Monday, September 28, 2009



Yes, my perception is tainted. My travels for work spoil me with lovely hotels in great cities. However, some hotels should not be occupied, but donated to prisons for overcrowding. It's supposed to be a home away from home, not the equivalent of doing 10-15 hours in a state penitentiary.

I should have known better as even my GPS couldn't find this "Four Seasons" of solitary confinement in rural New York state. My loyal gadget of the directionally disabled not only couldn't locate it, it never even heard of the road or worse yet, the crime district it was in.


Too late. When you walk into a BATES HOTEL room and there are SIGNS all over to help you with the obvious, you know it's going to be a night to remember..or one you try to forget.

There is a direct correlation to the number of "DON'T" signs and the stars in hotel rating system. A four star hotel will have only one sign, "THANK YOU". However, a Minus four-star hotel with security cameras will have 20 signs within a 20 square foot space.

-Don't hang anything here (it's a freakin' sprinkler on the ceiling..what am I going to hang? a PiƱata?

-Don't use blow dryer near water (Thanks, but I like saving time to wash and dry hair at same time)

-Don't turn lights on after midnight (Does this mean the toilet is non-working after midnight too?)

-Don't touch A/C. (Why would I? I'm going to be perfectly comfortable all night in "lock down", one small window, with no lights after midnight to read more "Don't do anything" signs.

Alcatraz had more amenities, but it at least had a view of the San Francisco Bay. I'm just staring at a flashing hotel street sign that says. WE HAVE CABLE. ...Cable? all is good in Whoville.

After hours driving, I just want to sleep at night and shower in the morning. No need for breakfast in bed or strawberries at night. I'm easy like that.

But what I can't cope with is only ONE pillow and a quilted sheet/blanket/bed spread combo to sleep with. What is that?...A QUILTANKET? I didn't know if I was suppose to lay under it, in it, over it or put helium in it and escape from this prison yard of discomfort.

If the next morning, the shower would be my saving grace, All would be forgotten. Too bad I would have been cleaner if a prison guard hosed me down in CELL BLOCK TWO before this luxury bathroom suite of cleanliness got the job done.

I'm over 6'3" and the shower head was 3'6" off the floor. It took me over an hour to wash with a soap wafer the size of a CHEEZ-IT. It is sad when you have to negotiate which parts of my body needed the soap more and the rest can wait for tomorrow. Worse yet, it took me 90 minutes to dry off as I reached to grab a towel . No, let me rephrase that. NO towel, just a SHAMWOW to squeegee myself off. YES, I felt like an Olympic diver as I used this 6-inch yellow faux chamois to rid my body of moisture.

I finally checked out, (or depending on how you look at it-released) and the front desk/security asked me how was my stay. I just took a deep breath now that I've been broken and said. "THANK YOU SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?"

I did tell him I truly only wanted to see ONE more sign before I left this hotel/prison combo. He said, "What would that be?" I responded, "You've been Punk'd".

Sadly, it was real and I only felt slighted the lights went out last night right before I finished giving myself a tattoo. Yes, I got to get Inked or I would have no proof of doing my time. Peace out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Play Crazy 8's Anyone?

Play Crazy 8's Anyone?

On Acela train to Boston this week. I peered out the window contemplating why an Express Train makes 8 stops and slows down to about 8 mph in so many areas, when I caught eight (8) Department Of Transportation workers studying ONE spot on the road near the tracks.

All eight had a white Ford F-350 truck, white hardhats and matching bright shirts. As I thought maybe I came upon the DOT world headquarters, I realized it was more the redundancy department of redundancy. Eight men with eight coffee mugs staring at the same area of a road equivalent to a size "8" work boot.

If only I could have opened my window and overheard their value and accurate assessment, strategy and implementation of why all eight of them need to be standing around eight inches of erosion somewhere near the Connecticut border, I would have heard:

“Ed, I see the crack.”
“Bob, that is not a crack. That is a crevice, a crack is much smaller.”
“Both of you are wrong, that is a beginning of a pothole which will cause collateral punishment to 18 wheel vehicles within eight months.”
“Speaking of punishment, did anyone see the Patriots game last week?
“OH YES! We had the best tailgating party ever. I realized our company trucks hold more beer than the utility company trucks my brother-in-law usually drives to the game.”
“Is that the brother who always brings a six of beer, but drinks a case?”
“No, that is my sister-in-law on my wife’s side. He is the one who put the hole in my pool table while we were playing 8-ball.”
Speaking of holes, I guess we should all go back to the IHOP and write up a report on this crack.”
“You mean, crevice?”
“I’m hungry now!”
“I said Pothole..not Pot roast”

As my train picked up speed, I left the Ed and the seven dorfs to plan how they are going to fix this formidable fissure of the ages in eight months, with 800 men and $800,000. (includes lunch at IHOP)

Friday, September 11, 2009

No Sense of Urgency

No Sense of Urgency

I know we don’t CHOOSE to go to an Emergency Room. If we did it, it would be called the “eh…it’s not so bad yet” room. But having the privilege of walking into an Emergency Room just before midnight, incurs motivation to never, ever get sick, get in a accident or run with scissors after 11 pm because the words, “urgent care” truly means take a 3 digit number and don’t bleed on the waiting room couch.

At that time of the night, when you are competing against Methadone withdrawals, guys who try to pimp out their car without lights and children who have objects stuck up their noses, your opinion of what is critical quickly dissipates.

But at least next time I visit an E.R., I’ll know what to wear to the event. I’m going to dress up in 80’s gym shorts with a button down shirt and work boots to ensure I fit in. I truly wasn’t thinking fashion when I arrived through the automatic doors as I looked like I was wearing Garanimals matching my shirt with a pair of jeans before heading out.

However, I think the “medi-tease” is the worse part of the waiting. When you walk in and they instantly take your ID, credit card and blood pressure as you describe your situation; you assume they are prepping you for the immediate attention you have been paying insurance premiums for all these years.

What they don’t tell you is that your deductible has now been withdrawn faster than a Bernie Madoff cash deposit and you are delayed and expendable until the lady who is hallucinating and the man who forgot his pants are treated for exhaustion, sleep deprivation and stress.

“HELLO, EXCUSE ME, I have those three symptoms every day, but to me, that isn’t an emergency, that’s a Tuesday.”

After two hours, I am asked to wear the “gown” of exposure and sit in the Hall of Purell because all the double occupancy exam rooms are filled with people who are STILL one pulse ahead of me in life AND death.

The only people passing me in this cold corridor of numbness are spouses and significant others of the patients who are taking my spot on the human conveyor belt. …and their only goal is to get outside to smoke every 10 minutes because their loved ones are causing them stress….and these were the NON-smokers.

Finally the doctor on-call stops by to ask me the same questions the receptionist asked me two hours ago and literally says, “So, what do you think it is?”

“Mmmm. Well Doc, based on my years of watching St. Elsewhere, General Hospital, ER, Chicago Hope and Family Guy, I think I am already dead and you need to call CSI and Homicide because I’m ready to kill someone.”

But I don’t feel any pain now that I got that off my chest. Thank goodness my deductible is only $100.00 or I would feel I REALLY wasted my money.