Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Leave the Money on the Nightstand Saint Mary

I have never truly felt comfortable in hotel rooms; I have seen those Dateline undercover features about fluids on the bed or hidden cameras just one too many times. It does not really help that I am a huge fan of CSI and if it was financially practical I would walk around everywhere with that awesome kit they get. You know, the one with the tiny spray bottle filled with a mystery liquid that they use to spritz the Q-tip they just dragged through some gooey looking gross spot on the floor to test to see if it is blood? Yeah, well if I had one of those suckers there is no way I would ever stay in a hotel again. So instead I search for the items that I have found in hotel rooms in the past.

One time a whole bunch of years ago I stayed in a moderately upscale hotel but in my usual fashion I essentially ransacked the place before settling in. I pulled out the picture that always hangs above the bed just to make sure there was no camera behind it. I placed my thumbnail on all the mirrors looking for the space between the nail and reflection to make sure it was not a two way. Drawers were pulled out and if there was an under the bed it too was checked. When I got to the night table there was the usual Bible in the drawer so I moved it aside and just behind it there was a half smoked joint.

This made me chuckle. The irony of a joint hanging out next to a Bible was classic; I wish I had taken a picture of it. I am not a hugely religious person but regardless there seemed to be something inherently wrong with the situation. Looking back now I feel as if I had committed some kind of drug abuse by tossing it in the toilet but at the time I was not yet imbibing that particular substance. Of course even if I had been a smoker there was no way I would have since I had no idea of its origin and taking that kind of chance is too scary. After the rummage and flush, I put the Bible back in the drawer without reading it and thought nothing more about it.

Some time later I was in another hotel for who knows what and the above paranoid delusions that someone might actually want to video tape my boring ass doing absolutely nothing all night kicked in immediately so I performed my usual tossing of the room as if I was the Warden. By this point in my life I was definitely a pot smoker and would have happily allowed Saint Mary to help me see past the unidentifiable stains on the comforter so once again I pulled the Bible out of the drawer, this time with bated breath.

There was no grass in the drawer but the way I had gripped the book by the spine allowed the pages to fall open somewhat and out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed something floating toward the sticky carpet. Before turning to see what it was I prayed to that good book in my hand that it was not a joint because the five second rule definitely did not apply in this room. My head came around and right there between the two double beds, almost blending into the matted green carpet was a well worn ten dollar bill. At this point I was not sure which find had shocked me more -- the pot next to a Bible or the tribute inside one.

For years I liked to imagine that it was the same person in both locations, someone I was just a step behind catching up to. That person would most definitely be someone I would want to sit down and talk with. I would ask them if they used that ten as a book mark and what the pictures in their mind looked like after smoking and reading such an interesting book.

Of course, I imagine the Gideons were attempting to prevent these very types of actions when placing their reading material in all those drawers but that did not stop me from spending the ten on some pot.


ginger said...

fantastic story, jenn! i'll just bet the latest post by you know who reminded you of this.
i do the fingernail trick on every mirror i see in a dressing room...while checking any vents above for cameras and what-not.

as for the bible; i used to own one of those gideon's bibles, that i took from a hotel room, and was mystified when it seemed to sprout legs and wander from me one day. i envision it going from person to person as they need it ~ fading into nothingness and then ending up in a drawer somewhere else to be found by the next person. i never found any pot or a ten spot though.

by the way, check the mattress too.

Chris said...

Yeah, hotel rooms can be pretty creepy. I generally avoid looking to closely for fear of exactly the scenario you've described. What I don't know won't hurt me. And hey, if someone wants to spy on me, they deserve what they get.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

You're right Ginger but hey I'll take my muse anywhere I can get it haha. Besides, I have stopped being surprised that we have so much in common, especially quirky freaky things like this. Matt usually just sits on the heavily encrusted comforter and waits patiently while I spend about 10 minutes going through everything, even the phone book lol. Yeah I'm trying not to think of mattresses and may never stay in a hotel again lol!

True, Chris, but at the same time if I find it during my tossing of the cell then I can just shout 'ah ha!'. Maybe I'm just looking for the validation or something haha.

Bridgete said...

You know, all that cool stuff on CSI doesn't actually happen in most police investigations. I learned that in trial practice. Apparently that show has created a huge problem because the jury expects all that they're becoming harder to convince with the "usual" evidence.

Anyway. The most interesting thing I ever found in a hotel room was an erotic novel...written in German. Well, we assumed it was an erotic novel by the cover...since neither I nor the friend I was with spoke German.

spottedwolf said...