© Cindy Beck, 2008
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, home, hotel, Salt Lake City, elevator, shower curtain, YourLDSNeighborhood.com)
Not long ago, I related the problems my husband, Russ, and I had in a hotel. It ran the gamut from the closet-sized room the staff put us in, to the shaking and rumbling of the elevator right next to us. While Russ was at meetings, I’d changed rooms, thinking that would help.
Ah, yes, the best laid plans of mice and men … or woman and a dog, as the case may be.
Just as I’d gotten the luggage into the room and laid on the bed to catch my breath, the lock on the door clicked and Russ walked in, done with his workshops for the day. That’s also when I noticed the room cooling.
“Brrr, I feel like a fat strawberry in an ice cream churn,” I said.
Russ raised his eyebrows, but to his credit, didn’t comment on the “fat strawberry” concept. Instead he walked over to the wall heater and held his hand in front of it.
“There’s nothing but cold air blowing out of this.”
The last thing we wanted was to spend the night sleeping in a room the temperature of a meat locker. However, Corky and I wanted even less to spend the night in the company of the serial killer/maintenance man who’d worked on our TV the night before. I had visions of the guy banging away on the heater with a giant tuba. I don’t know why a tuba, it must have been my writer’s imagination. I could just see the headlines: “Woman knocked unconscious by tuba-wielding ax-murderer/maintenance man.
I turned to Russ. “Do not call the front desk. You can wear your jacket, and I’ll wear my sweatshirt and bunny slippers to bed to stay warm.”
All night long, I got up and down, first turning the thermostat on high until something akin to the fires of Hades radiated from the wall furnace. Then, half an hour later, turning it off—before the heating unit quit and the fan kicked on, freezing us into Sno-Cones.
After two days of this, we were ready to go home. I thought a nice, hot shower before we left would be the ticket. Moisture condensed in a fine mist on the cold, tile floor. Stepping out of the tub, I put on my flip-flops. Ooo, a little slippery, I thought as my feet slid a tiny bit.
“Watch that floor in there. It’s pretty slick,” I said as I walked out. After getting dressed, I started packing.
Fifteen minutes later, wearing shoes with treads the size of a steel-belted tractor tire, I walked into the bathroom again. As soon as I hit the still-damp floor, my feet shot out from under me. One knee smashed into the commode six inches away, while the other leg buckled at an odd angle. With arms flailing, I grabbed the only thing nearby … the shower curtain.
If my knee wasn’t throbbing, a goose egg wasn’t rising, and a contusion wasn’t spreading beneath my skin, I would have found it funny—as I lay in a heap on the floor. I’d have laughed that in a hotel where the elevator, TV and heater didn’t work, someone had anchored a shower curtain rod firmly enough to the wall to slow the descent of a hundred and . . . um . . . let’s just say a hundred-and-something pound woman.
Russ came in. “I think we’re jinxed,” he said, hoisting me to my feet.
We vacated the hotel like the Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil on amphetamines. Well, okay, Russ and Corky did that—I just limped away, hoping to get out while all my bones were still intact.
And despite the pain, I congratulated myself the whole way home . . . it’s not every day a story like that falls into a writer’s lap.
What's playing in my head: Home on the Range (Disney version).
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