Be forewarned, gentle readers, this post shoots straight from the hip.
There will be no long, wind-baggy rants before we get to the point. I’m not interested in replicating the brilliance of, “It was the best of times,” and all that literary jazz. The point will come up upon you faster than that disappointing sexual encounter, you know the one I mean. I’m referring to the one that stands above all others for no other reason than the fact that it was over before anyone could breathlessly scream, “Surrender, Dorothy!”, or whatever it is people scream these days while in the throes of passion.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. The answer is no, I am not on any medications nor have I stopped taking any. This is all me, kids. In fact, this guest encounter perfectly illustrates what The Hook is all about. Namely, the pursuit of that perfect guest burn that can be executed without any consequences whatsoever.
Such an opportunity presented itself during a recent Sunday morning check-out frenzy.
The guest in question was a ridiculously-tall white man much like myself, but without my charm, wit and general smart-assery. His girlfriend, on the other hand, was tiny enough to fit into a child’s suitcase – but her voice was powerful enough to make a grizzly bear run the other way.
“HEY, BA-BAY! THE PORTER GUY IS HERE WITH THE CART THINGIE! YOU WANT I SHOULD GIVE HIM OUR SHIT?”
Yep. She was wonderful. He was equally rough around the edges, sort of like a cabinet built by Stevie Wonder – if he used a butter knife as his sole tool.
Lovely imagery, right?
“Hey, Boss, can you take our shit downstairs and wait for us? The girlfriend’s still horny, know what I’m sayin’?”
I was momentarily stunned. or at least I appeared to be.
ROUGH GUY: Hey, you okay, Boss?
ME: Oh yes, sir! I was just remembering what my life was like before you said that. Those were good times…
ROUGH GUY: Ha! You’re something else, Boss! See you down there in a bit.
Sure enough, these putzes kept me waiting as the calls piled up. Finally, Steve and Edie (I’m dating myself, I know), showed up – and had me take their bags halfway across the property to the second floor of the parking garage. When we arrived, Rough Guy pulled out a few twenties from his back pocket.
Which he quickly hid away.
I hate when that happens.
Then he went looking in his wallet for bills – but all he found were American ten dollar bills, which he was unwilling to part with or even acknowledge, apparently.
“I can’t find anything smaller than a twenty, Boss! Oh wait… here’s a dollar!”
It was at that moment, as I was contemplating a suitable response, that Fate stepped in.
ROUGH GIRL: (Attempting to start their pick-up truck.) HEY, BABE! THE ENGINE’S DEAD AGAIN!
And there it was, my opportunity.
ROUGH GUY: Hey. Boss! Can you help me out?
ME: Not for a dollar, sir.
And then I walked away.
POSTSCRIPT: I’m not totally heartless, so I let the Valet guys – who happen to have a portable battery charger – know about the Rough Couple.
This is a perfect time to remind everyone that I once won a company-wide customer service award. Yes, it’s true. Just let that sink in, people.
See you in the lobby, kids…