Saturday, May 31, 2008

Not Funny, Well Sort Of

Sunday, the Christian world's day of rest. A holy day for many, and a day just to kick back from a hard week of work for others. At lest, that is the way it should be. In the hotel world, Sunday is a kick back day after a weekend of frenzied activity. Sunday mornings are a whirlwind of check outs as the hotel empties out from full Friday and Saturday nights, and by noon, a certain calm descends, and the day clerk is able to catch up work, or just read the paper.

However, as you may remember from the story of the Bird Man, Sunday afternoons could bring out the sanely challenged folks on Aurora Avenue. This hot summer Sunday afternoon would not be an exception. I will warn you now that this story is not a happy story. It is really kind of a sad story, and yet, it is a little bit funny. I, of course, have a weird sense of humor, and I had become quite jaded after dealing with so much insanity in the hotel world.

I was trying to catch a few winks of sleep back in my living room, and once again, Linda, my assistant manager was on duty. The August heat and humidity had us all tired, and we were looking forward to the return of the soft Seattle rains. Linda was relaxed and reading at the front desk when she began to hire sirens off in the distance. Unlike here in laid back Idaho, when you hear sirens in Seattle, especially on Aurora, you pay absolutely no attention.

The sound of sirens became louder and more frenzied, and by now they had Linda's attention as they seemed to be drawing closer and closer to the hotel. There were multiple sounds, and she could tell there were police and fire engine sirens. The flashing red and blue were suddenly right in front of her as about five patrol cars, two fire engines, and two paramedic trucks came screeching into the parking lot and stopped right in front of room 105, just feet aways from the lobby where Linda was. She walked to the window and looked out just in time to see five policemen, guns drawn and pointing towards room 105.

My phone rang, and Linda;s panicked voice was saying that I had better get out there quickly.
I joined Linda in the lobby and together we watched in fascination as the police opened the door to the room, and cautiously approached the interior of the room with guns pointed ahead. Suddenly, three of the male cops backed out of the room into the parking lot, holding their mouths, their eyes cast down in horror. Two female officers entered the room and then they, backed out of the room, only they were laughing hysterically. What on earth was going on, I wondered aloud to Linda. Why were the male officers gagging, and the female officers laughing? Was this a tragedy or a comedy?

A team of paramedics quickly entered the room, and soon a prone figure on a stretcher was placed in a waiting ambulance. One of the officers motioned me over, and I slowly made my way over to him, dreading the news, and at the same time, curiosity was getting the best of me.

Then the most bizarre story came pouring out of the lips of the very pale faced young officer. Apparently, the guest in the room had decided to perform do it yourself surgery on himself with a newly purchased table saw from Fred Meyer. The tag was still on the saw . The receipt was laying next to the saw. What surgery, you may be asking, did this young man without a medical diploma try? Well, use your imagination for a moment. --------Time is up. And your answer please.--If you guessed a sex change operation, you guessed correctly. Here s what we have for you, an all expense paid trip to Orofino. Yep, he was trying to make part of him into a woman. Apparently, he changed his mind half way through his procedure, and suffering from what must have been unbelievable pain, he called 911.

The police found a bloodied note in the room saying that he had been turned down by the doctors to have a sex change operation, so he decided to take matters into his own hands, so to speak, and perform his own surgery. The room was a mess to say the least, There was blood all over the ceiling and floor. The bathroom walls and toilet were drenched with crimson.

Fortunately, the housekeepers had already left for the day. There was no way that I wanted them exposed to the grisly scene in the bathroom. I locked the door to the room with a special manager's key so that they could not enter the next day. Waves of anger rolled over me as I pondered why some sick mind chose my hotel for such a deed. What if my girls had gone into that room the next morning and had seen the carnage left behind?

So, you guessed it. The next morning I donned hospital gloves to clean it up. Someone, had to to it. I was fine until I stared cleaning the toilet, and then my eyes spotted the half-sawed off body part. I did what anyone would do, right? I flushed it down the toilet.

For days and days afterwards, even after the room was again spotless, I dreaded renting that room. Linda and I coined a new phrase for our former guest. Dick-less in Seattle.

By the way, the man lived, but I have wondered many times in my mind if he wished that he had died.

Oh well, just another day on Aurora.

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