All right, there’s no time for this foreplay stuff… so let’s get to it!
Here are a few more of my most memorable moments at my place of business, my hell-away-from-home, my hood, if you will.
26) My “101 Dalmatians Moment”. My math is slightly off but here’s the skinny. I made my way to the parking garage one evening to help a nice couple check in.
(Great story so far, right?)
Anyhoo, they gave me the usual travel items: suitcases, garment bags, shoes, a large dog carrier filled with three puppies, a goldfish bowl in a box (with a goldfish, ‘natch), and a cat named Lucky that kept jumping on the cardboard box. Oh, and did I mention the two puppies in the car as well?
27) The drunk chick who trashed her room and who left the hotel in zip ties. With a police escort. All she could say between sobs was, “I just want to go home!”
Sure thing, babe. As long as your home is a jail cell.
28) The young couple who ingested a few too many edible marijuana treats. She left on a stretcher (but continued to text) and he stumbled behind her while vomiting into a plastic bag.
29) Another extremely inebriated young lady whose boyfriend kept bouncing her head off the sliding doors as he carried her into the lobby. I hope he wasn’t planning on being romantic that night…
30) The Little Bo Peep (a female this time) who left her basket of goodies (her characters were a bit mixed) behind in the lobby after midnight one memorable Halloween. Among the items in her basket were some pics that were definitely not suitable for a fairy tale.
Little Bo Peep, God bless her, was a freak.
31) Valet drivers get lonely too, apparently. One older driver was caught copulating with a hooker in his car on a midnight shift. His excuse?
“But… but… I was on my break!”
WHO SAYS OLD PEOPLE ARE BORING?
32) The grandma who sat in the closet while her family enjoyed the room. They didn’t stick her in there. It was just her way.
33) An encounter to remember: the time that old man came to my desk late one night and kept banging his cane on the Bell Desk, demanding service. I told him I’d be right with him bu the insisted on smashing that cane… until it broke.
I really wish I could record these encounters, because the look on his face…
34) The World War Two vet who told me about his trip to Niagara Falls after the war.
“It was the dead of winter. I stood there all alone, not a soul in sight, letting the mist wash over me. It helped to wash the memories of what I’d seen… and done… away.”
35) Every old couple who checks in with the Liberator sex pillow. You gotta respect the effort.
36) The one old man, I believe his name was Norm, that stood up for his rights and took his wheelchair-turned-luggage-cart back from his family. I see this at least once a week; there is an unusually-high number of mouth-breathing idiots who think it’s kosher to take a senior’s mode of transport in lieu of using a bellman. It really burns my brisket.
All right, let’s pick on some other poor souls, what do you say?
37) The tour guide of advanced years (I believe she booked her first tour on Noah’s ark) who, upon realizing she had literally missed her bus as it drove off for New York City, raced across the valet deck, through the hotel’s flower bed, and came thisclose to actually touching the bus before tumbling down and landing on a very unlucky Asian tourist.
The guide and tourist were both fine. The flowers were not.
FUN WITH LITTLE MONSTERS.
38) Louie the Lobster Boy. An irate mom once dragged her poor little boy over to our desk to lodge a rather unusual complaint. It seems the lad was as red as a beet after spending some time in the hotel’s pool. When asked just how long her son was in the pool, the mother-of-the-year candidate replied, “Only eight hours!”
39) The tween siblings who used a skipping rope to lash their four-year-old sister to one of the trees we used to have in the lobby… and then attempted to leave her there.
40) Attempted “siblingcide”. A particularly-cruel young man once decided to clamp off his newborn sister’s nose and mouth for seconds at a time while his clueless parents turned away while waiting for their car. I raced over to the would-be murderer in question but mom and dad finally looked back and put a stop to the diabolical proceedings.
41) The little girl who swore a blue streak when she realized the hotel’s pool has been ripped out until a new one is put into place.
“This sucks balls! Why didn’t we check these mother fuckers out before we came to this fuckin’ hellhole?”
Seriously, this little girl appeared to be sugar and spice and everything nice… but she’d make a sailor blush.
42) The young, incerdibly-tanned couple from California that brought a drill, high-end camera equipment, movie quality standing lights and audio equipment, and costumes for a “working vacation”. I didn’t ask what line of work they were in. But I really didn’t need to, did I?
RETURN OF THE RETURN GUESTS.
43) Mr. L was a high-roller from Toronto with his own business, a vengeful ex, a murky past and even murkier present. He lavished gifts upon the Front Desk clerks (a great way to get the rooms you want when the hotel is otherwise booked, friends) and he tipped the bellmen very generously.
I once had to stand with room keys in my hand in a quiet-as-a-church hallway late at night for over thirty minutes as he chatted up some young ladies in the lobby. Needless to say I was fuming, especially when I finally called downstairs and was informed he wasn’t taking the suite in question. I headed back to my desk, my blood boiling, and four hours later Mr. L sauntered over and gave me a devilish smile and one of those handshakes that ends with a few bills folded into a single cube deposited in my hand.
“Sorry, Rob… but the good news is… I got lucky with those three cheerleaders!”
Realizing where my bread was buttered, I neglected to inform Mr. L that the three cheerleaders in question were so damn young, that combining their ages still wouldn’t have put them on par with him.
Lord, I miss that crazy, pedophiliac son of a bitch.
44) Mr. Cloak and Dagger checked in during the midnight shift only, tipped extra to have his truck parked on the loading dock so it was readily accessible, had a mistress he was putting through university, and even scheduled a breakfast with his parents so they could meet his new on-the-side-squeeze.
I wonder how that meal went? For that matter, I wonder how things ended, though I’m not surprised they did; you can only dance on the edge of a razor for so long before you slice your toes off.
45) Ms. K (she was really a Mrs. Somebody Else) loved three things above all else: wine in copious amounts, cheating on her husband with a succession of young studs and battery operated devices (which definitely were not toothbrushes) that she always “forgot” to turn off when she packed them in her leopard print suitcases.
46) Mr. and Mrs. J from Cleveland always brought homemade baked goods and plenty of chatter to the Bell Desk. Both were appreciated beyond measure.
47) Mr. and Mrs. C were world-travelers on a literal deadline. He was dying. She was determined he live life to the fullest until he couldn’t anymore, and so they spent as much time as possible in the city he loved, surrounded by one of nature’s greatest creations. The moment she walked in without him two years ago was one of the saddest I’ve ever experienced at work.
48) The Star Wars Family was just that; a clan that worshiped at the altar of George Lucas’ universe. They had Star Wars luggage, water bottles, van decals, etc. They even came in dressed as Wookies once.
The family that nerds out together stays together, I guess.
49) Mr. P, as in “pizza”, which he faithfully ordered immediately after checking in – along with a hooker.
50) I met “Carol from Ohio” as she became known to me and my family, twenty years ago at the first hotel I worked at on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls. She was on a ladies-only weekend. A ridiculously-sweet lady, we hit it off immediately and she took a motherly interest in me, bringing me gifts for my wife and then-newborn daughter.
In a rare instance, we exchanged phone numbers and my wife came to learn Carol was vastly wealthy and connected to the Big Boy restaurant chain in the United States. In time she stopped coming to the Falls but would call us faithfully every few months, sending gifts and cards, until we simply lost touch.
An older lady in failing health, I can only assume she’s moved onto the Big Boy in the sky. I hope she’s at peace; Carol was and always will be one of the reasons I love this job so much.
Until next time, when we continue this journey through The Hook’s past, see you in the lobby, kids…