Monday, October 02, 2006

Hotel Decibelimaxima, or Slouching Toward Bedlam

Scene: A well-appointed, new hotel in the New York City metro area. Marble floors in the lobby. Dark hardwoods. Valet parking.

Dramatis Personae: Pawlie Kokonuts, his wife, young daughter, tired after a drive of 4 or 5 hours and a long but enjoyable evening out. Also, the Karate Kreeps (approximately 5 or 6, but maybe 89, young boys occupying at least two rooms across from us and next door to us, said boys unsupervised in any manner by alleged adults; all apparently here for some karate chop fest, or maybe it was Anarchy Camp, or Solipsistic Seminars 101, or How to Become a CEO). Also, the hot-looking front-desk chicks. And the nine-foot-tall security guard.

A Pastiche of Dialogue (and Monologue), both Spoken and Unspoken:

Hello? Front Desk? Yes. This is Room 603. I don't suppose it's unreasonable to hope that at 12:30 a.m. the folks across the hall may not have the need to be slamming doors, with kids screaming and banging on walls? I mean, what is the normal door-slamming per-minute rate at this hour? 17? 97? Eh?

I'm sorry, sir. We'll send security up there again.

Thank you.

Security arrives (for the second or third time).

It gets worse. Even after I pay a personal courtesy call to the front desk, in my jammies. (Why not confront the culprits, you ask. I know my propensity toward verba or other violence when wretchedly exhausted. Leave it at that.)

I crank up the AC fan in the well-appointed hotel room, which does work somewhat (my wife and daughter get to sleep a rough sleep, a sleep that slouches towards Bedlam [that's a bit of a literary pun: you see, "...slouches towards Bethlehem" is the line in the William Butler Yeats {whose grave in Sligo we intend to visit next week, really} poem, and my knowledge of etymology tells me that "bedlam" is a shortened form of "St. Mary of Bethlehem," a former insane asylum in SE London], somewhat because there are icicles now on my eyelids and goatee, and I myself can't sleep because my teeth are chattering and the Karate Klutz Klan is still marauding their mayhem in the halls anyway. And it is now 1:30 a.m. Is it just me? (Excuse me if I am missing a closed parens, bracket, or thing that looks like a parens.)

I consider calling the police.

I look through the viewport and see two large males enter the room across the hall. Doors close 769 more times to round up the urchins. Sound of mothers laughing. Kids screaming. Huge icicles now dropping from our drapes. Undercurrent of seismic rumbles from sound of boys hurling each other gleefully onto the wall. Our wall.

The whole scene from Dante's Fifth Circle made me rethink all my supposed liberal viewpoints, what with these long-locked, cherubic-faced, chaogenous clones of the savage tribes depicted in William Golding's Lord of the Flies left to run amok anarchically by solipsistic, bratty, up-scale so-called parents.

Of course, in a scene I couldn't write, the next morning (with the karate kids rudely Genghis-Khaning their way through the breakfast buffet area with a confident air of Entitlement [yes, the hotel said, Sorry, breakfast is free for your family, Mr. Laughorist, and we'll give you a free New York Times, too]), we witnessed Mrs. Loud condescendingly berating the help, trying to cheat the hotel of breakfast charges, grabbing the bill and belligerently barking to the soft-eyed Latina waitress as if to say You People Should Go Back South of the Border, We're From New Jersey and We Want You to Know, or Think, We Are Important Lawyers, but Cheap. And Loud.

We just looked up from our free breakfast. And said to the waitress, "That's exactly why we're eating for free."

Yes, of course we gave a tip.

Oh, I forgot a few other tidbits.

I was alone in the elevator, going down to the lobby (not the time in the middle of the night before with my pajamas on but the next morning, fully clothed) with one of the Boyz, about 4 or 5 (would you let your kid roam around like that?), and of course I was tempted to kick him surreptitiously, W.C. Fields-style, but of course I did not. But the following litle tete-a-tete ensued:

"So, you can go anywhere you want in the hotel?"

A cherubic nod of Entitlement.

"You get to do anything you want at any time anywhere, right?"

Another nod.

"Your parents let you do anything you want, yeah?" I said with mock kindness and sarcasm dripping off me like so much syrup cascading off the french toast downstairs.

"Yes. They let me. I can go anywhere."

"There's no such thing as any rules, are there?"

Mercifully, the mahogany doors swung open.

The now-standard dollop of words from The Endangered English Dictionary by David Grambs:

agrypnotic -- something to prevent sleep

diurnation -- sleeping during the day

hypnagogic -- causing sleep

sleepwalker -- hypnobate, as in "We are a nation of hypnobates."


Anonymous said...

Those agrypnotic brats!!! Sounded like you handled diplomatically tho....I, on the other hand, may have karate chopped their lil heads off!
(Have a great trip.....been there myself...beautiful country, wonderful people!)

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

T'anks, I tell ye, t'anks. I wasn't really diplomatic at all; just practical, not wanting to be taking classes as one of JR's inmate pupils.

Anonymous said...

i'm sure i lived through something similar, Bangkok the past new years eve in a hotel full of drunk tourist. only problem with telling people from all over the globe at 2am to 'please be quiet' is they think its an invitation to your room for more booze...

I think we ended up watch star trek on my laptop till they all passed out.

hotel staff - drunk too

Glamourpuss said...

I used to work in Bedlam. Seriously. London's Imperial War Museum is housed in the last home of the St. Mary of Bethlem's insane asylum. Best part-time job I ever had - largely because one of the warders fancied me and used to bring me doughnuts. Bless.

Enjoy Eire - drink Guinness, watch Father Ted, swear a lot. You'll fit right in...

Yeats? When You Are Old. Beautiful.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the children of the corn that raged through your hotel experience would actually have been the best scenario to face.

My hotel experiences usually end up with a headboard in the next room smacking the wall with erotic regularity accompanied by the orgastic moans, groans, gasps, wheezes, snorts, yells, screams and the traditional rifling of the billfold for money at the end of the hour and the occasional gunshot.

So what can I say? I am a cheap ass at heart.

Later Yall.

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong but I suspect you would have been socially and spiritually justified in donning a hockey mask and sneaking round the hotel taking those kids out one by one.

azgoddess said...

i totally agree

but for different reasons
that we are a nations of hypnobates

a good read about modern day parenthood..

Natalie said...

I would have probably kicked the kid in the elevator. You are a much better person than I.

Army said...

Somehow I'm reminded of a swirl of bad movies -- New Karate Kid, 3 Ninjas, and Beverly Hills Ninja. And a flashback to prom when the rent-a-cop came to our room because we were "too loud" playing a board game. I kid you not! Never mind the loud party upstairs spilling out into the hallways.

As for your situation, I think a gut punch was in order. Worse than a brat, is an entitled brat from entitled parents.

Genghis Kahning...LOL