General Chaos

The Tostitos are still here

Thursday, September 12:

I checked into the Courtyard by Marriott Detroit last night after an
uneventful (but annoying) day of 9/11 travel. The night clerk asked,
“Smoking room?”

Non-smoking please,” I answered.

“Does it have to be a king?” he asked, pleading for compliance.

“If the choice is between a king smoking room and a non-smoking
something else, I'll take the non-smoking something else.”

“Oh, you're in luck–a Marriot Club member just moved out of this room
because they said it was too big.”

Too big, I thought. “I'm sure that'll be fine,” I said unknowingly.

After getting my key, I went to the room. It was big–it was a very
poorly designed conference and guest room, with a king bed at one end of
the room and a conderence table at the other, with the usual
accompaniment of furniture. But it was all dwarfed by the room, which
measures about 28 feet by 30 feet. You could play roller hockey in here
and not touch the furniture cowering on the borders.

And there were still signs of continued inhabitance. A bag of Tostitos
sat on the conference table in the room, and a melted candle smoldered
next to it in a bowl. Women's bath products lined the tub, and a
woman's AT&T calling card and key still sat on the nightstand.

“Are you sure this room is empty?” I asked over the phone. “There are
some things here…a phone credit card…”

“I'll be right up to get them,” said the guest services rep.

Midnight came. A message light blinked on the phone. “Mr. Gallagher,
We're sorry didn't get up to pick up the other guest's
effects tonight. Please call us and tell us when it's appropriate to
come by to pick them up.”

Next morning, I dropped the card off at the front desk. “There's still
some bath products and other trash in the room; could somebody get them
out?” I asked.

I returned to my room late this evening–and the Tostitos are still
here. As are the various and sundry Victoria's Secret bath gels and
such, a plastic body scrubber, and the molten candle.

This is not a particularly good hotel, I have determined.


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