Sunday Morning Shenanigans And Sobering Realities.

So the usual wave of Sunday morning chaos has washed over the hotel like a garbage-filled tide on a Los Angeles beach once more.

(Yes, I paint with words, what do you do to pollute the world?)

Here are just a few things I overheard on a morning that saw multiple bachelorette parties, wedding guests and Christmas party attendees make their way out of Niagara Falls. It always pays to pay attention to the world around you, kids, especially when you’re sitting at the Bell Desk waiting for luggage calls to come in.

Hungover bachelorettes:

“My head’s fuzzy; did I make out with Lindsey last night? ‘Cause I woke up smelling like her.”

“I can’t believe we let those guys stay in the room all night! One of them threw up in my bag! It had the weed I bought for my grandma in it!

“I just barfed all over a poinsettia in the lobby!”

Happy holidays, indeed.


Nice try, Antonio, but I wouldn’t have a blog if people weren’t train wrecks.


Married Couples who never disappoint:

TED:  Did you remember to bring the dog back in before we left, Janice?

JANICE:  We’ve been gone two days now, Ted! I swear you do this every time! Why the fuck did we even get a dog? Or have kids for that matter?

TED:  That wasn’t my fault! You told me that you were on the pill when you were cheating on your girlfriend! I married you, didn’t I? And we’ve been together five years, so what’s your problem?

It was at this point that Ted and Janice noticed me paying very close attention to their exchange and moved away from the Bell Desk, leaving me with several questions:

  1. Did anyone actually bring in that poor dog?
  2. Why would Janice need to be on the pill if she was with a woman?
  3. These people had a ton of luggage, so why didn’t they get a bellman? I have bills to pay, you dog-neglecting bastards!


A group of East Indians in their Twenties who were smart enough to enlist my services:

“Who’s driving anyways… We’re all drinking Coronas right now… And we’re fucked up!”

They really were. Fortunately, they were smart enough to hang around until they sobered up. The next group of East Indians I assisted included a grandma who began screaming from the other room in a foreign tongue.

ME:  She certainly sounds animated about something!

HER YOUNG GRANDSON:  Oh, she’s not animated… She’s real!


A high-end hooker who’s a regular at the hotel who was waving a twenty in the air in the middle of the check-out crowd:

“Who do I have to blow around here to get my keys?”

I approached her and pointed to the Valet Desk but not before adding a comment I knew wouldn’t offend someone in her line of work.

“Wouldn’t you be getting the twenty in that case?”

Naturally, she was more than ready for the likes of me, hitting back with a sultry whisper of a response:

“Honey, twenty dollars won’t even get me in your room, never mind in your pants.”

Note to Self: Stop talking to high-end hookers unless you want to wind up divorced.

And on that sobering note, here’s one more. As all this was unfolding around me a seventy-year-old man who was apparently too much in this world drove to the Table Rock complex and consigned himself to the watery depths of the Falls. He left behind a car littered with books on mental health. 

I honestly don’t know what else to say about Niagara’s “dirty little secret”  anymore. Having lost one of my best friend’s to suicide I have a different perspective than most on this almost-weekly occurrence at one of nature’s greatest creations. The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and gratitude but for so many it is a reminder of loss and failure.

Hold those you love close and count your blessings daily, my friends. And most importantly, if you’re feeling isolated and desperate… TALK TO SOMEONE, ANYONE.

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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34 Responses to Sunday Morning Shenanigans And Sobering Realities.

  1. Sobering last paragraph Robert. Take care my friend.

  2. Suicide is difficult to understand. It takes such a toll on those left behind.

    • The Hook says:

      Indeed it does.
      I’ve stood at the same spot on the brink of the Falls that my dear friend stood before taking that last final step and so I understand the temptation to just… let go of the pain and confusion of existence.
      But it’s not the answer.
      And all it ultimately does is leave those we love with questions for which they will never find answers.

