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Saturday, August 17, 2019

It’s summertime, time to pack up your car and drive to some destination—it doesn’t matter what destination, as long as you get to stay in a hotel. Because once you’re there, you don’t have to get anything yourself. You can just call down to the front desk.

We’ve all done that. Mostly, we’ve asked for sane things, such as tiny soaps. We also ask for more towels. We peek into the bathroom when we get to the hotel and see this nice big pile of towels, and then we get out of the shower and discover that the entire pile is washcloths. And one hand towel. Who needs this many washcloths? Is this instead of soap? And what are we supposed to dry ourselves off with? The hand towel?

Another thing we ask for is more pillows, because these hotel rooms definitely don’t take into account the size of a Jewish family. Who has only two kids? Most of us, by the time our two kids are both old enough to sleep in a bed, have two more kids.

But the hotel staff is asking for it. After all, if they didn’t want us to request things, why did they say, “If there’s any way we can be of service, don’t hesitate to ask”? What do they even mean by that? Can you test them? Can you ask for, say, a neigel vasser dish? Or do you have to use the ice bucket?

But according to a new survey of hotel managers, some guests have really been testing that offer. So hotels really have to work on rephrasing that.

For example, at Spain’s Hotel Puente Romano, one guest requested that hotel staff cut the legs off his bed to make it shorter. Apparently, he was having problems getting in.

I don’t know why he couldn’t just invert the ice bucket.

Meanwhile, a visit from members of The Tall Persons’ Club of Great Britain had to be put on hold after a hotel was unable to locate enough seven-foot beds.

Yes, there’s a Tall Persons’ Club, where people walk in and bump their heads on the doorway and discuss things like fitting into airline seats and raising the mechitzah in their shul and how their cubicles offer as much privacy as an open shoebox, and how everyone’s always asking them to get things down, and how they always had to stand in the back in class photos. But there’s a lot to talk about—enough for at least two days and one night—and they couldn’t very well get together to discuss those things in a hotel where the beds weren’t long enough. This gave them something else to discuss, but nowhere to discuss it.

But a lot of rooms have two beds. Can’t they just turn them end to end?

Not if the cleaning staff insists on tucking in those sheets.

Of course, not everyone has a complaint. Sure, sometimes the beds are too tall, and sometimes they’re too short, and sometimes a family of bears comes in while you’re sleeping. (“Hello, front desk? Someone’s been sleeping in my bed. Hang on; my wife wants to talk to you.”) But sometimes, the beds are just right. One family at the Shanghai Mansion had such a restful night that they asked if they could buy the bed—pillows and all—and have it shipped back to Europe. This is probably why there are no comfortable beds in any of the hotels by the time you get there.

But really, you never know who used the bed before you. One couple checking into the Swiss Diamond Hotel booked two suites. And when the bellboy asked who the second suite was for, they said, “It’s for our beautiful dog, of course.”

Um… So did they not want to sleep with the dog, or did the dog not want to sleep with them?

And at one hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, a guest asked, “Can we keep 20 sheep in your car park while we stay at the hotel?”

You know how it is when shepherds go on vacation. Sometimes you have to bring your work with you. These sheep sure aren’t watching themselves. At least they didn’t ask if they could rent an extra room for all the sheep.

But not all guests love nature. One guest at a seaside villa in Greece, after hearing birds singing peacefully upon his arrival, demanded that there be no chirping outside his window the next morning. Like sending birds to everyone’s window was a service the hotel provided.

Wow. It must be fun to go on vacation with him.

I don’t know how he thought they’d keep away the birds, other than having the staff stand outside his window waving their arms and making noises to scare them away. Which is arguably worse. Should they just stand out there with a shotgun?

Just wait until he finds out there are 20 sheep in the next room.

By Mordechai Schmutter


Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He also has six books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected]