Hook Headquarters, located somewhere in the bustling metropolis of Niagara Falls, is actually one hundred years old. So yes, it’s almost as old as Kris Jenner…

As such, the wiring in my home was due to be overhauled decades ago. But it wasn’t. So when we moved into our house fourteen years, it fell to the wife and I to spend the cash to ensure our home would never go up in flames after a knob-and-tube connection shorted out. There was just one problem: fourteen years ago we were hardly in the black, to say the least.

A decade-and-a-half later (almost), we’ve decided to bite the bullet and ensure our home doesn’t become a ginormous hunka, hunka burnin’ love. (Yes, the Elvis reference was for the wife, thank you very much.) And so we’ve had a team of electricians bring us into the 21st century at last.

Fun Fact: Our electrician informed us the house was built before electricity was installed!

No wonder we love Murdoch Mysteries so much.

By now you’re no doubt wondering what the point of all this seemingly-pointless sharing is, right?

As part of the process of making room for the electricians to do their job (which, by the way, was a helluva big job), the wife and I were forced to literally clean house. We moved pieces of furniture that hadn’t been touched by human hands for years (much like Kris Jenner’s lady parts, no doubt) and then we gasped at the dust bunnies the size of Godzilla that were waiting for us. And when we got to our walk-up, full-sized-yet-unfinished attic, we realized just how much “stuff” (not the word I used, by the way) we’ve accumulated in fourteen years.

But we cleared out the junk. We parted with the sentimental pieces left by my father-in-law. We donated whatever we could to Value Village. And then we had to move everything that remained into a space that is a quarter of the total size of the attic itself. And then I had to sweep up enough dust/insulation/debris to result in a scene like this:

batman superman comic con 2

As we moved the last few pieces of Christmas decorations (incidentally, we own enough X-Mas decorations to cover the White House), we uncovered one final surprise: A hundred-year-old door.

Now, on the surface, this may not seem like a discovery worthy of Indy Jones, and truthfully, it certainly wasn’t, but it got me thinking. Yes, I do that sometimes. Shut up.

IMG_5564_grandeSeeing this particular door set my mind off on a tangent. Specifically, about all the doors I encounter and use every day. As it turns out, doors play a big role in my life.

Doors separate the madness of the outside world (i.e. the guests) from the hotel, though not for long. Sooner or later, travelers will make their way through the hotel’s sliding doors or one of the two $250,000 revolving doors we installed for some inexplicable reason. The revolving doors’ sensors are, well… too sensitive, and so they stop every. five. seconds. And yes, it gets old fast and people flip out immediately. 

Doors separate the Luggage Room from the rest of the hotel, allowing my colleagues and I to take refuge in a dirty, cold room made of concrete and exposed pipes. I liken it to Eric Foreman’s basement but without the freezer filled with Popsicles, sadly. In spite if it’s lack of ambience, the Luggage Room is a suitable refuge; the conversations that take place within it keep us sane, though you wouldn’t believe that if you heard some of the things bellmen talk about when they think the world isn’t listening…

Speaking of the Luggage Room, there are actually five doors that connect my “Hook Cave” to the hotel. Of course, that means my home-away-from-home is like a sitcom, where a wacky neighbor or stranger is constantly appearing for a moment to entertain the “audience” before heading outside, into the lobby or onto one of two elevators to the South Tower. 

Doors separate the public washrooms from the masses, and many guests will take advantage of this by using a corner stall or even a counter to fornicate.

Once again, I don’t need to tell you that you read that line correctly, do I? Expect the unexpected in my world, folks.

Doors are portals to other worlds, like Laundry or Housekeeping, where the adventures are of a decidedly-different flavor, but no less epic in their own way.

Guest room doors play the most important role of all in my adventures as The Hook. Every time I step through a door a mystery is about to be solved.

  •  “Were these guests having sex before I arrived, as seems to be the case far too often these days?”
  •  “Are these guests nuttier than the proverbial fruitcake?”
  •  “Will I discover some delicious blog fodder when I cross this particular threshold?”
  •  “Can the noises I hear be emanating from children or has someone opened a small zoo in the hotel?”
  •  “Why does it smell like a zombie horde has gathered in this room? I mean, I know hotel bathrooms are horribly-under-ventilated, but this is ridiculous!”

And the most important question of all…

“Will I get tipped or stiffed by these guests?”

So as you can see, doors are at the center of my universe. I hope you’ve enjoyed my musings. And don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll have a thick, juicy guest rant for you the next time we meet.

