The Past is Behind Us. The Future is Out of Reach. So Live for Today.

What a difference twenty-four hours makes.

The post you’re about to read was written a day ago, and in that time the wife and myself have visited a medical professional who has cut through the uncertainty and fear that has been the order of the day for the past three weeks.

“We often make issues out of non-issues. Sometimes a spot on a scan is just that.” he declared, his words lifting a weight from my wife’s shoulders.

“Could you develop breast cancer in the future?” he asked her. “Possibly, but you could also get hit by a bus after leaving my office. So why live in fear of either one?”

Why indeed?

“We’ll follow up in six months. In the meantime, go live your life.”

So at the end of the day, I can finally write the following words with absolute certainty: the crisis is finally over.

“All we have is today, so I’m going to do whatever I want, when I want.” she spoke those words through a radiant smile that could light the Falls themselves.

My wife is back, folks.

You have no idea how much I’ve missed her.

We’ll be spending this weekend on hiatus from reality, which in this case means we’ll be exploring the streets of Toronto the Good. Wish us a happy mini-vacation, friends, we’ve earned it.


The Hook of old is still lost in a haze. As he wanders the wastelands of Limbo, he catches glimpses of the “real world” – though thankfully, not the MTV version – and it appears to be a  reality under siege.

Kimye has finally unleashed the harbinger of the coming apocalypse. 

A new, conflicted, Überdestructive version of the Man of Steel is ripping through global multiplexes.

The Marvel Universe is broken.

My link to the world I left behind several weeks ago has yet to fully re-materialize, but I have entered the fray that is summer in Niagara, nonetheless.

The last few revolutions of that burning orb we call the sun have signaled the onset of the summer season. The usual suspects have arrived.

  • Fifty Shades-crazed, frantic housewives.
  • Drunken fathers who have little interest in being dads.
  • Frat boys.
  • Bachelorettes.
  • Conference douchecopters.
  • The French.
  • Even the happy, well-adjusted, generous travelers I seldom write about.

Summer in a luxury hotel is unlike summer anywhere else in the world. You go to battle every day. You fight to keep that smile on your guests’ faces. You fight to keep the line moving. You fight to make a buck.

The Dogs of War have been unleashed in Niagara, readers.

Pray for me.

The weeks to come will no doubt be filled with tales from the hospitality trenches. In the meantime, here’s a list. Everyone loves my lists, right? They’re like Mom’s apple pie, but less fattening and they aren’t accompanied by a lecture about how you screwed your life up…

Top Ten Questions People Ask Me About Being A Bellman In Niagara Falls

1)  “Have you ever served anyone famous? Like maybe Steve Guttenberg?”  (I love nuns who restrict heir viewing habits to flicks like “Three Men And A Little lady.”

2)  “Do they really shut the Falls off at night?”  A classic. Unfortunately.

3)  “How much do you make?”  A bellman, regardless of where he’s stationed. will never answer this question; he’l simply roll his eyes and give you as look of hauty derision   (IRS agents have computers, people.)

4)  “Have you ever walked in on someone having sex?”  By the way, the answer is “Oh yeah!”

5)  “Are Canadians really nice? Or is that just a myth like Bigfoot or the female orgasm?  This question was posed by an American, of course. I punched him in the throat.

6)  “Do people actually tip you guys for carrying their luggage? I’d never do that!”  This question was posed by a saintly old grandmother. I found another old lady to punch her in the throat.

7)  “You’re a bellman? And you haven’t killed yourself yet?”

8)  “You’re what? A bellman? You mean you work for a telephone company here in the hotel?”

9)  “People actually ask other people to carry their bags? For real?”

And my personal favorite, simply because I’ve actually heard it – or a variation thereof – more than once…

10)  “Bellman can score things for people, right? Like, can you get me a dozen hookers, some blow and handgun? Oh, and a human kidney, can you get me one of those?”  (You gotta love Quentin Tarantino, right?)

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.
This entry was posted in Hotel Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

123 Responses to The Past is Behind Us. The Future is Out of Reach. So Live for Today.

  1. I’m glad to hear about your wife. That must be such a relief.
    Also, thanks for punching that American in the throat so I didn’t have to fly down and do it.

  2. MishaBurnett says:

    First off, I am so glad to hear that the news from the doctor was good. I had you guys on my prayer wall.

    Next, it’s not just QT–he was only one of four directors:

  3. Katie says:

    This is great news, Hook. Glad you can breathe a little easier.

    I was going to tell you to turn off the Falls to celebrate, but apparently…

  4. That is awesome news! I’m sure you and your wife both feel like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders! Go celebrate and enjoy your mini-vacation! 🙂 You two deserve it!

  5. djmatticus says:

    Hooray for happy news! Enjoy your mini-vacation, you have, indeed, earned it! I laughed out loud at #5. Those crazy yanks… hmm, okay, yeah, I’m crazy, it fits.

