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A Little Respect

January 6, 2006

While I don’t travel as much as I have in the past, where some years better than a third of my nights were spent in hotel rooms, I still travel a bit on business. I’m not particularly naive so I do recognize there are certain activities that occur in hotel rooms that, as the person sliding between the sheets on any particular night, you’d as soon not think about. Heck, with nearly twenty-eight years of marriage behind me, I’ve even crawled into the sheets of a hotel with a member of the opposite sex (this being SWMBO) a number of times. Of course, since most of our trips over those years were with the kids along, nothing much but sleeping took place — but I can dimly recall a few events from distant, pre-children trips (including my honeymoon, though one of those nights involved a couch in a hotel meeting room — but that’s another story). So not only do I recognize certain activities happen, I’ve even been involved in the activities that can, um, arise in the bed you are nestling into at some out-of-town hostelry.

But you keep those thoughts distant when snuggling into that lonely pillow after a day (and usually a dinner) of meetings so that you can snooze to recharge for the next day. At least I put them out of my mind. At least I normally do. But not Wednesday night, not in Monroe, Louisiana, not in room two-hundred & thirty-three of the Courtyard by Marriott. No, on that night the activities that you know (but try to forget) have taken place in the bed you’re crawling into sort of got thrown into the forefront of my brain.

Wednesday was a relatively short day, all things considered. We did go out for a start-of-the-year kick-off celebration, a Japanese place with the whole whopper/chopper thing, the chef doing the cooking at your table. Steak, lobster, shrimp, chicken, the trimmings, and all this after three huge platters of various sushi rolls. Then, interestingly enough, we finished up at a Maggie Moo’s and did most of our business talk there. But since several of us (including my boss, which helped) wanted to watch the USC/Texas game, I was back at the hotel by 8:30. I’ll leave the game alone, other than to say the pre-game hype of a particular player was by far overshadowed by the opposing team’s quarterback, and just say the game didn’t end until midnight local time. I had pretty much finished up some charts for the next day by then, so was ready for bed.

There was a gap of about 18″ between the bed and wall, with a night stand that held a lamp and an alarm clock, so I went over to set the alarm. This particular Courtyard is currently under room renovation, and I wasn’t particularly surprised to see what looked like a small mass of wadded up black electrical tape in the floor. I wasn’t sure how the vacuum missed it, but nevertheless I wasn’t surprised. It was kind of dim in the floor between the wall and bed, though, and I decided it might be one of my socks. Keep in mind all of this occurred in a flash, but I bent down to check to be sure it wasn’t a sock. Just as my fingers touched it, the thing came into focus: a jet black and obviously previously-used condom.

Like I said, there have probably been many such items used many times in every hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. But you’d like to forget that while sleeping there. At least I would. Amorous thoughts, to me, do not include the leftovers from previous activity and in any event I was alone. But the question that occurred at this point was what to do about it. Well, what to do about it after scrubbing my hands in hot, soapy water for about five minutes. Should I call the desk? I almost did, but figured what was the use. It was now around twelve-thirty in the morning, I had to be up at six, and any complaints would at best put me in another room where the same sort of activity might well have happened the night before anyway. Most likely, the staff would have just removed the thing. In either case, I’d be another hour getting to bed and it usually takes me at least half an hour to get to sleep after I go to bed.

So I just went to sleep. I’m not sure exactly what that says about me, but it did seem logical at the time. I didn’t think it was an attack condom that would crawl up into bed after I dozed off, and as I said, any sex-cooties floating around would be floating around in any room I picked. At least these unknown folk used a condom, so certain aspects of their activities were contained and not spread around the bed. And while just going to sleep seemed inappropriate enough in the light of day that I fibbed about it to my coworkers and said I didn’t find the black prophylactic until the morning, that’s all I did. Went to sleep. And, in truth, slept pretty well.

I did, of course, alert the staff the next day. However, as part of my New Year’s resolutions (after the incident with the motorist who cut me off in December that had me following them to their destination and Number One Son in the floorboard hiding), I chose to handle it in a very polite fashion and at the desk the next morning I only pointed out their system of cleaning and room check was apparently flawed. To her credit, “one of the managers” (as she said she was when I asked for the manager) looked suitably disgusted when I told her what I’d found. But I did want to make a quick note to end this rambling tale:

Dear World:

For the sake of your fellow travelers–if not the cleaning crew–please dispose of your used condoms properly. Show a little respect when you get, er . . . well just show a little respect.

Thanks, World.

Your friend,



Shane said:
And now for Paul Harvey’s, “The Ressssssst of the Story”:

/Boss visits Rick’s room at 6:45 am to ask about materials for morning meetings.

/Rick goes to bathroom to pack toiletries while boss sits on the bed to watch Sportscenter highlights of last night’s INCREDIBLE game.

/Boss looks for remote in bed covers and notices something behind the bed. Seeing Rick’s bags packed, he figures a sock has been left behind.

/Rick hears boss call out from other room, “Hey did you forget a…”

/Rick’s heart drops into his pants when boss abruptly stops his question and quickly exits the room with a mumbled, “See you downstairs”.

/Boss goes to his room and washes hands for five minutes.

/Rick shoots a friendly e-mail to boss a week later nonchalantly inviting him to “check out my blog sometime”.

And that’s the rundown of the Ressssst of the Story.



*laugh* Sort of like the frog story (“and that, your honor, is how a fifteen year old girl ended up in my room”), but no, my version is correct.

From → Ramblings

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