Everything You Ever Wanted To Ask The Hook…

…but weren’t interested enough to be bothered.

As a bellman, and an endlessly-fascinating human being in general, I get a lot of queries thrown my way – and eggs and garbage, but that’s another story – and now I’ve decided to share some of them with you. Aren’t you lucky?

I’ve decided to categorize today’s post, to keep things from descending into chaos.


1)  Yes, I was born this sarcastic, thank you very much. In fact, my first words were, “Gee, thanks for the assist, Doc! And it only took you nine months! Someone got a towel? It was wet as hell in there!”

2)  No, I am not a male witch.

3)  Contrary to popular belief, “The Hook” is not my given name; my parents weren’t pirates or otherwise-normal suburbanites with a pirate fetish.

4)  “The Hook” was bestowed upon me by a colleague and it emerged from my given name. By the way, I have to tell you, it’s a nice alternative to being asked, “Did you play hooky from school, buddy?” That tends to get old after the first three thousand times…

5)  Yes, the events recounted on this blog actually happened. Seriously.

6)  No, I really don’t spend as much time in Human Resources as you’d think. In fact, every time I’ve been called there for anything remotely serious someone else has wound up being disciplined or terminated.

7)  Yes, you really can get away with being the world’s most sarcastic/bold bellman – but I wouldn’t recommend you try it. Years of practice – and more luck than one would find in all of Ireland – are the key. And even then, success or failure rests on the razor’s edge.   

8)  The key to being so bold with guests? Confidence. No one can shoot you down if you maintain your resolve and appear to know exactly what you’re talking about.

9)  The real secret to my “success”?  Never underestimate the element of surprise. People who are out of control know they’re out of control but they never expect a bellman to call them on it. They’re usually too shocked and ashamed to mount even the slightest defense. 

10)  Yes, I do look like someone you know. I have one of those faces. In another life I’d have made a great spy. If not for the fact that I’m a complete coward, that is. But otherwise, The Hook would have put Bond to shame.

11)  In my “civilian life”, my lovely bride of twenty-one years is the bold one. In fact, I’m sure she wishes I let The Hook side of my personality out more often.

12)  Yes, I will wish death and many STDs upon anyone who stiffs me in  my professional capacity as a bellman. It’s 2016, people, there’s no excuse for not tipping. if you can afford to travel, you can afford to tip.



1)  No, they don’t call me “The Hook” because of the curvature of a certain part of my male anatomy.

2)  Yes, I’m tired of guests of both genders, oddly enough, asking me that question.

3)  No, the term “full service hotel” does not indicate services of a sexual nature, I’m afraid.

4)  Yes, I have known bellmen who are willing to literally bend over backwards for guests – or rather, bend the guests in question over backwards – but it’s never worked out well in the long run for them. Sooner or later…

  •  Management gets wind of their activities.
  •  A spouse shows up looking for revenge.
  •  They develop a burning sensation.
  •  All of the above.

5)  Hotel room doors and walls really are as thin as I claim they are. Shatter a specific octave barrier and people will hear you getting freaky, folks. Corner rooms are worth their weight in gold.

6)  Yes, there actually are a large number of travelers who bring their self-pleasuring devices/sex toys with them on vacation – even if they’re traveling with a partner. I’m not making this stuff up.

7)  No, I have no idea why these people don’t remove the batteries from their devices before they pack them. You’d think they realize these things have hair triggers…

8)  It is far easier to linger in the hallway and overhear people having sex than to actually witness the act in progress. Of course, this is attributable more to the fact the average guest has absolutely no physical similarities to a professional porn star whatsoever than anything else.

9)  People are more than willing to indulge their inner freak while traveling. The average guest may not have the looks or depth of carnal knowledge of the average porn star… but they share the same spirit.

10)  The number of guests who begin having sexual relations after requesting my presence at their room truly has risen dramatically in the last two years. The thrill of being overheard or “caught” has become irresistible, apparently.

breakMy Stomping Grounds, The City of Niagara Falls:

 1)  No, we do not roll up the sidewalks at night. We do, however, spend far too much time scooping up drunken American teenagers off the streets outside of the city’s various bars and taverns. 

2)  Yes, the average American citizen’s knowledge of Niagara Falls – and Canada in general – is deplorable. If they spent one-tenth the time studying foreign lands on the interweb as they did watching pet shaming videos or reading Kayne’s tweets, the hospitality landscape would be vastly different. It’d certainly be less interesting but I’d be willing to put up with that reality if it meant less head-scratching in my future.

