I originally pitched this to The HuffPost, but since they hate me and NEVER respond to my work…

Seriously, they love Ironic Mom Leanne Shirtliffe, but the folks at The HuffPo hate my guts so much they refuse to even respond to any of the numerous pitches I’ve sent them over the years.

Is a simple “Drop dead, Hook, you suck.”, too much to ask?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to keep writing this blog while helping my daughter realize her dreams but part of me wants more. What can I say? The Hook is human after all. At any rate, here is my latest ignored rejected submission to the HuffPost.


31 Things No One Ever Told You About Traveling.

Forget Frommer’s, here are some nuggets of info that you need to pack away in your mental suitcase before you leave home, folks. (Just push aside those twerking fantasies involving Robin Thicke, Miley and a case of Cool Whip and make some room.) Some of these apply to parents more than single folk, but anyone who has ever left their respective city limits to explore the outside world can relate to them.

1)  You’re going to get lost. A lot. Never mind your newfangled, high-tech GPS or maps, Magellan, you’re going to lose your way from time to time.  (And yes, I said “maps”. The same people who still use landlines still use maps.) Never forget, my friends, some of our greatest, most rewarding experiences can be found when we deviate from the path well traveled.

2)  The same people who drive you batty while you’re in line at Walmart are going to be in line with you at the airport. And while you’re checking in at the hotel. Douchecopters are everywhere these days so don’t run from them, use their presence as an opportunity to sharpen your smart-ass wit. Look at yours truly: Where would I be without douchenozzles?

3)  It isn’t your imagination: babies really do scream louder when surrounded by the walls of a hotel lobby and their perfect acoustics.

4)  You will actually utter the words “I swear to God, I’ll turn this car around right now if you don’t shut up back there!”, at least once.

5)  If you travel with a partner, you will experience more conflict than you ever imagined possible.

6)  If you travel with a partner and children, you will break up at least once a day.

7)  The word “diet” never appears anywhere on a hotel/resort/cruise menu. Sure, you may hear otherwise, but your mind will never accept that fact. Ever.

8)  If you travel with your family (and they behave like most families do while traveling), you will find yourself scanning crowds in search of an unattached doppelganger to trade places with – by any means necessary.

9)  If you are traveling alone while the family remains home, you will find yourself bursting into song and dance routines like a character on Glee for no reason whatsoever – at least once an hour for the first 24 hours.

10)  If you are traveling alone while the family remains home, don’t even try to feign a look of surprise when you arrive home to a remake of The Hurt Locker.

11)  You will never pay more attention to restaurant prices. Ever.

12)  You will drive like a tourist.

13)  You will ask dumb questions like a tourist.

14)  You may resist with ever fiber of your being, but eventually you will relent and you will gawk at local sights and photograph them like a tourist.

15)  You will become a tourist. You may not accept it, but your denial will be irrelevant.

16)  You will most likely spend far too much time on your personal electronic device playing Facebook games and checking e-mails instead of interacting with the new world around you.

17)  You will actually pat yourself down while searching for a gratuity while poor working-class schmuck like myself stands awkwardly beside you.

18)  Souvenirs that seem overpriced and worthless actually are overpriced and worthless. But you’ll buy them anyway.

19)  Food actually tastes different when traveling because it costs at least three times as much to get to your belly. In fact, you’ll find yourself wanting to hang on to it longer for that very reason.

20)  Traveler’s diarrhea actually exists. Be very afraid.

21)  If you travel with your elderly parents, their age will never be more apparent to you. Incidentally, this isn’t a wisecrack; treasure every moment remaining or regret it forever.

22)  Olfactory senses are pushed into overdrive while traveling. Body odor, babies with full diapers and dried vomit on their clothes, and even animals, will produce smells that threaten to bring you to your knees if you’re not careful.

23)  If you travel with your elderly parents, don’t expect them to be much help with the little devils; they’ve been there, done that and have the dead look in their eyes to prove it.

24)  You’ll never appreciate the sacrifices your parents made while traveling with you more than when it’s your turn.

25)  Hookers escorts cost more out-of-town. Period. And since we’re on the subject, this rule applies to porn as well. Don’t be surprised if your attempt to view Alexis Texas’ latest naughty escapade results in a powerful blast – to your credit card.

26)  If you’re single or traveling without the kids, you’ll never have better sex than out-of-town sex. The body parts may be the same but the change in geographical location makes all the difference in the world. (Your partner may actually do that thing they did in Year One of your union. You what I’m talking about, right? That thing that made you believe in a higher power – for a moment, at least.)

That having been said…

27)  Forget what you’ve seen in movies or online, sex in a hotel shower will most likely result in a trip to a strange – and ridiculously overpriced – ER. Don’t be a hero unless you’re built like one. Trust me , the intensity of your orgasm will not be lessened if you’re horizontal.