  6. Glad to hear the good news, and you should absolutely celebrate. Come to think of it, we should all celebrate and stop worrying about what might be (I know, much easier said than done)!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Fan-blood-tastic!!! Have a great mini holiday, and good to see some funny stuff, #2 really?!

  8. Outstanding news!!! Prayers answered! Now go have some fun, my Friend!

  9. Nadia says:

    I swore I’d stay away from WordPress, but it’s hard when you write a post. First of all, fantastic news about your wife! I hope you enjoy the weekend away. Secondly, I’ll pray for you during the coming weeks. Actually, when I look at your list, I’ll pray for every bellman out there. Number 2 almost killed me. Looking forward to hearing your tales.

  10. The Waiting says:

    That is wonderful news, Hook. You guys have an awesome trip and relish every second of it.

  11. I read the entire post – but have to admit it was all a blur after the first section. YES! Cheers – and have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Honie Briggs says:

    “All we have is today, so I’m going to do whatever I want, when I want.” I’ve said those same words myself. What an awesome, liberating feeling it was to say them for all the right reasons and truly mean it! Terrific attitude! Terrific news!

  13. Glad to hear your good news Hook, enjoy your mini vacation!

  14. List of X says:

    Glad to hear about your wife!
    But I have a question #11: just how often do people get punched in the throat at your hotel??

  15. I’m so happy to read about your good news!! Best to your wife and hope you can enjoy some stress-free moments!! Every minute is precious.

  16. JackieP says:

    This is great news for your wife and you. Yea! I know your wife said those words for herself, but when I read them I said to myself…”She’s right! This is what I needed to hear today!” so thank your wife for me for saying something that I desperately needed to hear today. Have a wonderful mini vacation!

  17. lidipiri says:

    What an incredible wonderful relief about your wife!!!!!
    Enjoy your time off and the beginning of life lived a little bit more fully!

  18. Daile says:

    Phew – glad to hear that about Mrs Hook. Enjoy yourselves you crazy kids!

    I want to punch most Americans in the throat

  19. unfetteredbs says:

    I wish you a magical happy mini-vacation. And I am giving thanks for your good news.
    Be well …Audra

  20. This is hilarious, Hook! Punch in the throat! Man! That’s gotta sting–even from an old lady!

  21. renxkyoko says:

    Oh, my gosh, I knew it ! It’s the big C scare ! ! And your wife is okay ! ! ! I’m so relieved , Mr. Hook ! ! ! If I could be scared like that, and I’m a complete stranger, I can just imagine what you had just gone through, you and the missus. I’m so glad your wife is okay, Mr. Hook ! ! ! !

  22. twindaddy says:

    This is great news, Hook! Enjoy your weekend!

  23. Cameron says:

    Oh, ENJOY your mini-break. So glad for you all!

  24. susielindau says:

    I am so relieved to hear that your wife is cancer-free! Enjoy each day as it is a gift and your mini-vaca. Put all of this behind you!

    • The Hook says:

      This trip is the first step, Susie.
      My wife will relive this situation every six months, but she’ll grow stronger as well. You’ve become a source of inspiration to us both and we can never thank you enough.
      Be well.

  25. rebecca2000 says:

    I’m so glad she is okay. ((Hugs)) for the grief you both went through.

  26. 1jaded1 says:

    Im so happy for you and your wife…the WP goblins were listening in the lunchroom. One of my coworkers husband has a brain tumor. He is doing better, but, understandably worried. She’s like hon, a bus could darn flatten you as we walk outta this door.

    Again, so glad your wife is doing well.

  27. So happy to hear about your wife! I tried to get into the remainder of the post (and did indeed chuckle at the throat-punching comment), but I was too excited by the opener to give the remainder my full attention.

  28. Pyx says:

    Nothing says Canadian (to an American) like a good ole’ throat punch!
    Hold on and have fun with the wife, this means you both get to live each day with each other.
    Good news. Thankful for the update.

  29. Chatty Owl says:

    So glad your wife is fine! What a relief! Go have fun holiday!

  30. Great news – make sure that new mantra is followed! I would go to jelly in Guttenberg’s presence so I know how the abbess feels

  31. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Great news about your wife mate, that doctor sounds like a very wise dude! Enjoy your weekend, buy have you guys earned it!

    Lol, list was great as always. So really though, do you turn the falls off at night? Where’s the switch?


  32. Great great great news about your wife!!!
    Happy well earned vacation!!! 🙂
    PS: what a list!

  33. mairedubhtx says:

    Robert, I’m so glad there was good news for Jackie! And have a lovely mini-vacation. As for your list, when I was living in Niagara Falls and going to university, I actually heard #2 from friends and relatives who should have known better. Amazing!

  34. Pixie Girl says:

    Such great news about your wife! I’m glad it turned out to be just a scare – it would be better if it was never there, but still, very happy.

  35. jmlindy422 says:

    Such a relief. I’m so happy for you and your wife. Oh, hell, I’m happy for everyone, everywhere. Wait. No. I’m not. There’s a long list of people I’m not happy for or about. So, is it true? Can you get a guy a dozen hookers? ‘Cause then I’ll know where to turn when I need a dozen hookers. Pretty sure I can find blow on my own if I ask around a bit.