  3. Marion Hardy says:

    Absolutely priceless and timely as the holiday season is so difficult for many. Merry Christmas my friend and to your wonderful family. xoxo

  4. Doug in Oakland says:

    They say the target for inflation is 2%, but my guess is that it is higher than that in some, uh, sectors of the economy.
    Suicide always leaves you wondering what you could have done differently, which is maybe a little bit helpful at first, but will outlive its usefulness if you let it.
    A compassionate reading of the wishes of someone who has taken their own life will most likely not include you stifling yours on their behalf.
    How one is supposed to extricate one’s self from the twisted wreckage of emotions left in the wake of someone you care about taking their own life in order to answer to the above logic I haven’t the merest of clues.

  5. One of the most difficult things about being around a lot of the general public – and their wins and losses – is seeing patterns – usually the destructive patterns..and feeling helpless to redirect.
    You’re just left with the baggage, Hook. Put it in will call – and walk away. As hard as it is, it’s not yours.
    Jingle on, Hook – and find the merry this season – you more than deserve it.

    • The Hook says:

      I’m not the only one… But thanks.

      • Sometimes you seem to be ctually what some call a “Watcher” – an objective observer of humankind – watching, recording, not intervening, but not unaffected by what is seen either. Watchers (who are not always fallen angels, but can be good or bad – “those who are awake” guardians) are in scripts and stories – there is one particular movie scene where the Watchers all gather on the beach to watch the sun rise over the ocean as the waves roll in – somehow it seems you are there.
        You’re an old soul. Life’s tough. Hang in there

  6. Theresa says:

    Hook, The overall feeling I have for you after reading this blog is this. I love you Hook. You keep on writing, you keep on giving us these tidbits of life from your eyes. Your humor is awesome and so refreshing. Your dedication (or fear) to your wife and family is admirable! I know there are people in our world who think they have no other recourse but to end their life for whatever reason. I’m just sorry it has to be at the most majestic natural wonder in our world. You keep your chin up and never give up or lose hope! I’m with you Hook, you keep me laughing!

  7. wilowmousey says:

    …Cognoscente of the shadows of loss and sorrow lurking, waiting to pounce on this Little Willowmousey, like a hungry stray cat… But you make me smile, Hook… Traveling this season, I tipped an unaware bellman a twenty dollar bill, and said, “with respect to The Hook.” He gave a knowing nod… Me thinks, you’re well read, Hook… Best of the Holidays to you and yours, my dear, and thank you…

    • The Hook says:

      You honor me with your fine prose and act of generosity, my dear friend.
      A very merry holiday season to you and those you hold closest to your heart.

  8. 3bones says:

    The perfect title for your post, Hook. You had me laughing at the beginning, and then wiping my eyes at the end. Being a suicide survivor myself (three family members who completed suicide, one immediate family member and two who were first cousins) I understand firsthand the importance of reaching out. Not only for the benefit of my own mental health, but also the importance of reaching out to a loved one who may be directly or indirectly communicating their intent to complete suicide. Sometimes it’s hard to see, sometimes it is not. Ofttimes these cries for help are swept under the carpet because we are afraid to face the brutal reality. Thanks for this post …

  9. curvyroads says:

    You are a kind and funny man, my friend!

  10. C.E.Robinson says:

    Great post title, Robert! You never disappoint! The reality of life hits home for everyone around the holiday season. Sad, the ones who can’t find a tread of hope to go on. A simple “Are you okay?” might save them. Best Wished to you and your family this holiday season. Hang onto good thoughts! 🎄Christine

  11. Thanks for the laugh. And prayers for the man who ended it all. I hope that you, my friend, are hanging in there.

  12. Tara says:

    Thank you Robert for your posts. I really do look forward to them. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday. 🙂 ❤

  13. List of X says:

    If you plan on stopping talking to high-end hookers, you might have to change the sphere of your employment. 🙂

  14. caroycroft77 says:

    You are so right. Talk to someone. Seek the help that you need. I say the same thing on my daily postings of inspiration.

  15. I don’t understand the appeal of throwing oneself into the falls as a means to the end. It would be an awful way to perish. I would implore anyone with those thoughts to please reach out to someone, anyone before it is too late. I have been there and I am walking around and upright because the right person took the time to figure out what was wrong with Kim… because I wasn’t talkin.

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