve been married 30 years now.

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