Tour Season, Cultural Bridges Blown Asunder… And Godzilla!

Riddle me this, kids: When is a dreary, rainy Monday morning at the height of bus season in Niagara Falls anything but boring?

Why, when you mix two Japanese tours, two buses, two clueless Japanese tour guides and two black-as-the-ace-of-spades drivers with yours truly, of course!

Yes, this is going to be a culturally-honest-but-wholly-inappropriate post, thank you very much. (But to be honest, the one driver described himself and his partner in the aforementioned manner, so I’m merely repeating the term, therefore I am only an accidental racist.) Now sit back and enjoy, Poindexter.

So as you’ve already surmised, I had two buses of Japanese tourists to load up this wet Monday morning – and it went as well as one would expect considering my involvement.

Japanese bus travelers are ridiculously-particular when it comes to their luggage and 90% of them follow the exact same pattern:

  1. They place their bags outside the door long before the scheduled time.
  2. They acknowledge the bellman as he picks said bags up.
  3. They race down to the lobby and wait beside the bus as the bellman drops the luggage off with the driver.
  4. They have to psychically touch their bag at least one more time before it goes on the bus.

I have no idea what happens if that last step isn’t completed but I’ve seen tourists of both genders weep and shake violently if they fail to establish tactile contact.

And if you thought the guests were nutty… Their handlers redefine terms like “odd”, “high-strung” and “batshit crazy”. The two male guides I encountered this morning had every opportunity to organize their groups’ bags by bus before we headed outside in the rain, but did they do so? Of course not. Where’s the fun in that?

This post involves water and has gone off the culturally-appropriate rails anyway, so…

So there I was, standing like a tall drink of water in the falling water as two Japanese guides who were wound tighter than a air traffic controller after ten cups of java scanned four full luggage carts of hard-shelled luggage. In the rain. One of them finally pulled up his hood to shield himself.

ME:  Oh, you’re getting wet are you? Good thing you have a hood!

GUIDE #1:  Yes! Hood very good!

ME:  Indeed! But you see… the thing is… I don’t have a hood!

GUIDE #1:  No… you have no hood! You all wet!

ME:  (Contemplating the public execution of this prick before speaking.)  Yes… yes I am. So could we speed things up? Before I die of pneumonia? Because when I come to work I like to not die.

Yes, I’m a rascal, thank you ever so much for noticing. But I’m a choir boy compared to the large African-American drivers who found themselves behind the Eight Ball with these guides. You see, drivers like to load their buses quickly and efficiently, and that wasn’t happening. And so one of the drivers summed it up perfectly when I finally had the chance to unload the bags.

ME:  These guys aren’t exactly organized, are they?

To which he responded:

“Organized? These motherfuckers is crazy!”

I have to admit, that one’s going to stay with me all week. At least.

My colleague had it worse, I’m afraid. When he lingered after unloading his cart, just to make sure all the bags were fully accounted for, Driver #2 was not impressed…

“If you waiting for a tip… see those assholes!”

Obviously all that sensitivity training they fill tour bus drivers with these days is paying off.

I’d be a fool to try to top that, right?

See you in the lobby, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Seven Things I Learned In New York.

If the title wasn’t clear enough, I should tell you that I recently accompanied my daughter on her latest excursion to the Big Apple.

And spoiler alert: I didn’t get into a fight with any New Yorkers in the Broadway district this time. Though it’s kind of a shame; I’ve been watching a lot of Daredevil on Netflix and I was really looking forward to trying out some new moves. And if that failed, to shove some effin’ son of a gun into the streets where he’d be sure to be struck by a taxi cab driven by someone named Achmed, who, coincidentally, moonlights as “Ted” from US Air customer service.

I call that my “New York State of Mind Style” of fighting.

And by the way, that wasn’t a racist joke; it was a segue-way to my first lesson…

ONE)  There is a caste system (sort of) among the NYC labor force.