28)  It may take some time, but you really will experience homesickness – even if your home sucks. Of course, this feeling may just be bad shellfish working its way back to its point-of-entry, but sooner or later, homesickness will strike, trust me.

29)  If you find time to read that book you brought with you, you’re doing something very, very, wrong. This is a vacation, not a library, poindexter! (Of course, if you’re reading The Bellman Chronicles, you get a pass.)

30)  “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is just a saying. In the camera phone and social media age you can’t trust anyone. (Trust me, I’m a blogging bellman.)

And finally, I cannot stress this last item enough. To ignore this warning is to jeopardize your entire trip. (And for that matter, your entire existence, if you run into me, that is.)

31)  Travel is far from affordable these days. Make the most of every second. Pack your luggage but always leave your baggage at home.


Be prepared for skill-testing questions like..

  1. “How many bags do you have?”
  2. “Where is your car parked?”
  3. “What is your room number?”
  4. “What is your date’s name?”
  5. “What is your name?”

One Last Thing: If you’d be so kind, let me know if you think this post is worthy of inclusion in my-soon-(?)-to-be-released-someday second book. And now, some white space…

Sure, they’re hot, but they’re risking their lives!

See you in the lobby, kids…

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, Humor, Life, Social Commentary, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to I originally pitched this to The HuffPost, but since they hate me and NEVER respond to my work…

  1. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I have found my GPS gets me lost within 2 miles of my destination. First 748 miles, no problem. The last two…WHERE AM I??

    I love this list 🙂

  2. 1jaded1 says:

    Hahaha! This is classic. Thanks for sharing. Love the term douchecopter!

  3. I’m very fortunate in that my travelmate and I seem very suited to each other for trips. As for the smart phones/iPads/laptops? There’s truth to that… Which is one of the reasons I’ve been training myself to disconnect every now and again…or to travel internationally where rates are still not quite reasonable (unless your hotel has free Wifi).

    Thanks for the smile…and for letting me reminisce about trips I’ve taken over the years.

  4. Isn’t HuffPo notorious for publishing pieces and not paying the writer a dime? Don’t they think the “glory” of being published by them payment enough? You’re better off without them. Fuck HuffPo. We love you. But, like HuffPo, we don’t pay very well.

  5. If it’s any consolation Hook, Sabotage Times (very similar to HP) ignore all of my submissions too.
    You’re absolutely right about out-of-town sex. And unfortunately, about traveller’s diarrhea too…

    Don’t worry, the incidents weren’t related. This time.

  6. Pyx says:

    Of course this must be included in the perhaps, maybe, second upcoming work of Hook!
    In fact let it inspire you to start it now…
    IS there anyway we can make your lobby a tourist destination?

  7. Paul says:

    Great list, Hook! It should definitely be incuded on your next book. I travelled for a living for years (and enjoyed vacationing by car) and you’ve nailed the list. I’ve never seen such a compilation in one place. Back in the days before international cell service, I called my wife in Ottawa from Beijing one night and just put it on my room because it was easier. My other half was upset and we talked for an hour – I figured $100 or so. Went to check out and the phone call was over $600 US. Smoked the credit card. I could go through your list and name a personal experience that goes with each point. Well done Hook!

  8. Are you telling me to forstall (get it, stall) sex in a shower stall? I can’t wait for 20! On the BUS!

  9. As a matter of principle, I am boycotting HuffyP in support of you. I refuse to have them publish me.

    I feel a movement starting. And not of the bowel variety.

  10. Steph says:

    Yes, it should go in the book. Also, I really think I need a vacation. Alone, or at least without my collection of tiny humans.

  11. (Forget Huff – you know those sign people aways say are warning signals about abusive relationships?….)
    OK. Get lost. Be kind. Be the tourist. Great advice and lots of chuckles!

  12. Eva says:

    15) You will become a tourist. You may not accept it, but your denial will be irrelevant.
    I’ve tried so many times to not look like a tourist. It’s futile. I love this post. HuffPost is becoming irrelevant, so don’t worry about it.

  13. I must take a copy of this list with me when I travel. No-one should leave home without it!
    You crack me up. 😀

  14. It is definitely worthy of inclusion!!! [imho of course!] 🙂

  15. Jo Bryant says:

    great list Hook…can’t believe the HP…how dare they ?

    • The Hook says:

      Seriously, Jo!
      All I’m asking for is a response. I realize they must be inundated with pitches, but when did it become too difficult to be civil and honorable?

      • Jo Bryant says:

        Coincidentally I was reading a post on a blog last week about pitching to HP…they admitted they were only doing for the exposure. But it seems like it is just a real luck of the draw scenario. You have to hit on a ‘viral’ topic before someone realises it is viral from what I read. Maybe you should try HP in the UK. And to be honest…yes the exposure would be good, but I think it is like being FP on WP. Yep for that one post you get a lot of traffic, but generally that just dies off with only a few people who find you via FP actually hanging on. Just keep doing what you are doing and what was it Kevin was told: “If you build it, they will come !!!” And we all know Kevin never gets it wrong.

