Life’s Too Damn Short… Laugh A Little!

To some of my colleagues outside the Bell department I am a stone wall – with many, many cracks.

The cracks often release fits of anger and frustration, mostly the latter, when I find myself in a service elevator, safely ensconced away from the traveling public. To a hospitality line worker such as myself, service areas, elevators and back corners of parking garages are a temporary refuge where one can blow off steam without fear of reprisal from an aghast guest.

Yes, that one was a bit wordy… If I was any good at this sort of thing do you think I’d be rejected so often by the CBC, The Huffington Post (on both sides of the border) and dozens of celebrities on Twitter?

Moving on…

Venting my pain in private and online helps keep my mood (somewhat) under control when I go home. Otherwise, I ‘d be a Canadian Al Bundy, shouting, “Hey, Jackie… Guess what happened at the shoe store hotel today!” Another trick is to have fun with travelers whenever possible. Old folks are the greatest audience… they’ll believe pretty much anything if you sell it right.

For example…

GRANDMA AGNES:  (Trust me, she was an Agnes if I’d ever seen one.)  What the devil happened to you, dear?

Agnes’ confusion stemmed from my arms. You see, when the weather is nice enough I wear a vinyl jacket with the hotel logo on it. However, when I take the jacket off it leaves a pronounced ring around both arms. (I pull the jacket up in a tribute to Don Johnson and the Eighties in general.) The result is a comedic device with zero statute of limitations.

ME:  Oh, you mean my arms? Well you see.. there was a freak accident while I was unloading a trunk… And contrary to popular belief, free Canadian health care isn’t all its cracked up to be…

GRANDMA AGNES:  (Pondering for a moment.)  Oh my!

At this point I have two choices:

  1.  Let the comedic cat out of the bag and hope she gets the joke.  (Which they always do.)
  2.  Let her walk away and hope she spreads the word about the “Frankenstein Bellman” she met in Niagara Falls.

I can usually go either way, knowing full well the results will be both satisfying and hilarious.

And now onto another humorous convo!


MANAGER WHO SHALL REMAIN FOREVER NAMELESS:  (What am I, stupid? I love the HR gals but I refuse to spend anymore time down there than absolutely necessary!)  Hey, Robert, am I correct in assuming you’re the bellman who tells the guests, “You can check out any time you like… but you can never leave,” when they ask “What time is checkout?”

ME:  So now it’s my fault our guests have an appalling lack of pop culture knowledge?

As it turns out, it really isn’t. However… I’m sure you can see where this went, right? The good news is the manager in question is used to my rather “unique” sense of humor so it was all good. My point is this: good material, we’re talking comedy gold, is hard to come by so if you find a routine or two that works for you… Work it to death.

And don’t ever feel bad about working that material; this world could use some yuks these days… And an honest, coherent politician or ten.

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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28 Responses to Life’s Too Damn Short… Laugh A Little!

  1. When I was a junior doctor, I got in trouble for saying to an elderly patient (who was soaking his gangrenous foot in a bucket of antiseptic wash), ‘watch out that you don’t kick the bucket, mate’

  2. Things ran better when people were smart and willing enough to see the humor of just about any situations. What a dour era. Get a giggle, people…and thank Hook for doing his part

  3. Marion Hardy says:


  4. I find the public to be devoid of humor. I cheer your attempt to correct this situation. So many laughs so little time.

  5. Doug in Oakland says:

    Better Al Bundy than Ted…

  6. Tara says:

    I knew I like you.

  7. Har dee har. When I worked in a supermarket, I’d go to the furthest corner of the carpark to yell obscenities

  8. StillWaters says:

    I still pull the sleeves of my nylon jacket up. All hail Crockett!! That “look” is more real than Nordstrom’s jeans with mud. Blog on, righteous Hook.

  9. Austin says:

    That really should be the official checkout time at any respectable establishment!

  10. curvyroads says:

    Any chance for a laugh is worth taking, my friend!

  11. I love it that you improvise with the public. It’s what makes the world go round, or rather, wobble on it’s axis.

  12. Hahahahaha!!

    Seriously, can people please just get over themselves for a minute?

    I’m a surgery scheduler for a foot/ankle surgeon. Is it my fault that people can not determine which toe requires surgery until I put it in terms they understand, no it is not. Personally, after what seemed like the longest game of charades in history I asked, “Is it the one that stayed home or the one with the roast beef?” Sometimes we are left with what we know…hahaha!

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