It’s true – as far as I’m concerned. Every time I’ve been to New York we’ve used cabs once my daughter’s engine ran out of fuel and every single time the driver was East Indian. Most restaurant workers, movie theater personnel and street cleaners were African-American. Latinos also staff many of NYC’s fine eating establishments and they’ll whisper, “Thanks for nothing, puta.” if you don’t tip them well. White folks can be found staffing theaters that host plays and musicals, along with the occasional minority colleague.

All of these individuals have treated my family with respect and decency whenever we’ve visited the Big Apple and I value and respect them. (Mostly so they won’t call me a puta, but it still counts.)

TWO)  No one actually says, “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” while crossing the street and narrowly avoiding being run over.

I tried it and people just muttered, “Crazy-ass Canadians!” I was so disappointed. Speaking of near-misses on NYC streets…

THREE)  The average New Yorker (and the odd not-so-average-tourist) avoids being hit by a motorized vehicle at least three times a day.

Yes, I’ve double checked my math, thank you very much. What blows me away is how often people step in the path of cabs, buses, delivery trucks, rickshaws (which as it turns out, aren’t actually operated by guys named Rick) and other vehicles. People are either fearless or stupid.

How any pedestrian survives a stroll through Times Square is beyond my capacity to understand.

How any of these people avoid becoming road pizza, I’ll never know.

FOUR)  Times Square at the Witching Hour is as bright as high noon.

Seriously, we made our way through the iconic NY landmark at midnight and it was lit up like Judge Kavanaugh while partying with Squee and PJ. I can’t even begin to imagine how much power it takes to keep everything from the Disney Store to the streetlights people puke up against powered.

Which brings me to my next point…

FIVE)  Certain businesses in NYC believe in “mood lighting”.

In stark contrast to TS (I use “TS” instead of Times Square because I’m that cool) establishments like Applebee’s and Regal Cinemas use five watt bulbs that make you think you’re about to get lucky rather than chow down on a burger or watching the latest Kevin Hart flick.

Which is hilarious, by the way.

I guess I’ve become spoiled living in Niagara Falls, where power is as plentiful as bullshit at a White House press conference. Apparently they have to be extremely careful where they use wattage in NYC, but it’s all good.

SIX)  Real estate is at a premium, so be prepared to be cozy!

If you’re like me, you prefer to spend your travel budget on merch, food and comic books, not lodging. Granted, I can take advantage of steep discounts on hotel rooms by using my team member status at the hotel, but even those rooms are a little, shall we say, snug?

Yes, New York is a tad crowded, but in some establishments you can’t even go outside the room to change your mind, you have to wait until you get home; that’s how tight the hallways, lobbys and front sidewalks are. Hot and tight is great when you’re being romantic, but it can suck when you’re on vacation.

The view from our room on 41st street. If these water towers had been closer together the innuendo would’ve been inescapable.

 

SEVEN)  Where are all the hookers?

I’m not saying I was looking for them but there were zero hookers to be seen during my NYC trip. Period.

As I write this, it is seven am in Niagara Falls, Canada, and a young, gorgeous, tight (told you tight can be good sometimes) hooker just strolled by my desk. Granted, she was wearing a parka… but that’s beside the point.

NYC authorities have gone to great lengths to clean up Times Square and surrounding areas, but come on, man, it’s called the world’s oldest profession for a reason! Tourists need lovin’ – and STDs – too!

I think that’s enough learnin’ for one day, right, Poindexter?

I hope you’ve enjoyed these musings/observations/ravings, I prepared them just for you.

See you in the lobby and on the not-so-mean streets of New York, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Misadventures In Modern Parenting: Travel Edition – With Shantelle Bisson and The Hook.

It’s the bane of every traveling parent’s existence: what to do when their kids act like monsters while away from home.

Do you open a can of whup-ass all over them in public? Or do you wait until you’re alone and safe from CCTV evidence, the authorities and judgemental busy-bodies? Or do you take the third route and use your kids as part of a tax dodge, “gifting” them millions of dollars in the process, transforming them into privileged, soulless bloodsuckers who lie, cheat and steal their way through life until one of them becomes president of the United States?

Okay, so I’m the first to admit that third example, timely as it was, went off the rails. But it raises a good point: many parents these days allow their spawn to go full “Lord of the Flies” while on vacation and the rest of the world pays the price. From hockey parents to corporate drones attending a conference or even just regular folk, many parents these days have just given up; they don’t read their kids the riot act before leaving the driveway – and again, it’s their fellow travelers that end up suffering. Raising little humans is the greatest gift and responsibility we can ever receive/undertake as adulta, so there should be no half-measures taken, friends.

Oh, Antonio Banderas, if only all parents were like you…

I recently traveled to New York City with my daughter for the Broadway Flea Market and a show or two on the Great White Way. (That’s the official moniker for Broadway, not some kind of racist ideology.) My daughter’s nineteen now and less prone to tantrums – though her old man certainly isn’t – but together we observed a rugrat or ten whose progenitors fit what has become the new normal profile for parents: they ignored their kids, played with their phones, sipped their overpriced lattes, and let the little ones wreak havoc, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

I also see this pattern all the time as a Niagara Falls bellman and so I recognize that I may not be the most unbiased person to write about this subject. And so I have consulted an old (and insanely-talented and hawt as hell!) friend of ours, the actress/blogger/writer/television-parenting-expert/mom know as Shantelle Bisson.

(To be honest, Shantelle wears even more hats than the ones described above but my slice of the internet isn’t as boundless as it appears, nor is your patience for my writing, so we’ll leave it as is. Okay?)

Shantelle not only consults on parenting issues on television and the HuffPost, she’s raised three young women with her husband, and so she’s more than qualified to share her views/experiences on how to parent while traveling with little humans…

Told you she was easy on the eyes…

1)  You’ve been a “sport parent”, shuttling your kids cross-country (and further, perhaps) and in and out of hotels. Were your children always well-behaved? Or were they human and prone to fits of… humanness? 

We did travel for sports with our girls, but not all that often, and rarely with all three in tow. But, I will say this, and nobody believes me, but our girls were not the fit-throwing kind. They didn’t do it on airplanes, or in cars on long road trips, and they never behaved badly in a hotel lobby, hallway or room.

I mean, they would fight with one another, but they never screamed bloody murder or inconvenienced a fellow traveler with entitled fit-throwing behaviour. Not once.

(You see? They were obviously educate din travel etiquette long before leaving home.)

2)  Were your kids instructed to keep the hotel room clean? (Because most parents let their kids turn the room into an exact replica of Thunderdome.)

Yes they were.

In fact they were also encouraged to tidy up after themselves when they had sleep-overs at their friend’s homes. It’s so blatantly disrespectful to allow kids to grow up with the mindset; “that somebody else will clean up my mess” that I can’t even get into it here on your blog, cuz you’re a nice man with a clean site. You don’t need my profanity laced response to cause you to lose followers. But suffice it to say, that the people in hotels are there to clean bathrooms, change linens and make beds, not be your personal maid.

(I’m a nice man? Wow. I’m quoting Shantelle on that one.)

3)  What about packing; when were your children allowed to pack and be responsible for their own belongings while traveling?

Wow. Great question.

(You see? I display a flash of competence every once in awhile.)

Our girls LOVED to pack their own things. We would give them a list of events they would be attending and they would pack accordingly. They pulled their own carry-ons, or wore them as backpacks, and hubby did all the heavy lifting of suitcases on to carts etc.

Once in the hotel room they were expected (and they did) keep all their belongings in their assigned section of the room. Even their traveling stuffies were delicately placed on bed pillows in every single room they’ve every stayed in, which is literately every place on the earth that they’ve visited with us. Our girls joke that Zulu and Squealer are world travelers!

Shantelle’s human children…

4)  Did you or your husband ever try to make time for yourselves while on vacation with the family, or did you dedicate the entire trip to spending time with the kids? When is it okay be somewhat selfish when you’re a parent?

When we’re on vacation or a trip with our kids, we’re on a trip to BE WITH OUR KIDS. But that’s just us, even as recent as last year all five of us went to Thailand for ten days. This year we, along with our son-in-law, we will be spending Christmas in New York. We go on holiday with our kids to actually get them all to ourselves, since life goes so fast, and you don’t actually get all that much time with your kids if you break it down.

