March 28, 2007
SPRING (GIVE ME A) BREAK
So why did this joke make me laugh so much?
Maybe it's because it's truer to life than some of us would want to admit. So here it is:
Husband and wife in bed together.
She feels his hand rubbing her shoulder.
She: "Oh, that feels good."
His hand moves to her breast.
She: "Gee, honey, that feels wonderful."
His hand moves to her leg.
She: "Oh, honey, don't stop."
But he stops . . .
She: "Why did you stop?"
He: "I found the remote."
So my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht, and I are on vacation in Palm Beach, Florida at The Breakers Hotel. And yes, I too, found the remote.
I must admit I was against this vacation.
"Come on, stop being an old fuddy duddy; it's spring break!" said Judy.
The truth is spring break is great when your kids are seven and 11 and a lot different when one of your kids is off at college and you're dragging along your youngest kid, who is 17 and is not that interested in being seen walking with his parents.
"It will be a romantic weekend," she continued. "JT [our son] will have his own room and we'll be alone in our room. It's the Breakers and we'll be in a room for just the two of us." Then she winked at me. Honest, she winked.
So naturally, I agreed.
What a mistake.
Traveling anywhere by plane today is horrible. There I was, grumbling at 7:30 a.m. at LaGuardia Airport and that was before the humiliation of going through airport security.
Airport security is a nightmare.
There I was, barefoot, my pants falling off because you can't get through that frigging security machine wearing a belt with a metal belt buckle. I have this laptop that for some reason must go through the X-ray machine in a little plastic tub but the laptop weighs a ton and is slippery and with one hand holding up my pants and the other juggling the laptop I always come close to dropping it on the floor.
Naturally, when I go through this ordeal I always have the same thought about the man who started it all. I imagine Mohamed Atta, the man who crashed into the World Trade Center, in hell. He is in a giant vat that is seven feet high. It is filled to the top with boiling pork fat and Atta must swim in the pork fat for eternity.
The flight was a breeze. If one can sit jammed in a seat so small and tight, with legroom that would cripple a dwarf, and for three hours have his knees and genitals inches away from his face, it is, as I said, a breeze.
So we landed and I made the big mistake. I said, "I was wrong; everything has been perfect."
That's when the merde hit the fan.
But first let me tell you about our sainted travel agent Rina Anoussi, who has been flawlessly planning our trips for years and she has never ever made a mistake.
So it was with supreme confidence that Judy went to the front desk of The Breakers, one of the world's great hotels, and said, "You are holding a reservation for two rooms for Della Femina and no we don't want the two rooms connected and they don't have to be on the same floor." Then she winked at me again, honest.
"No," said the dumb, but earnest, automaton at the front desk who was staring blankly at her computer. "Our records show you were scheduled to be here last night so your reservation has been canceled."
Judy with patience that I have never seen her display, did not reach across the desk and try to throttle this idiot but instead explained that our travel arrangements were for us to be checking in at exactly the time we were checking in.
A call to Rina Anoussi confirmed that we were right and the hotel had made an error. We had all the back up e-mails and travel arrangements.
The problem was we couldn't get through to anyone in a position of authority.
It appeared that the great Breakers Hotel had been taken over by 30 students from The Cornell School of Hotel Management whose final assignment was to see how they could screw up a romantic vacation.
Do you have any idea how to explain that they had f—ked up to a recent graduate from hotel school?
"We would like to talk to the manager," we asked, we begged.
"The manager is in a meeting and I can't break in [a lie]," one said.
"If I break in I will lose my job," said another.
So we were left in limbo, denied a card to go to the beach because we weren't registered guests.
So we wandered for hours in the hotel lobby and overpriced restaurant.
Even though Rina Anoussi had now proven that it was their screw up, after a protracted negotiation with still another twinkie at the front desk, we were offered, for one night, a room with two single beds for the three of us.
It was that or the street.
After a depressing dinner in the hotel's overpriced steak house, where I was informed by two waiters that I was not allowed to give my son a sip of my wine because he was under age, we went up to our tiny room.
At that point I did what any red blooded American male would do. I marched to the little refrigerator in our room and took out six of those teeny weenie bottles of scotch (three Johnny Walker Black and three Dewers) and I drank them all and went to sleep. I must admit the last thing I remember was Judy's wink that got me in this mess in the first place.
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