    • Pardon me for butting in here, but I agree with you Jo. Hook, any of your pieces would be great for a spot on the H Post, and Jo, I just finished reading your post about the Lynn Shepherd debacle. Really well done.

      • Jo Bryant says:

        Thank you. I have been pondering whether to weigh in on this or not, but it really got up my nose the way this woman trashed JK Rowling without even reading her books. Trashing an author is NEVER okay, even if you hate the books.

  16. girlseule says:

    “You will most likely spend far too much time on your personal electronic device playing Facebook games and checking e-mails instead of interacting with the new world around you.” so true! Maybe wifi is in some ways the worst thing to happen to travel, people photographing and filming everything they do so they can immediately post it, even though no one at home cares!
    Forget Huffpost I thought this was rad, deffo one for the book.

  17. Chicken says:

    Pain on Exile Street said it well and I agree. Great list. Something about those bottles of water in the room not being free might also be worth mentioning.

  18. The Huff should just put you on staff! 🙂

  19. Trent Lewin says:

    Don’t sweat the small stuff, Hook. Also: douchecopter? I was just getting used to douchecanoe! Stop messing with my vocab!

  20. susielindau says:

    Geez Hook. I didn’t know you could pitch HuffPost. I love to travel and have really great memories, so far….

  21. Jennifer says:

    Forget Huff post, they post a whole lotta shit anyway. Concentrate on making this blog bigger than them. And I can attest to all points on your list. Having teenage kids and all.

  22. Veronica says:

    #’s 26 and 27. Hell yeah. Although sex in the shower is not a bad thing, especially if the shower is small you have no room to move anyway. makes things slightly easier. Cheap hotels and paper thin walls make for extra noisy sex to keep your neighbours awake with.

  23. Any travel axioms about the weather always conspiring against you when you leave home? This was supposed to be my day to drive back to St. Louis from Oklahoma, but thanks to a 500 mile sheet of interstate ice, I’m stuck here at least another day. It would at least be bearable if I had those two chicks in the shower around to keep me company….

  24. The women in the shower…everyone knows women are more co-ordinated than men. There will be no injury in this tryst unless you add a man.
    That being said, this is a great list and Huffington just thinks too much of themselves. I unsubscribed a long time ago.

  25. xdanigirl says:

    Ahhh Hook. How I’ve missed your wonderful post while I’ve been away!! This was a great one and so very, very, very true!!! I will be traveling in about a week and I can guarantee you that I will be thinking of your list!!! With my two little ones, it’s going to be a fun, fun drive….. It’s only three hours, but then again, it’s three hours. This list is definitely worth an entry in the next book!! It is extremely useful!!!

    Side note: Maybe it’s just my glitchy horrible computer, but I can’t see the gif. There is just a box with a broken icon in the middle of it.

  26. Jana says:

    I’ve got another one for your list, Hook. You WILL gain a few pounds when you travel (no matter how much walking you do). However, the real weight gain occurs when you come home, stop walking, but DON’T stop eating. Now, excuse me while I go change into my stretchy pants.

  27. All true! Thank God you did not mention Turistas, Hostel and Wrong Turn. Great work, sir!

  28. I really could go for some out-of-town sex. Preferably before our vacation in June. Life is hard: travel is good.

  29. Your last line is my favorite! Pack your luggage but always leave the baggage at home! AMEN! Hubby and I have traveled a lot….we used to enjoy it. NOW!? I am beginning to be a homebody *sigh*. I like visiting other places but I hate the “travel” part. Packing, unpacking…some other pillow, some other bed, some other shower…ugh! Love the list…..Don’t leave home without it! 😉

  30. Kevin says:

    I’ve discovered that I can handle only one family member at a time on vacation. So now I am taking my kids and wife on separate vacations the only common factor is ME. I enjoy travelling with my children separately because I avoid the fights between them, when I get lost they don’t know that we are lost, and I eat every place I want to eat (and not where my wife wants to eat or where the children influence her to have us eat at as family). Of course, all rules go out the window when my wife and I travel. I’m pretty much the travelling wallet then. 🙂

  31. Tom Lucas says:

    What is the process for pitching to Huff Post? I’d like to get rejected as well.

  32. curvyroads says:

    Great list, Hook! Number 1 is the absolute truth. Some of the very best experiences are the unplanned and unexpected! And I love #31, leave that baggage at home…amen!

  33. I’d say all of those things are true about travel, and I’ve done a lot of it. Yes Hook, I think you should gravitate to a national forum where your gifts can be more widely appreciated!

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