I mean I see parents every single time we’re on a family trip that have a nanny in tow, and cellphones and tablets in hand…I guess to each their own. But for us, family trips were always about exactly that.

Saturday nights in the city? Those were always for the two of us, and least once a year we got away alone, even during the financially challenging ones, even if it was just for a weekend away at some local hotel. It’s important to make your intimate relationship a priority, considering, if you do it right you will eventually end up all alone, just the two of you. So, you better like one another, and know one another, or else, trouble…

…And her not quite human kids.

5)  Your kids are hardly that anymore; how has your travel regiment changed? Do you find yourself treating them like adults or does your default setting always switch to “Mom”?

Damn. Another good question.

(What are the odds I’d get lucky twice in one post? I better buy a lottery ticket.)

Nowadays we don’t have as much daily interaction, which makes it easier to turn off the Mom button when we do end up traveling together.

I mean the reality is, I’m always going to be their mom, even when they’re mothers to their own children, so the tendency to want to mother them is strong. But, I find dialing that back is getting easier and easier to do, and this new role of “arms length” Momming is settling in. When we travel the only time the mom hat seems to come on is when they argue with each other, or leave one out in the cold. Then good ole Momma Bear comes out whether I want her to or not 😉

6)  Any final thoughts on parenting on the road, Shantelle?

Like do you, as parents allow your kids to crash around your home? Do you allow them to leave their shit all over the place and not pick up after themselves??

If you do, well then, whatever… but most likely you have a standard and an expectation of behavior required for them when they’re inside your four walls.. this should be applicable to when they’re staying in a hotel… just saying.

(Preach, sister, preach!) 

This perfectly describes my rookie parenting “style”. Thank God I had a wife like Shantelle to rescue our daughter.

And that’s all the damage I’m prepared to do today, friends. I hope you’ve enjoyed Shantelle Bisson’s reflections on raising tiny mammals. I want to thank her from the bottom of my frozen/jaded Canadian heart. Maybe we’ll do this again sometime.

See you in the lobby, parents…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Another Murdoch Post?

If a little is good then more must be better.

That saying usually applies to alcohol or ketchup flavored potato chips (I love being Canadian) but it also applies to insights on the latest season of Murdoch Mysteries from it’s stars. Speaking of which, here are five words and thoughts – give or take – about MM S12 from the show’s newest couple, Henry Higgins and Ruth Newsome (Lachlan Murdoch and Siobhan Giles Murphy.)

Let’s infuriate the feminists and begin with Constable Henry Higgins. Here’s a Fun Fact before we begin: Lachlan originally auditioned for the role of George Crabtree but was as successful as I was when auditioning for the role of Doctor Julia Ogden. (I maintain that I rocked that turn-of-the-century frock better than Hélène Joy.) However, producers were so impressed with Lachlan that they created the role of Higgins just for him. Then he returned their children and the course of Canadian television was forever altered. (Oh that Hook!)

Now a word from the man himself:

“I’m sure you know I can’t give anything away so here’s my best shot at obscure answers.”

  1. New beginnings.
  2. Plant-eater.
  3. Hyphens.
  4. Gasoline.
  5. Train.

Well, when Higgins says he’s going to be obscure… he means it. Personally, I’m intrigued; I’m going to be looking out for these clues all season long. Way to mess with our heads, Lachlan!

And now four comments from one of the most gifted (and cute) actors to join the MM cast in recent years, Siobhan Giles Murphy.

1) You’ve already cut your teeth on Murdoch Mysteries, but what’s it been like going into #S12 with an expanded and more significant role?

This new season is really exciting for me!

Having been introduced in season 10, I’ve been lucky enough to have my role slowly expand each season. Season 12 has some really fun developments for the Ruth/Henry relationship and also for Ruth on her own. I hate that I can’t be more specific but trust me, the new storylines are going to be so fun for the audience.

