Sunday, February 16, 2014

Scenes from a Bar/Lobby

We recently had a quick weekend getaway a few hours from here. After checking into the hotel, we took the elevator to our floor where we were greeted by about 50 kids roaming the hallway. If you've ever tried a weekend getaway in the last 15 years, you've probably had a similar experience. Apparently, hotels have colluded with youth sports leagues to convince parents to spend money traveling to out of town football/basketball/hockey/kung fu/archery/chess/full contact crochet tournaments. And apparently, especially this weekend in particular, the front desk clerk is the babysitter.

Later that night, we came back from dinner to discover kids running around in football uniforms. This happened in late January when every league is done except for the NFL. But of course this is Texas. Anyhow, we went to our floor where kids were rolling their football helmets down the hallway in some sort of race. We decided to go to the hotel bar.

Now the bar of this hotel had what they call on HGTV, an open floor plan. In actuality, it was just a section of the lobby with some tables and chairs. In the morning, it's a breafast room, at night they open up a locked liquor cabinet behind the breakfast bar, and it's suddenly Moe's Tavern.

St. Pauli Girl sat at a table while I approached the bar where three women in their early 20's sat. One of them looked at me and said, “Hi, how's it going?” That caught me off guard because usually the next question coming from someone like that to me is, “and would you like to supersize that?” But then I recognized her as the front desk clerk who had checked me in earlier. I guessed she had just gotten off work and was having drinks with friends.

I got our drinks and went back to the table where St. Pauli Girl sat. Our adult bar time ended quickly as hordes of twelve year old football players ran screaming through the bar/lobby. We also noticed that there were no parents around. I could only guess that they had taken their coolers of beer to the hotel room and told the kids to go play in the bar.

A short time later, an older shaggy looking gentleman wandered through the bar and complained to the front desk clerk that the ATM she had recommended charged him three dollars. He then pulled out his cellphone and started yelling to someone who I'm guessing had to be named “Cooter.” He explained to Cooter that he was going honking tonking that night and that he had come to town to get a “kick-ass sound system installed in my truck. Now I'll be able to watch porn while I drive!”

I also noticed that the front desk clerk kept walking back and forth in front of us. Being college educated, I also realized this happened everytime the phone rang at the front desk. She was still working: checking people in, answering the phone and hanging out with friends in the bar! The genius hotel owner must have decided to only have telephones with cords so the clerk would never leave the front desk. He forgot about the part where $7.25 an hour, 20 year old front desk clerks just don't care.

We finally saw a parent come into the bar. We hoped she would round up all the kids and send them back to their rooms. No, she went to the bar and ordered coffee for all the kids. Then she went back to her room while the kids loaded sugar into their coffee. Our only hope at this point would have been a mass exorcism.

Then another kid dressed only in gym shorts came into the bar. I thought maybe he had come from the pool but I realized the hotel didn't have an indoor pool; he just thought that's the way to go out in public in January no less.

We decided not to have another drink. I said to St. Pauli Girl, “I didn't see a sign but I think the name of this bar is 'Pedophile's Dream.'”

Amazingly, we weren't kept awake all night by rowdy kids in the halls. But then again I guess that's because they were all down in the bar.