Conversations With The Hook: The Lightning Round.

As I compose this message to you, my friends, the day has barely begun; the last remnants of the midnight fog are fading, burned off by the relentless rays of the morning sun. The Sunday morning rush has yet to erupt into a full-blown Chernobyl-level catastrophic event, but that doesn’t mean things are completely uneventful.

Take this departing guest for example: this balding, pasty, slept-with-one-woman-his-entire-life-and married-her-but-she-turned-out-to-be-a-harpy, little white guy had no idea of just what the concept of a vacation should encompass….

“We came here because we wanted to feel right at home, but no one made us feel that way!”

My answer was surgically delivered, designed to cut through the BS and reveal the heart of the matter, “You wanted to feel at home?” I queried, feigning confusion for a moment. “Is your home a one-hundred-million-dollar hotel situated within walking distance of one of Mother Nature’s greatest creations, sir?”

He actually had to think about it, and even then, he wasn’t fully committed to his answer, “Uh.. no?”

“You see, sir,” someone needed to enlighten this poor schmuck and as you know, gentle readers, I live to serve lesser minds,”I can’t say for certain, but I’m willing to bet your house sucks -“

“It does suck! But how’d you know that?”

Trust me, folks, one look at this guy and even a Kardashian would know the score.

“I knew that because you’re a 99 Percenter like me, and our houses, and our lives, for the most part, suck. Between mortgage payments, workplace drama, twerking, unrealized ambitions, Miley Cyrus, erectile dysfunction, Justin Bieber, government shutdowns, mortality, and a genral feeling of hopelessness, we can’t catch a break. So we travel in search of an oasis, a safe haven from our troubles and worries. And that haven, sir, should be NOTHING like home.”

(And yes, I was forced to draw a lungful of breath back into my body after that speech. Not having super powers sucks. By the way, my life doesn’t suck, but my role as a bellman requires I establish a rapport with guests using an artificial truth that places us on a level playing field.)

My lesson slowly sunk in. And when I say, slowly, I mean it; you could literally hear my words make their way through layers of flesh, bone, memories of NASCAR reruns and other snapshots of this poor man’s hundrum existence.

“You know what, boss?” I knew exactly just what my new friend was about to say. If I could adapt my powers to games of chance, I could wipe Vegas out. “You’re pretty smart! I bet you’ve seen a lot, too.” He then made a declaration that, in his mind, was revolutionary, “HEY! You should write a book!”

“Not a bad idea, sir. No one’s ever told me that before.” was the standard answer I’ve used countless times before.

And remember, folks, this was the first call of the day. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead over the next eight hours….

And that’s all for now, friends. For some of you, it is Thanksgiving weekend. For those souls who mark such events with gluttonous feasts and family gatherings guaranteed to degenerate into verbal and sometimes physical, throwdowns… I wish you all the best. You poor bastards.

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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82 Responses to Conversations With The Hook: The Lightning Round.

  1. List of X says:

    Wait, you aren’t affected by our shutdown, are you? Or did US Park Service show up and rope off all of Niagara Falls?

  2. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I feel your pain. Different industry, different phone calls, but the whole expectation vs experience of customers/clients/coworkers knows no bounds. Good luck with the rest of the day.

  3. 1jaded1 says:

    First call of the day, huh? Things can only get better? Hope all else is going well, my friend.

  4. susielindau says:

    I LOVE it. The philosophical bellman!

  5. bardictale says:

    Oh dear…hope the rest of the day was better.
    Or that you got to deliver more of your awesome wisdom on unsuspecting philistines. I guess that would be ok too, yeah?

  6. Well played, Hook, well played. When I am on vacation the very last thing I would want is for it to be anything like home. He-who and I are part of the work weekends and Holidays clan as well, so thankfully no throw downs but I can’t guarantee the gluttony part. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

  7. Ya picked him up, dusted him off and sent him on his way with more appropriate perspective. Pretty good for the first of the day. Real Hook Style. Hope things are rolling easily the rest of the day.

  8. “You should write a book!” Too funny!! Happy Thanksgiving, Hook. 🙂

  9. Cayman Thorn says:

    Everyone gets to the dance in their own due time. This fellow needed a lift in getting there, and you gave him a ride. Well done, my man.

  10. Jennifer says:

    You know what, that’s a great idea. But never mind just one, how about writing two!!!

  11. JackieP says:

    Ah, the joys of dealing with the public. Sigh. I used to work retail, so yeah I’ve had a few. Drinks. ha! Have a great Thanksgiving Hookster.