(You read it here first, folks, Ruth is going to be a socialite caterpillar this year. Can’t wait to see how Peter Mitchell and Company make her a MM butterfly.)

2) Is Lachlan Murdoch a diva? (Enquiring Canadian minds want to know.)

I am SO glad someone is asking the truly hard-hitting questions about the proper diva that is Lachlan Murdoch!!

No, in all seriousness, Lachlan is the best scene partner I could ever hope for. We crack each other up and genuinely get a kick out of each other which helps the long days on set feel shorter. He’s such a team player and such a sweetheart, having all my scenes with him is a total delight.

I wish I had some better gossip to share but sadly, he’s so great!

(Well, we almost had some juicy morsels to snack on, Murdochians.)

I know I’m supposed to respect her as an artist and human being (and I do) but that said, Siobhan Giles Murphy is a cutie, kids…

3) Of all the colours utilized on Murdoch Mysteries Season 12, what has been your favorite so far?

(Yes, I’m not afraid to ask the hard-hitting questions, gang.)

Oooh ! Well Ruth is always being put in the most over the top colours (Chartreuse satin! Pepto Bismol pink, etc., etc.)

But this season Joanna, our genius wardrobe designer, has truly elevated the Ruth Newsome looks. I think actually the best colour look appears the first time we see Ruth in episode one, it’s magenta and green and it shouldn’t work but it SO DOES!! It’s a more modern color palette then I’ve worn in past seasons and it feels really fresh but also fun!

4) If you could act in a scene with any MM current cast member or alumni (stretch your imagination to it’s limits) who would you choose and why?

What a great question!!

(I try.)

I loved all my scenes with Erin Agostino (she played Nina bloom) because we got to explore a real “opposites attract” friendship and get into all kinds of hysterical capers together.

Also we just got along so well offscreen it never felt like work. I’m still mourning her characters’ move to Paris. I was dying for another friendship for Ruth after Nina left but this season the writers have paired me with Dr. Ogden in a really great arc that comes later in the season. An unexpected friendship I can’t wait for the fans to see.

One of my favourite things about playing Ruth is getting to add some levity and humour when most of the episodes can be quite serious and even dark. Ruth shifts the tone to something a little lighter and more silly and getting to bring that to scenes with Hélène has been a riot.

I’d say Siobhan has been quite forthcoming, wouldn’t you?

All right, that about wraps this latest edition of “Shameless Promotion For Shows The Hook Loves”. I’d like to thank Lachlan and Siobhan (love that name!) for stopping by and giving us more than one mystery to solve on our own.

See you in the lobby and on the CBC, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

On With The Murdochian Show… This Is It…

It’s hard to believe (though not if you’re a fan) but Murdoch Mysteries Season Twelve is almost upon us.

To millions of us, Murdoch isn’t simply a televised period piece focusing on a detective who is decades ahead of his time. It’s a creative hub for writers, actors, prop and make-up artists who are also ahead of their time. It’s brought together a diverse community of viewers, some of who have crossed borders to meet in person and share their love of the Artful Detective. It’s given more than one terminally-ill patient a reason to get up in the morning. Think about that for a moment: there are people out there who are spending their final days enthralled by a “simple Canadian detective series”.

No wonder Murdochians are on the edge of their seats right now.

So let’s take a moment to step back from our breathless anticipation and read a few Q’s  and A’s from the folks who bring Detective William Murdoch and Company to life, shall we?

We’ll begin with the wingnut that holds the entire operation together. He’s the captain of this particular ship and he takes his role as seriously as Capt. Edward John Smith. (Though thankfully, his ship is in no danger of sinking anytime soon.) He’s MM Executive Producer Peter Mitchell.

1) MM is entering S12 and shows no signs of slowing down, but have you given any thought as to how you’d craft a series finale? Or is that too self-defeating?

We in the writer’s room have entertained numerous series finales. They seem a long way away but all the characters will get what they have earned and the audience will be able to rest easy with their fates.