And just in case you’re wondering just what knob-and-tube wiring looks like:

knt1Fascinating, yes? Well, just imagine this running through – and powering –  your entire house. Once again, I cannot overstate how big a job this was; 90% of our home was knob-and-tube which meant the electricians removed enough wiring to circle the  globe twice. Or something like that. I don’t have exact figures…

Well, I’m out of here. Time to figure out which organ I’m going to sell in order to pay for this home renovation.

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.
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40 Responses to Doors.

  1. Shocking !!! (It had to be said. Or not.)

  2. Tara says:

    My former “marital” home was a 1902 Victorian with mostly modern wiring, but there were a few knob-and-tube parts left. And what wasn’t in use was actually still left behind on the basement ceiling. It was cool to look at, but ex quickly got to work updating what was left (he wasn’t an “electrician”, but he was a skilled contractor). I love old houses. And I LOVE that door you found. Are you going to find a place to use it?

  3. 1jaded1 says:

    I was so wondering what knob and tube wiring looked like and now I know. Thank you door, for inspiring another Hook post.

    Guest rants? I’m bracing myself.

  4. I feel your pain. Really! My guy and I moved three times in 4.2 years. Good news is that it meant we had to get rid of all that ‘stuff,’ including a lot of the xmas decorations. :-0
    We never found an old door. But I like the way you segued from the old door in the attic to your life-of-doors in your career. Brilliant (and funny).

  5. List of X says:

    I’m sure hotel guests occasionally leave an organ or two at the hotel, so it wouldn’t even have to be yours. 🙂

  6. Kris Jenner, 100, Bahahahahahahahahahahaha
    Nice post!

  7. That’s some seriously OF wiring my friend. As for people fornicating in the stalls, yep, I’ve encountered that.

  8. davidprosser says:

    Damn you man, when you said you’d discovered a 100 yer old door i your attic I was waiting to find out it was either an entrance to the bordello next door or the door to another parallel world in which you owned the hotel.

  9. Great post Hook. Our last property was built in 1847 and was a former school. It as converted to a private residence in the 1950s, and had the wiring to match. ‘Botchitt and Leggitt’ did a fantastic repair to a dimmer switched light fitting in the lounge: toothpaste cap and sitcky tape. I kid you not.

  10. What a fabulous old door! Yes, great post! Doors are so underappreciated, aren’t they? I loved the bit about your Luggage room being like Eric Foreman’s basement but without the Popsicles. Awesome!

    Oddly enough, we’re doing a reno right now too, but our old girl is only 40. It was a toss-up between a boob lift and a face lift… . on the house… We chose both. Actually, maybe it’s more like a colonic cleansing as we’ve gutted the insides. Well anyway, renos are fun! Enjoy!

    Love the pic of the knob and tube wiring. That’s crazy!

  11. Doug in Oakland says:

    I’ve encountered that sort of wiring in several of the houses I’ve lived in. Didn’t know that it was called “knob and tube” or I would have made many more bad jokes as I replaced it…

  12. I’m glad nothing happened in the fourteen years. That knob and tube stuff looks dangerous.

  13. Paul says:

    Excellent post Hook. Love the old door and all the metaphorical images that come with a door. We are not very appreciative of doors in the new world. In Europe they are cherished and celebrated:

    I enjoy watching the home renovation shows and whenever they are working on an old home it seems there are so many updates required to meet code that I often wondered at the expense (most don’t quote costs). There is a great deal of beauty and serenity to be had in a building that has that much history but they are not for the weak of heart or pocketbook. In a way it seems appropriate that you would live in such a building Hook – you’re an observer and chronicler of life and as such deserve a home with history.

  14. I think it’s safe to say that Thomas Edison wired your house. That’s the story I would run with when asked why it took all this time to update.
    I love the door, especially the glass. You know they don’t make them like that today.

  15. What did you do with the door?

  16. Mark Myers says:

    That wiring is amazing. And you must be thrilled to be rid of it. What a job.

  17. This is one of my favorite pieces – ever! I love old doors…and talented writers who talk about them. Xo

  18. msexceptiontotherule says:

    I just got back to my house from a hotel stay – the stair treads have been replaced and put back where they belong so I don’t need a ladder to get upstairs so I can use the bathroom, shower, change clothes or sleep. New carpet is installed but flooring material can’t be put on the stairs yet – something about new wood needing to dry or whatever. Why is it always so darn complicated to get these small house upgrades done according to the schedule set by the contractors hired?? If it’s not delayed because of one thing there will be at least 3 other ‘reasons’ for a delay.

    You’re lucky that your house didn’t wind up burning down at some point in those 14 years, Hook – in the same way I’m lucky I didn’t break my neck falling down unsafe stairs. 😛

  19. curvyroads says:

    Very creative tie-in on the doors! I love that old door you found…are you able to use it in some cool way??

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