  36. elenamusic says:

    I’m glad to hear all is well with your wife. My mom died of breast cancer when she was 50. She was Canadian too. It’s good to catch it early, because you have a better chance of defeating it than later on, and it’s good to keep up on things just in case.

    • The Hook says:

      My wife’s mother and her aunt both developed breast cancer, so she knows the value of early detection. Thanks for the continued support, old friend.
      My heart goes out to anyone who has lost their mom, by the way.
      Be well.

      • My mom passed away 11 years ago after developing breast cancer twice so I definitely know the value of having early detection. This experience has taught me to live your dreams to their fullest.

  37. I can’t tell you how happy I am to read your good news. Sometimes the worrying and wondering can be far worse…especially if you have an active imagination.
    As a fellow Niagara Falls person I have heard many of those questions, usually in whatever bar I was working at the time. The weirdness is widespread in Niagara. I love it.
    Have a wonderful mini-cation in TO. Give your lovely wife a hug for me will you?

  38. Michael says:

    Hooray! That is indeed awesome news. 🙂

    Also, it seems Kimye’s harbinger of the apocalypse is named North West. Oy.

  39. dererzahlernc says:

    I have been away for a while, so I am only just now reading about your scare. Glad to see all is well with your wife.

    • The Hook says:

      Thanks for the support and good wishes, old friend.
      Don’t feel too bad about your absence, I’ve had little time to visit your kick-ass site as well, but I’ll be by soon. I promise!

  40. Kayjai says:

    Great news, Hook! Enjoy your trip and keep well….and tip the Bellman, dammit! Gawd….

  41. Me either…very soon and then off to our MINI-VACATION!!!

  42. Thank you everyone for your kind words and prayers. We are so relieved to get good news from the doctor. I do have to have mammograms every 6 months to see if anything changes but in the mean time I can finally breath and enjoy my summer. I lost my mom to breast cancer 11 years ago, she did develop it twice and then passed from liver cancer. I also lost my brother 5 years ago from bladder cancer and also other close relatives. This experience has opened my eyes to see things differently. You have to live for today and follow your dreams to the fullest that you possibly can and that’s what I plan on doing. 😉

  43. Littlesundog says:

    Enjoy the weekend my friend… I’m so happy to hear the good news!

  44. iRuniBreathe says:

    Good news. Great news! Great relief! So glad to hear the news is positively positive.
    So funny what a little water between two countries does to the mind. Why is it that those southern neighbours always ask the “nice” questions?

  45. MissFourEyes says:

    Hooray for the great news! That is fantastic! Hope you’re enjoying your mini-vacation 🙂
    What? They don’t turn off the falls? It’s just on ALL night?!

  46. douchecopters.- Your Word of the Week. Fucking hysterical. Loved the list, and as you know have suffered your pain in a past life, which is why I litteraly laugh out loud, with the occassional snort, when reading your posts.

    Thank god your wife is okay. Scary stuff. Have fun and be well!

  47. moi says:

    Great news about your Wife hook, enjoy your weekend together.

  48. Diane C says:

    Robert, I am so happy for the both of you. Living life for today is the lesson that we should all learn – I’m sorry it was such a difficult one.
    As for you list…#5 killed me. Myth of the female orgasm??? Man o man, I bet that guy has been married and divorced at record speed at least three times.

  49. Phew! Hook, thank god for that. Enjoy yourselves in Toronto!! Lots of mythbusting, let’s hope.

  50. Cayman Thorn says:

    Great news, Mr. Hook. Keep on keeping on, service industry soldier. You da man.

  51. TBM says:

    Great news Hook! I hope you two are having a fab time. And if I take the effort to turn off the water when brushing my teeth, why can’t Niagara turn off the falls at night?

  52. Great news! Enjoy the mini-vacation!

  53. >“Could you develop breast cancer in the future?” he asked her. “Possibly, but you could also get hit by a bus after leaving my office. So why live in fear of either one?”
    – On the head – bang!

    About four years ago, when Big Sis, her husband, Godbaby and I discussed Big Sis’ mastectomy and re-construction with her surgeon, he told us about a study that was done in Sweden around that time.

    Autopsy tests on the bodies of traffic accident victims revealed that 70% of the cases had some form of undetected cancer. And they all died in accidents.

    Which goes to prove that cancer is not always the cantankerous crab that claims us.

    And since you’re in a better frame of mind, I’ll be me frivolous self that you encourage and say – when you gotta go, you gotta go.

    Which is why I live by

    Your words: “So Live for Today.”


    Vampire Lover’s words: “and follow your dreams to the fullest that you possibly can.”


    P.S.: Now you’ll never know if Vampire Lover would get to adopt a Lolita of her own. D#mn. 😉

  54. giselzitrone says:

    Lieber Gruß lieber Hook und eine gute Woche für dich.Gislinde

  55. Pingback: Comment Ça Va? | For You, Daddy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s