That’s a damn fine answer that deserves a damn fine cup of Joe. From Tim Hortons, of course. Personally, I’m hoping William Murdoch gets struck in the head and wakes up on a tropical island with Rick Springfield. (Only true Yannick Bisson fans will get that reference.)

2) How great does it feel to be filming/crafting the dozenth (hey, I made a word!) season of Murdoch? Your cast and crew have worked unbelievably-hard over the years and it must feel amazing to see that hard work pay off. Especially since the TV game can be an especially volatile one at times, right?

It feels great to be a part of crafting a great Canadian novel. It feels great to work with a group of people who care deeply about their jobs. It is great to embrace the challenges of the future and to work with people who want the next one to be better than the last. We don’t always succeed but we don’t rest on what we’ve done.

 

No MM post would be complete without a comment – or five to be precise – from Mrs. Brackenreid herself, the incomparable Arwen Humpreys. Arwen, whom I refer to as “AW” was recently drawn into the fray caused by the media’s “outing” of former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens as a performer who bags groceries at a New Jersey Trader Joe’s in-between professional gigs. AW waits tables when she’s not being brilliant on the Murdoch set.

(And yes, we’re close enough that I can call her “AW”. Get over it.)

1) You recently became my newest hero when you opened up about your life as a working actor (literally!). Does this sort of vulnerability make you a more fearless Murdoch cast member? I would imagine fearlessness is an essential part of being a thespian.

I don’t know if my revealing my “double life” has made me more or less fearless. Though it has made me feel more like I’m living a more truthful existence in this “living your best self” Social Media World.

 

2) It’s been twelve seasons. (Wow!) How does a cast and crew keep things fresh and yet retain all the qualities that have made them so successful in the first place?

I know! Who knew!!!??? The writers. The writers keep us fresh. I think Pete, Simon and the gang give us some really great material. Also, our Directors are fantastic at letting me explore different options during a scene. Not too many though… 😉

The mere thought of being featured on my blog again sends chills through AW’s body…

3) Any hints as to what we can expect from Mrs. B this season?

It’s the journey, not the destination that counts. haha! But seriously… I want everyone to have a great time watching the show. Giving hints would ruin the fun!!

4) Did you manage to meet any international fellow actors/cinematic professionals at TIFF that were fans of Murdoch Mysteries?  (Besides Anne Rice, of course.)

I did not, but I became a HUGE fan of all the amazing women I got to hang out with!! It was a really empowering experience!

Incidentally, Anne Rice liking Murdoch was one of the most off-the-charts moments for me!! Wowowowow!!

Speaking of “Wowowowow!!”

5) Any chance we’ll see a Margaret/Louise Cherry spin-off series where they team-up to open a private eye agency anytime soon?

If it means working with Erin Blair then absolutely!! In terms of Margaret… I think she’s more political than mystery solving. That is NOT A HINT!!!! It is merely the observation of the person who has inhabited her world for a very long time!! And what a wonderful world it is!!! I really hope everyone enjoys Season 12 and THANK YOU as always for all your support!!!! xoxo

Now let’s see, who else can I harass persuade from the MM set? Oh, I know! Special effects maven Debi Drennan is always willing to subject herself to my unique brand of madness genius…

1) Do you hone your craft by studying old school methods or are you all about cutting-edge, state-of-the-art tech, Debi?

My art is a combination of old and new for sure. I was trained using my hands and building everything from scratch whether it was a simple bullet hole or a complete Y incision.

However, every day it seems they come out with new products that make our job just a little bit easier.

For speed though, I will still resort to the tried-and-true forehand art.

2) Just between us, are Yannick Bisson’s eyebrows CGI or are they the result of twelve hours in your den of magic, Debi?

Yannick eyebrows and eyelashes are completely natural. I do nothing to them. We have had people for years on social media say Yannick wears too much mascara or eyeliner. Hear me now….. He doesn’t wear anything on his eyes and eyebrows!

(Personally, I never thought Yannick’s look was anything but natural!)

3) You’ve shared a few amazing creations on social media (Debi’s Instagram account rocks!) so far, but which of Season Twelve’s challenges has proven to be a true test for you and your team? Without spoiling anything of course!

