April 28, 2005

A Big Old-Fashioned Temper Tantrum

BUT... some linky love before I have it...The GCC is touring me this month!
New interview up at Karin Gillespie's blog ---SHE ASKS GOOD QUESTIONS.

Another interview, this one with known smarty-pants and poet Gayle Brandeis.
Lastly, a review (and the press release) by Megan Crane, who BOUGHT THE BOOK and who is SO pretty. Also she REALLY LIKED it, which makes her EVEN EVEN PRETIER. We heart Megan Crane.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled temper tantrum...

I am mad at the hotel that I stayed at in Memphis. I think it is a 12 story moneysucking BUTT.

I got back after the signing at about....8 and noticed there was NOTHING around the hotel but banky-looking offices. NO places to eat or get food. Just one LUNCH place that closed at 2. OOPS. So. I looked at the room service menu because I had been ON all day and I wanted to sit AWAY from people and have a glass of wine and some meat in peace. Just me and my beautiful friend the TV talking unhearable nonsense at me while I finished reading Kate Atkinson's ASTOUNDINGLY GREAT NEW BRILLIANT AMAZING PERFECT NOVEL (Case Histories) and wore pajamas and had bare feet and ate with my fingers and grunted like a savage.

The room service menu was limited and VERY expensive, like 30+ bucks per boring, regular entree. And I just can't DO THAT. I mean---I CANNOT pay five dollars for ICED TEA and then 25 for CLUB SANDWICH WITH ONION STRAWS or whatever. I mean, LORD. That would make my stomach hurt even if *I* was paying for it -- but I am not, which makes it WORSE. When I am getting reimbursed, or someone else is paying for dinner or whatnot, I am uncomfortable ordering something I KNOW I dern well would NOT be willing to pay for if it was MY dime. It feels like bad manners and what do we hate? BAD MANNERS.

So I went down to the restaurant in the hotel -- they had a lot of good sounding choices at slightly more reasonable prices. So I saw I could get a salmon thing with veggies and salad for like 19.95 which is PRICEY but LORD there was NO OTHER PLACE to get food. SO. I went and asked the guy if I could order a thing to GO, as take out. And he WOULD NOT LET ME.
Him: "No no sugar,--" (WHICH, UM...did you just call me SUGAR????) "we cannot give it to you to go because we can't have our guests CARRYING THEIR OWN FOOD UPSTAIRS like British Butlers, that would be SICK AND WRONG. BUT! I COULD send this meal up to you as room service."
Me: But I have opposable thumbs and am STANDING HERE already so can't you pretty please just let me take it upstairs since I am starving and room service takes forever and REALLY I DO NOT MIND, I LIKE British Butlers --- you can call me Smithers.

So I ordered the salmon as "room service," and then dropped by the bar and paid TWELVE DOLLARS, no really, TWELVE DOLLARS for a glass of shiraz -- I FREAKED because I ordered a wine I often buy at the grocery store at home for 9 bucks, and I sipped it while she ran my card then I looked at the bill and CHOKED and had to bite my tongue to keep from shrieking, UM ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? like a a tight-wad harpy.

The meal comes---and the tab is FORTY BUCKS. TWICE what it cost in the place downstairs and I said WHATS UP WITH THIS?? DUDE, THIS IS WRONG and he was like oh no, on room service this SAME meal costs thirty bucks and change and then there is a 20% service charge and a clearing fee and then my tip is factored. I was SO MAD. OF COURSE the manager would not let me tote a styrophoam box upstairs---he could DOUBLE the bill by refusing. I was LIVID but what do you do??? It's not the room service deliverer's fault or the bartender's fault. No point in fussing at them. It's the HOTEL'S fault, and once I had eaten my solid gold diamond encrusted fish with ruby sauce, I lay in my bed waiting for Jack Nicholson to start breaking my door down with an ax (Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's JOHNNY!) because everyone knows THAT is what happens at evil hotels. At least the meal came with a roll. And um. Salad.