  12. On behalf of lesser minds everywhere, but especially there, I thank you for your service. Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. Ah, some people have blood running through their veins and others, my friend, ink… like you (if that wasn’t clear!!). As for the loop (HEY! You should write a book!), I hope it soon changes to: HEY! You’re the one with the best sellers (notice the plural!), aren’t you?! 🙂 Have a great day!

  14. Lindsay says:

    Well, turns out EVERYONE knows you are a writer. Even NASCAR fans. Well played, Mr Hook.

  15. bfg666 says:

    This comment is in no way designed to silence that delightful voice of yours, but you seem pretty mouthy for someone supposedly on hiatus… I don’t think any of us could complain, though.

  16. He left home to feel right at home. That makes sense. That’s exactly what I do when I want to feel at home. Some people might light a fire and roast a chicken, you know, but I prefer to travel to Niagra Falls because nothing says “home” like a tourist destination. The next time I want to feel at home, I’m going to NYE in NYC.

  17. stephrogers says:

    Oh the scene as it slowly sunk in! How I laughed! Thank you. I really REALLY needed a laugh today. And yes I’m yelling. It’s been one of those days.

  18. I think counselling could be your calling! Spot on.

  19. Katie says:

    I’m thankful everyday I don’t engage with customers face-to-face at my job.

  20. Speaking of your book! I’ve been taking your book to work with me this week (as I’ve been in one of the behind-the-scenes bars where no server walks and I therefore have 8 hours to sit and read).

    So one of the bartenders forgot a book Saturday and I lent her yours.

    Needless to say, servers kept walking into my bar reporting hearing uproarous laughter from that section of the casino. And the other bartenders have had various passages read to them – and were caught chuckling randomly to themselves at various points in the night.

    Sir, you are absurdly popular among the customer service crowd 😉

    • The Hook says:

      You define the word “friend”, GiggsMcGill Jill.
      Honestly, I’ve been pretty down on myself lately where the subject of the book is concerned, and your words couldn’t have been more timely – or appreciated. I have evolved by leaps and bounds as a writer since The Bellman Chronicles was released and as i begin to construct a second volume, I can see where I’ve gone wrong.
      I promise you this: the second book – when it is finally complete, which won’t be too soon – will be a vast improvement over the first.
      Again, a hearty thank you to you and your colleagues for boosting my spirits. One last thing: if at all possible, could you tell your colleagues to tell a friend about The Hook and his ramblings? I could use the positive word of mouth.
      P.S., YOU’RE THE BEST!!!

      • I don’t think I’ll have to encourage them to talk about you – but of course I will! 🙂 And I’m glad I could make your day. As soon as I started hearing the comments I was like, “Oh man, I’ve gotta let him know!!”

  21. G says:

    You are so cool!

  22. I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

    Husband works at the VA not off pay but no pay till Gov is open… Hope your not to affected!

  23. Again the elegant words of The Hook inspire; to relieve us of boredom from our own humdrum lives……I find when I am on “vacation” it only takes a few days for me to long for home and my wonderful creatures who lie beside me and smile. They lick away the cares of the day and make me appreciate every single moment I have with my hubby, home and family!
    Thanks for reminding us all of the beauty than inspires you to remind others a hotel should NEVER feel like home! 🙂

  24. You’re brilliant, you should write a…oh never mind. It’s Thanksgiving here…no meal, no family, just Hubby and I and a nice fall hike, sweet bliss!

  25. djmatticus says:

    I think you should write a second book… 😀
    Wait for that comment to come from one of your guests some day. Will it make your day or completely flummox you? Then again, I’m not sure anything can flummox you anymore after all your years of hopping. Right?

    • The Hook says:

      I’m pretty tough to flummox, its true.
      Once you’ve seen a midget asleep in a beer cooler, you’re pretty immune to shocks of any variety.

      • djmatticus says:


        a midget…

        in a beer cooler…

        Well, why not, it was probably pretty comfortable, and nice to have all your needs so conveniently placed around you…

  26. likeitiz says:

    I had so much fun reading this. Some people have to leave home to feel at home, sadly. I had such a laugh! Thanks! I needed it after this loooooong day of work….

  27. girlseule says:

    You might have changed that guys entire perspective own life with what you said! Next thing you know he’s sold his house and hit the road, looking for a place that is nothing at all like home.

  28. Too damn early for me to be snarky! I’m surprised by how he wasn’t put-off by your comment. Must be one charming dude indeed.

    • The Hook says:

      Years of experience have honed my people skills to a razor-sharp edge. I know precisely how to size up a guest in a moment and adjust my actions accordingly.

  29. jordansky26 says:

    I love it, it reminds me of being a receptionist at the hotel’s in the Saint Martinique talk about crazy tourists.q It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who felt people were crazed.

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