I don’t know what I did in a previous life to deserve this, but I have bad hotel karma. Here are a few of the more memorable examples:
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. I arrived, only to find that the door to my room had been recently kicked in. And repaired. With packing tape. Yeah. Big splinters out of the door frame, all held together with clear tape. It looked as though somebody had gone out the window fast, too. They’d almost gotten it back in the frame afterwards. There were just a few gaps here and there.
Many people would consider this ample reason to vacate. Instead, I went out to buy a bottle of wine. I was young(er), and this made sense at the time, for reasons that escape me now. Because usually I’m a beer drinker.
I stood in line to buy an overpriced bottle from off-sales (if you’re from Saskatchewan, you know what I’m talking about). A creepy-looking guy was in line behind me, so I stepped aside to let him buy his beer first. When I returned to the parking lot with my bottle, he was still sitting in his truck. I drove away. He followed me. All the way back to the hotel.
I discovered shortly afterwards that he was the hotel manager. I didn’t know whether to be reassured or not. He hadn’t actually been following me, specifically, as far as I knew. But he was definitely creepy. And he had a key to my room. Not that he’d have needed it. He could have farted in the general direction of the door and the whole thing would have given way. I didn’t sleep well that night.
Manitoba. The only hotel in a small town which shall remain nameless. It was definitely a deluxe establishment, with a bathroom on each and every floor. Three, in total. I spent the night sleeping on the doormat on the linoleum floor, because it was both cleaner and more comfortable than the bed. The cattle in the adjacent feedlot started bellowing at four in the morning. The smell was unspeakable. But I’m willing to concede that this one may have been more a matter of poor choice than karma.
Lest you think that my ill fate arises from the fact that I’m a cheapskate, allow me to present another hotel experience. Swanky high-rise in Vegas. Two hundred bucks a night, back in the ’90s. (No, I wasn’t paying. So I’m cheap. Shut up.)
At two o’clock in the morning, some nutcase rappelled down from the roof past my twelfth-floor window. Hooting and hollering. Feet bouncing against the glass. Thump. Thump. Thump. I didn’t get up to look. I just didn’t want to know. I heard the rumour later that he was naked, so I guess I should have looked. You don’t see naked guys rappelling every day. I’m thinking that he’d have wanted to be careful putting on the harness, though. Maybe that’s why he was hollering.
Lethbridge, Alberta. Another hotel, another night. And no, this one wasn’t cheap, either. There was an ill-fitting connecting door to the next room. Around midnight, the neighbour stumbled into his room, immediately lit up a cigarette, and dialled an escort service. The cigarette smoke drifted under the door. He demanded, “Sex! Lots of sex!” Middle European accent. Every word clear as a bell through the useless door.
Since I was awake anyway, I sneaked out of my room to get something from the car. He caught sight of me and thought I was his hooker. I’m not quite sure what he found attractive about my baggy jeans and sweatshirt, but then again, he was pretty wasted. I ignored his bawdy shouts and lay low until the real hooker arrived. She was wearing a nice little black business suit. She was much more tastefully dressed than I was. Should that bother me?
I sneaked back into the room and called the front desk. They declined to acknowledge that there was a problem. Fortunately, the guy had all the staying power of wet toilet paper. If that was his idea of “lots of sex”, no wonder he had to pay somebody. He was done in minutes, the hooker left, and I actually did get some sleep that night.
Bad hotel karma runs in our family, too. If my sister ever writes her memoirs, don’t miss them.
Got any bad hotel stories? Come on, I know you do. Share, share!