BUT! It was a BAD salad. A wedge of iceberg (bleh--the wonder bread of lettuces) sprinkled with that horrid cheese that smells like the back end of a monkey and some onion. The end. BOO.

See how it is? I told you before. I get so TIRED on the road there is only HATE AND LOVE. No mild feelings.

I spent all my hate on the hotel, so had only LOVE left for Kate Atkinson's CASE HISTORIES ---- It's about this detective with about 5 cases going, and about halfway through the book, they start to connect in the most startling and lovely and horrifying ways. It's funny and visceral and brilliant.

PS TEMPER TANTRUM ASIDE, Compared to KIMBERLY, the hotel is made entirely of angel spittle and sugar.

Posted by joshilyn at April 28, 2005 6:05 AM

You need to tell us the name of this odious hotel, so that we may all stay away in droves. Next time... TAKEOUT DELIVERY. 'Nuf said. :)

Posted by: hiai at April 28, 2005 6:54 AM

Well, if I had to guess, I'd say Kimberly is the hotel manager! Sorry to hear they were such butts.

Posted by: Peek at April 28, 2005 8:12 AM

Finished the book - yes, the copy I bought MONDAY at Ala Booksmith. Love, Love, Loved it!!! Am wondering how you got to know my grandmother so well, as her ashes are currently resting in Montgomery. (They were in the back of my mom's closet for several years, but that's another story.) And yes, her name was... FLORENCE.

Anne www.tinykingdom.typepad.com

Posted by: "Anne" at April 28, 2005 9:22 AM

I think the fact that you reserved your tantrum for the blog and did not take it out on the hotel staff by jumping up and down on their heads earns you a great deal of Belle Points. Only a real southerner would have remained so polite.
Of course, a TRUE belle would have been able to convince them to COMP the meal, AND bring it to the room, while apologizing profusely for its inadequacy, but still. Too bad Maisy wasn't there!

Posted by: Amy at April 28, 2005 10:33 AM

I love love love that book!!!! Isn't it fabulous!!!! I so enjoyed meeting you and hope I didn't make a complete fool of myself. :) Have a safe journey on the rest of your tour!

Posted by: Tiff at April 28, 2005 10:38 AM

I hate how hotels/arenas/etc have to jack up food prices. It's crazy!

Posted by: Heather at April 28, 2005 10:45 AM

Sounds like you were a model of restraint. I would have been harping at the manager lickety-slit. That's outrageous (the prices and the fact that they wouldn't let you have take-out)! And let's hear it for good manners. I agree--just because one's on an expense account is no reason to pay ridiculous prices.

Posted by: Marilyn at April 28, 2005 11:36 AM

Great interviews. Loved the tasty tidbits about "Between".

Sounds like you need to start giving out referals, like f'rinstance, that Hostile (oops, did I say that?)I mean Hotel Manager should fly Air Bogus next time he travels, and Kimberley Who We Hate should stay at Hotel Rich and Starving if she's ever in Memphis. Wouldn't that be just delightful?

Posted by: David at April 28, 2005 1:48 PM

*snicker* I like the way David thinks.

Posted by: Heather at April 28, 2005 5:45 PM

OMG!!!! My autographed copies from the Alabama Booksmith arrived today! I'm fondling my copy even as we speak (type?)!

And to give you a sense of how much I love one of my friends? She's going on a long car trip this weekend and I'm letting her read it before I get to! She's also a fan, so it seems only fair.

So, when you coming to the Dallas/OKC/Tulsa/Wichita/Fayetteville area?

Posted by: Beth at April 28, 2005 10:29 PM

This is vivid, real writing so lifelike the actions and moments that I am reliving from my own travels, going without food because I won't pay what it's not worth, it is so deplorable that the hotel hates giving room service. I learned too late of your Jackson trip; I wanted to buy an autographed copy from you.

Posted by: Jim at May 4, 2005 11:19 PM