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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Checking Out

This morning, as my head was sinking toward my desk with a no-sleep hangover and I was trying to figure out a way to booby trap the door to discourage walk-in traffic, I thought back to the weekend.  After a 3-day conference, my husband and I checked out of the hotel and, driven to the brink of angst, Captain Courteous stopped to register a complaint at the desk.

“I need to talk to someone.”

“Yes, sir?”  Winning smile.  “Can I help you?”

“Yes.  It has come to our attention that everyone here is nice.”

The two desk clerks exchanged a look. “Yes, sir?”

“I want to know what you plan to do about it.”


“Yes. Every person in every shop, in every restaurant, even the bus drivers and the TSA at the airport for God’s sake. They were all nice.  I’d like to file a report.”

“You want me to report the entire city?”

“Yes. Do I need to fill out a form?”

Furtive glances to see if we were packing inappropriate weaponry such as soft drinks with high levels of sugar and caffeine. “Why don’t you give me your room number?” 


“Got it.”  If they also had protective services on speed dial, they weren’t letting on.

“Let’s get this straight. You are upsetting all my stereotypes. We’re from the South. We’re supposed to be the nice ones.  Yet everyone here has been positively cordial. ” At this point he was plastered to the counter like a rash on a weekend camper and his voice began to crack.

“Yes, sir. You seem. . .intense yourself.”

The Mullises display Southern charm

“Well, yes. We try to keep a positive attitude.”

“Yes, sir. It shows.”

“So. What do you do if you have a bad day? Hold the door open for an old lady?”

“Not exactly.”

“So what then?”

The clerk leaned forward with a conspiratorial air.  We leaned in to discover their secret.

“We find somebody having a worse day and try to make it better.”

“Well, if you don’t want to tell us, just say so.” He turned away.
"Have a safe trip!"
"Now you're just rubbing it in." 

I followed him to the door and looked back just in time to see the two clerks bump fists and make an imaginary tally mark in the air.

Well played, Ohio. Well played.


Lois Alter Mark said...

Ha ha! Totally agree -- everyone at Erma, in Dayton, in all of Ohio was so nice! Can't wait to do it again in 2016. Hope to meet you then!

Amy Mullis said...

Had a super time. Maybe 2016 will come really fast!