3)  No, Niagara Falls isn’t just a collection of tacky tourist traps designed to separate travelers from their hard-earned cash. We have maple syrup too.

4)  Contrary to prevailing myths, daredevils really aren’t that willing to risk their lives for glory like they used to, and so the number of “stunting incidents” as they’re referred to by Niagara Parks officials, is almost non-existent these days. Why risk a fine, broken bones and a date with the Grim Reaper when you can become just as famous on YouTube?

5)  If you bring a laundry basket to Niagara Falls instead of a suitcase… we will laugh at you. Truthfully, we won’t even try to hide it.

6)  Yes, Canadians really are as nice as you’ve been led to believe. We’re the anti-French.

(Of course, by “French”, I mean Parisian French, although some French-Canadians are far from perfect.)

7)  In spite of our inherent niceness, most Canadians are willing to admit that while we’re proud of William Shatner, we know he can be a bit much sometimes.

kirk-reliefEvery Canadian feels this way about The Shat sometimes…

8)  Counter to what city officials would have the world believe, the Falls themselves are still high on the list of those souls who have had enough of this world. A week will rarely go by without a jumper descending into the watery depths of Niagara Falls, the method of their passing quickly swept under the proverbial rug by local authorities. While I appreciate city officials’ desire to keep Niagara Falls from becoming a suicide mecca, there’s far more to this than concern for the mentally ill.

Death is bad for business. Period.

It always comes down to love of money, friends. And it always will. And so jumpers will keep jumping and the city will keep disavowing them. No matter how much I wish otherwise, some things never change.

breakAnd on that note, I bid you good day, friends. What’s that? This wasn’t exactly “everything” you ever wanted to ask? Fair enough. As of this writing, however, I’m still wrestling with the worst cold I’ve had in years and so this is a good natural stopping point, I think.

See you in the lobby, kids…

It is amazing how they light up Niagara falls at night. The main falls are behind me but it is nice how they light up the smaller falls across the river on the American side.

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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29 Responses to Everything You Ever Wanted To Ask The Hook…

  1. I’m glad you addressed he curvature question – it’s certainly something that I was wondering…

  2. 1jaded1 says:

    Thanks for the reveal. Niagara Falls is one of my favorite places. Number 8…well. Happy Friday, Mr. Hook.

  3. Thanks for entertaining AND enlightening us with your perfect blend of sarcasm, skepticism and (yes, really) sensitivity. I hear it all in your well-written posts. Great knowing more about your and your career and your neck of the woods. I have such fond memories of Niagara Falls – the first ‘far-away’ place my parents took me to celebrate my 12th birthday. I found it magical.

  4. Hope you feel better. And yikes, you do see the seamier side of life, don’t you? Does your area still get lots of honeymooners?

  5. ‘I mean Parisian French.’ I know what you mean there. And the city itself is vastly over-rated

  6. davidprosser says:

    I know you so much better now.

  7. Well thanks. Now I’ve got Lady Gaga floating around in my head: “baby, I was born this way.” You know, in reference to Personal Item #1 – being born sarcastic.
    Thanks for the list o’ things we’ve always wanted to ask! As usual, you made me laugh before my first cup of coffee – no mean feat, as I’m a bit of a bear in the morning.

    Also, and by the way, I’m beginning to think your blog is a ploy from Niagara Falls tourism – visit one of NF’s outstanding full-service (but not full-service nudge nudge wink wink) hotels to meet its witty, sarcastic, and confident bellman (I would’ve said nerdy, but that’s not my call). It’s on the little-known list of things to do while in Niagara Falls and is a win-win for all – you get to be written about and he gets to write about you. Go for the maple syrup, stay for The Hook?

  8. Maple syrup. We’ll just focus on that.
    (Once a week for jumpers? Really sad for everyone – especially those who have to fish them out and tell families)

  9. I’m glad there is Maple syrup as well as the falls. Good post.

  10. Julie Burton says:

    I want to see Niagara Falls one day…and shake your hook hand. 😉

  11. Doug in Oakland says:

    I hear you about the jumpers. We have a similar problem here with the Golden Gate Bridge. They are forever debating making it safer with suicide barriers and the like, but they never actually want to change the “iconic” appearance of it in case doing so would hurt tourism…

  12. curvyroads says:

    Lol, funny as always, Robert! Since I am so late in reading I hope that cold is long gone!

  13. ladysheepdog says:

    I have an additional question – How many times a week/month or year do you hear a guest start saying, “Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch…” to you?

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