The shots I have put up lately on social media were all shots I got behind on last season. I left the country late January and spent the winter in Indonesia and stopped posting so I wanted to get caught up before Season 12 goes to air next week.

It has been a fun and surprising season. We have had guests come back that you didn’t think you would see again.

(Is it true? Could Sally Pendrick be returning at last?)

One more thing before we move on. I felt compelled to share this comment from Debi:

The town of Ajax commissioned and unveiled an amazing monument dedicated to the women war workers from the munitions factory. It is amazing! I went to the dedication ceremony and they said that Bomb Girls was their motivation and that I was their inspiration. So cool to see that come together.

Bomb Girls chronicled the lives of several young women working in a munitions factory in WWII Canada. It was filmed in Toronto and was based on an idea by Debi and Murdoch creator Maureen Jennings. Well done, Debi!

Let’s close out with five words from the Artful Detective himself, Yannick Bisson:

“Twelve is absolutely the best.”

To be fair, he gets paid to say more than five words and I have no budget whatsoever so…

“It says here there’s no legal recourse that allows us to lock The Hook up for being annoying, sir.”

 

And now, kids, it’s time to return to our not-so-lonely vigil as the minutes tick by until Murdoch Mysteries Season Twelve finally begins.

See you in the lobby and on the CBC kids…

This is how we all feel, right?

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

What Happens Next?

I’m back, bitches!

Now what?

To be entirely honest, I’m not all that comfortable with the term “bitches”, but it’s amusing, so it made the final edit. Or at least it would have if I had an editing process in the first place. But my question remains: what do I do now that I’m back in the blogging game?

Get back to basics, I suppose.

The phone rings at the Bell Desk. I answer. (Gripping stuff so far, right?)

FEMALE TRAVELER FROM GOD-KNOWS-WHERE:  Yes, hello, can I have a guy with a thing to my room?

ME:  (Stifling my laughter. But not much.)  And what would you like the guy with the thing to do when he arrives at your room, miss?

FEMALE TRAVELER:  I need him to take my shit downstairs!

Finishing school really paid off for this broad, didn’t it?

ME:  We can send a bellman to your room to retrieve the luggage, miss. He’ll be right up…

FEMALE TRAVELER:  But I’m not ready! I just wanted to see if it was possible to get a guy with a thing to take my shit downstairs!

ME:  It’s more than possible, miss… it’s entirely doable! Just give us a call whenever you’re actually ready and we’ll send a bellman with a cart to your room.

FEMALE TRAVELER:  Sounds awesome! What’s your number?

At that point, I shuddered and if it was possible, my head would have exploded from frustration.

ME:  Forgive me, miss, but… if you don’t have our number… how are we speaking right now?

FEMALE TRAVELER:  Uh… I’m really not prepared to answer any questions…

I think this chick thought she was being interrogated by the authorities. I was expecting her to ask to call a lawyer.

ME:  All right, miss, just push the speed-dial button your phone marked, “Bell Desk” and you’ll be all set.

FEMALE TRAVELER:  All I have to do is push the button?

ME:  No, miss… you’ll have to actually pick up the receiver, put it to your ear and press the button. Someone at my desk (definitely not me) will answer and help you from there.

FEMALE TRAVELER:  That rocks! This hotel has it on lockdown!

ME:  I’m assuming that’s a good thing in this case… so thank you, miss.

Why in Heaven’s name  don’t I drink or do drugs?

See you in the lobby, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments

Summer of ’18… In Bite Sizes.

Well, another summer has come and gone – like most of the guests I deal with.

Especially the hookers.

This summer was no different than the last, truth be told. Last winter was a brutal one (it was slower than molasses in an Arctic snowstorm) and so I was skeptical about what this season held for the Bellmen, but it was as busy as the Las Vegas branch of Hell. And of course, there was another similarity I could’ve done without; I lost another loved one to the Grim Reaper’s icy embrace.

(Yes, my consciousness is healing – but very slowly, obviously.)

