High Praise For The Hook From An Unlikely Source.

It’s been a pretty typical day here in the Niagara Falls hospitality salt mines; plenty of over-caffeinated corporate drones,  rugrats hopped-up on Red Bull, mentally exhausted parents, well-meaning, but confused foreigners and hookers to deal with.

And Santa Claus, of course.

I’ll say it for you… WHAAAT?

No, I haven’t been spiking my morning juice again. (I learned my lesson after waking up on Ned Hickson’s front lawn dressed as Wonder Woman; a Slurpee can be a powerful drug if you spike it properly.) No, this is one of those incidents that could only happen to yours truly.

I served a very nice older couple from Georgia this morning. On the surface, they were super-friendly (naturally), polite and chatty. She was a pageant coach who was genuinely concerned about only taking on kids and moms who were serious about the field and not looking to get rich while pandering to the lowest common denominator. Not only was he was content to let her chat about her accomplishments, he appeared to be proud of her and was actually interested in what she had to say.

It was a refreshing change to meet a couple who had been married for decades and still honestly loved one another. I encounter many couples who are not-so-secretly planning to add ground glass to one anther’s meals once they get home…

But that’s another post all-together.

As for this post, well, it continued to be typical in every way:

  • I loaded their many, many bags into the trunk of their mid-size car despite the fact it was already loaded to the max with odds and ends.
  • They made the obligatory Tetris reference.
  • I received a decent tip.
  • The wife bid me a final farewell and settled into the passenger seat.
  • The husband gave me what I consider to be the greatest compliment of my hospitality career.

“Have to tell you, buddy, I wouldn’t do your job for all the money in the world! Don’t know how you do it!”

And now, some context…

After shocking me with his praise. my new friend provided me with his background. Turns out he was just inducted into The International Santa Claus Hall of Fame – yes, it’s a real thing – for the many contributions he’s made to the Santa legend since 1958. While most of us are content to take from the world while complaining about our place in it, this man has devoted innumerable hours to Toys for Tots, assorted charities, local food drives. He’s even attended the tree lighting at the Governor’s Mansion. For all I know, he’s an angel in human form who is obsessed with impersonating fat guys.

At any rate, he was genuinely impressed with The Hook, which led to my colorful response:

“You’re Santa… you get peed on! On a regular basis, no less! And yet, you still wouldn’t do my job? That may be the greatest compliment I’ve ever received!”

He laughed a great big Santa laugh, upped my gratuity and headed out – without, it should be noted, a boost from flying livestock.

Just another day in The Hook’s life, folks. See you in the lobby…

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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28 Responses to High Praise For The Hook From An Unlikely Source.

  1. What as awesome story! I still believe in Santa! Now you can say you were a Santa helper!! Ah ah! 😉 (you know, cuz you helped Santa?)

  2. You will be on the nice list. After all you have friends in high places.

  3. Austin says:

    I would say this definitely means you’re on Santa’s Nice list this year. Congrats! 🙂

  4. Oh my God, the blasphemy, the sacrilege using Wonder Woman like that! Outside of that, pretty funny and dare I say it, sweet stuff, Hook.

    I suppose I better catch up to that Hickson guy too before I get disowned. Again.

  5. List of X says:

    But you didn’t check for reindeer under the hood of his car, did you? 🙂

  6. 1jaded1 says:

    This is my favorite thing I’ve read today.

  7. Paul says:

    SANTA! I always wondered where Santa went to vacation – Niagara Falls. Funny post Hook. Thank You.

  8. The Cutter says:

    Wait… Are you saying SANTA ISN’T REAL????

  9. A compliment from Santa is truly wonderful.

  10. charflew23 says:

    SANTA, You know him! i had to go there.

  11. Feels good to be appreciated. What a sweet couple. 🙂

  12. This made me smile SO big. Thank you for distracting me a bit from my Monday.
    Hope you’re doing well, my friend! xo

  13. curvyroads says:

    I loved this whole post, Robert! What a way to bring a smile to all of us!

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