My fractured mind being what it is, I’ve decided to share a few snippets of encounters I had with various travelers to Niagara Falls this summer. Hey, it’s better than nothing, right?

We’ll begin with a little old lady who had dyed her hair a shade of blue; she was waiting in line at Burger King located in the Fallsview Casino, where I will occasionally enjoy a light lunch consisting of food guaranteed to kill me eventually. (“Eventually” being the key word.) The lady in question decided to extend her condolences about the passing of the Queen of Soul to an African-American gentleman with the largest Afro I’ve ever seen standing in line beside her.

BLUE-HAIRED OLD LADY:  Oh, honey, I was so sad to hear about that sweet Aretha Franklin. You must be so sad.

BIG-ASS BROTHER:  Why? I didn’t know the bitch!

With that brusque declaration, he took his double Whopper combo and walked off, leaving the precious little lady with the Smurf hair completely immobilized with shock. And there she stood. Staring at yours truly.

ME:  (While shrugging my shoulders.) I guess he didn’t know the bitch.

What else could I say? Okay, so there may have been a million different things I could’ve said. But I didn’t.

At any rate, my fellow hungry humans waiting in line with me must have approved, because they broke out into raucous laughter. One of them even congratulated me on being so witty… and bold.

 

How Can You Spot A Couple That’s Been Married Too Long?

It’s simple: Just look for an exchange like this one.

TIRED HUSBAND:  (Picking up stored luggage from The Hook at the Bell Desk.)  Thanks, Boss! The wife was supposed to help me but she’s too busy sitting in her ass over there on your couches! (To his lucky spouse.) Hey! Get over here and help me!

FRUSTRATED WIFE:  Oh, so you’re mad I didn’t help you, are you? Well, you were supposed to get me a cold drink!

TH:  What do I look like to you… a soda fountain?

FW:  No… you look like a big dumb elephant!

Yep, those people were definitely out of the honeymoon period…

 

Random Lines From Random Travelers.

In most hotels the Bell Desk is a fairly boring place; guests ask pedestrian questions about directions and dining options, store bags and generally hang out for a moment or two. In most hotels, that is. But as we’ve already seen, any hotel’s Bell Desk that employs me is anything but boring…

BAT-SHEEP CRAZY BLONDE COUGAR:  Mr. Bellman, can you let the Management know that I didn’t find the listening devices and cameras in the room… but I know they’re there! And thanks to them I couldn’t have sex with my honey! Even though I promised him that I would! And so he traveled thousands of miles and had to elude his wife… all to go home with blue balls! What do you think they’ll have to say about that?

ME:  Uh… the Management isn’t responsible for any missed orgasms, real or imagined, as a direct result of any listening or recording devices, real or imagined, in the room, miss.

BCBC:  Can I get that in writing?

Yikes.

My life really is this… unique, I swear!

 

PRETTY BRUNETTE STROLLING THRU THE LOBBY:  (Yammering into her phone.)  Yeah, girl, there are all kinds of people from Hamilton trying to have sex with me! It’s crazy!

I assumed she was referring to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, not the musical.

But you never know.

It must be exhausting being this chick. Popularity can be such a heavy burden. Or so I’m told.

 

Then there were the African-American ladies from Detroit…

LADY IN THE SHOWER:  Hey, girls! Is that Bellboy here yet? I don’t want him to see me in the all-together!

LADY NOT IN THE SHOWER:  What you worried about, Thelma? He ain’t gonna look anyhow! Ain’t  no white boy want to see your wrinkly old ass!

ME:  (While loading their bags.)  Well, you never know. I could be into wrinkly old ladies.

ANOTHER LADY NOT IN THE SHOWER:  (Excitedly.)  Are you?

ME:  Hells, no!

They all lost it (in a good way) and declared me the funniest white boy they’d ever met. Personally, I was beaming at the fact I was able to say, “Hells, no!” to a guest and get away with it.

That’s all I have for you for now. Time for my traditional end of summer send-off:

Note: The Hook cannot guarantee carnal success – especially not when it comes to his own life…

See you in the lobby, kids…

Posted in Hotel Life | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments