My evening with a cockroach


 My evening with a cockroach

I will never forget this night.

I checked into the Select Inn of Tulia Texas after a long day of air travel and driving. After getting my room key I headed off to my room. I was looking forward to a quiet night and a good night’s sleep, in a truck stop motel. Yeah, maybe my expectations were too high.

When I got into my room I rushed thru my nightly ritual, pulled back the covers and jumped into the bed.

Within a few minutes, I started to doze off. Despite the periodic truck lights peering through the gaps in the curtains as they pulled into and out of the truck stop, sleep was imminent.

Right before I fell into a deep sleep I realized that I was not alone in the room. I opened one eye just enough to see what appeared to be the biggest cockroach I have ever seen, and he was crawling up the bedspread towards me.

Because I was still awake enough to control the situation I was in, I did just that.

Slowly I slipped my right hand out from under the covers. Moving my hand towards my bed partner, I flexed and cocked my middle finger in preparation to flick my guest off the bed. He continued heading my way.

At the right moment, I let go my middle finger and sent the cockroach soaring through the air. He smashed into the mirror and fell backward onto the dresser with a loud thud.

This may be hard to believe, but, what I saw next was absolutely bizarre.  He rolled off his back, onto his 6 legs, stood up straight, stared at me and shook his head as if to say, “That’s the best you got?” He commenced heading towards me again.

I wanted to get a good night’s sleep and had to end my relationship with this cockroach quickly. I got out of bed, walked over to the dresser, reached down to the floor, picked up my shoe and smashed it down on the creature’s head. Our date night was over.

The rest of the night was uneventful.

In the morning, as I checked out the front desk clerk asked, “how was your evening sir?”

“I slept well, despite the demise of my room guest. Please offer my apologies to housekeeping.”

My evening with a cockroach was short lived.

OK I lied no donut

One day in June of 2001 I had to make a business trip to Spicer Minnesota.

I flew into Minneapolis-St Paul the evening before and make the 2 hour drive thru the farm land of Minnesota.

I got into the hotel at around 10:30pm. There were only a few cars in the parking lot. There was no one in the lobby with the exception of Steve, the night Manager at the front desk.

“Hello, you must be Mr. Burriss,” Steve said. I love being acknowledged when I come arrive into a town I have never been to before. I assumed he knew my name because I was the only person who had not checked in yet.

We chatted for a few minutes while I checked in.

Steve asked me if I traveled much, which I did back then.

“Yeah, I spend most every week on the road Steve. Most of the time I go to the same hotel in Newark New Jersey,” I answered.

“I bet you really get to know the people at that hotel”, Steve responded.

OK – here is where I really stretched the truth a lot.

“Bill, the night manager at my regular hotel, likes me so much that every morning he brings up my favorite donut, a hot mug of bold coffee with 2 creams and a newspaper. I love his hotel and now, Bill and I are really good friends,” I told Steve, lying thru my teeth.

“That sounds like a good hotel and a great night manager,” Steve responded.

“Do you need a wake up call Mr. Burriss?” Steve asked.

“Yes Steve, how about 6:15 in the morning,” I replied.

“You got it Mr. Burriss.  I’ll make sure you get a wake up call then,” Steve responded.

I began walking towards the elevators as we said good night to each other.

The hotel room was nice, clean and away from the elevator, making it a quiet room. The bed was comfortable. The combination of these qualities made for a really good night’s sleep.

I slept like a log until 6:15 in the morning.

Someone was knocking gently on my door and calling my name.

“Mr Burriss, it’s Steve. I’m here with your wake up call”

I crawled out of the bed. I opened the door without putting any pants over my boxers.

There was Steve holding a serving tray with a carafe of coffee, a coffee mug and a plate of glazed donuts.

Under his arm was a neatly folded newspaper.

“Good morning Mr. Burriss. I thought you might appreciate a regular wake up call so I brought you donuts and coffee,” Steve said.

Wow, I felt both glad and embarrassed at the same time. This guy was trying to provide customer service like the guys in the big towns.

“Steve, thank you very much, I really appreciate this,” I said as I took the tray and newspaper he was handing to me.

“I work hard at providing the best customer service I can Mr. Burriss. Thanks for the idea of coffee and donuts for a wake up call. I hope to do this more often for our better guests,” Steve told me.

I felt a little bad about lying to Steve and that he considered me one of his better guests.

But, I am happy that I gave Steve an idea that he ran with and that he thinks will make him a better Customer Service guy.


Here Sex, here boy

Everybody I know who has a dog usually calls him “Rover” or “Spot”. I call mine Sex. Now, Sex has been very embarrassing to me. When I went to the City Hall to renew the dog’s license, I told the clerk that I would like a license for Sex. He said, “I would like to have one too!” Then I said, “But she is a dog!” He said he didn’t care what she looked like. I said, “You don’t understand. … I have had Sex since I was nine years old.” He replied, “You must have been quite a strong boy.” When I decided to get married, I told the minister that I would like to have Sex at the wedding. He told me to wait until after the wedding was over. I said, “But Sex has played a big part in my life and my whole world revolves around Sex.” He said he didn’t want to hear about my personal life and would not marry us in his church. I told him everyone would enjoy having Sex at the wedding. The next day we were married at the Justice of the Peace. My family is barred from the church from then on.When my wife and I went on our honeymoon, I took the dog with me. When we checked into the motel, I told the clerk that I wanted a room for me and my wife and a special room for Sex. He said that every room in the motel is a place for sex. I said, “You don’t understand. … Sex keeps me awake at night.” The clerk said, “Me too!”

One day I entered Sex in a contest. But before the competition began, the dog ran away. Another contestant asked me why I was just looking around. I told him that I was going to have Sex in the contest. He said that I should have sold my own tickets. “You don’t understand,” I said, “I hoped to have Sex on TV.” He called me a show off.

When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for custody of the dog. I said, “Your Honor, I had Sex before I was married but Sex left me after I was married.” The Judge said, “Me too!”

Last night Sex ran off again. I spent hours looking all over for her. A cop came over and asked me what I was doing in the alley at 4 o’clock in the morning. I said, “I’m looking for Sex.” — My case comes up next Thursday.

Well now I’ve been thrown in jail, been divorced and had more damn troubles with that dog than I ever foresaw. Why just the other day when I went for my first session with the psychiatrist, she asked me, “What seems to be the trouble?” I replied, “Sex has been my best friend all my life but now it has left me for ever. I couldn’t live any longer so lonely.” and the doctor said, “Look mister, you should understand that sex isn’t a man’s best friend so get yourself a dog.”

I stole this story from a friends Facebook wall – Thanks Ed.

I hope you enjoyed your stay

In the late 1990’s I slept around a lot. Nearly 75% of my nights were spent in a bed other than my own.

My job had me traveling nearly every week to somewhere in the USA and I learned real quick how to navigate Airports, rental car pickup and drop off, restaurants and hotels.

There are lots of stories related to these travels. This story is about one night in Boston Massachusetts.

I was in Boston with a my boss. We were visiting one of our branch offices outside of town. We arrived in town early enough to get a late dinner at a little diner where we also planned our next day’s activities. My boss wanted to get an early start to the next day so we decided to go back to the hotel early.

We checked in at the front counter, picked up our individual room keys and said good night to each other.

It was nearly 9:30pm when I walked into my hotel room. Nothing fancy. A typical room.

Since it was getting late and I had gotten up early that day, I decided to forego any work or boob tube and just go to sleep.

I was in bed within 10 minutes and asleep fairly quickly.

Then it happens. At 11:00PM the Fire Alarm starts going off.  It was a loud and piercing sound. “Wha Wha Wha Wha Wha” Non-Stop.

I jumped out of bed and grabbed a pair of pants and shirt.

As I dressed someone beat on the door yelling, “Fire, Fire, Get out of the Hotel Now. Take the Stairs!”

I grabbed my wallet and hotel keys and ran out of my room with no shoes on. As I entered the hallway I saw what looked like 100’s of people in different state of dress also running barefoot towards the elevators and stairs.

In masse we all ran down the stairs and out the front door of the hotel.

That’s when I realized it was now raining.

The firetrucks showed up within minutes. I scanned the building and could not see any smoke, let alone flames.

Firemen in full uniform, helmet, facemask, gloves, boots, fire coat and pants, some with oxygen tanks on, all disappeared into the front door of the hotel.

We stood around for what seemed like hours waiting for a report from someone. Finally the firemen came out. As they walked past they informed us, “False Alarm, You can go back in now.”

Like a long line of little ants, in the front door, past the unattended front desk, up the stairs and elevators, down the respective halls and back to our individual rooms we all went.

Pulling my pants and shirt off, I fell back into my bed, thankful it was a false alarm and a little miffed at the interruption of my sleep.

I calmed down fairly quickly and fell back asleep.

Then, it happened again.  At 1am the sounds started up again – “Wha Wha Wha Wha Wha” “Bang Bang, Bang, Bang” on the room Door, “You have to leave the hotel NOW! Leave the Hotel Immediately!”

Maybe they missed the fire last time. I knew I did not want to challenge authority when it came to a possible fire, so I did as instructed.

I pulled on my pants and a shirt, this time I slipped on my untied shoes, grabbed my hotel hey and walked out of my room.

The people in the hall, again in various state of dress all seemed to be walking a little slower this time. Everyone went to the stairs except one guy who said he was too tired, so he took the elevator.

Again, down the stairs, past the unoccupied front desk, out the front door and onto the parking lot.

Fortunately the rain had slowed to an early morning mist.

Again the firetrucks showed up within moments. The firemen, this time with no oxygen tanks, strut into the hotel and within moments they emerged with the same alert, “”False Alarm, You can go back in now.”

Again the group streamed back into the hotel like good order followers and back to our rooms. I did hear another guest ask, “What is happening?” as we walked past the night security guard. “I’m not sure sir. They can’t find what is making the smoke.”

No assurance of safety there.

Back in my hotel room again, I stripped my shirt and pants and fell back in my bed yet again.

Now, I could drag this out with a long winded story, but let me squeeze it down for you.

The alarm went off again at 3AM and then 4AM. Each time the same actions occurred.

My boss and I saw each other at the 4AM false alarm exodus. We agreed to postpone our days activities by 1 hour and to check out at 6AM.

At 5:30AM I got up and took my shower. There was no doubt that I was tired as I struggled to get thru my morning preparations.

I dragged my butt and suitcase out of the hotel room, down the elevator and towards the front desk, this time occupied and busy with people checking out.

My boss showed up behind me in the check out line just as it started up again.

“Wha Wha Wha Wha Wha” It was even louder in the lobby.

The hotel guests formed two different streams. One stream of people out the front door towards the parking lot. The other stream formed behind us to check out of hotel Hell.

The lady working to check us out did not miss a beat. She continued to check guests out despite the loud piercing alarm going off. I heard her tell one guest that construction dust in another part of the hotel was the reason for the false fire alarms.

Fortunately for me, none of the guests checking out in front of me wanted to make a big deal of the chaos. They just wanted to get out of there.

Before our turn, my boss and I decided for the sake of time, I would pay for both of our rooms. As the guest before me walked away, I stepped up to the front desk, handed the hotel clerk both room receipts and my credit card. She had her actions down to an art.

As she swiped my credit card with one hand and typed on the keyboard with the other, the firemen strutted into the hotel lobby and down the hall.

With a smooth flow of motions she handed me the credit card receipt to sign with one hand and held out my credit card with the other.

She looked up at me and with the kindest face and loudest voice she could must up she yelled, “I hope you enjoyed your stay.”

I can still feel the death grip on my shoulder as my boss grabbed me. He knew that I was going to open up on her and he did not want me this to happen. He had had enough of hotel hell and the “Wha Wha Wha Wha Wha” sound effects.

I love the security systems we have in life. I get frustrated and really tired when they create false alarms.

But you could have

Next time you think your hotel bill is too high you might want to consider this:

My wife and I are traveling by car from Maryland to Key West Fl. Being Seniors, after almost eleven hours on the road, we were too tired to continue, and decided to take a room. But, we only planned to sleep for four hours and then get back on the road. When we checked out four hours later, the desk clerk handed us a bill for $350.00.

I exploded and demanded to know why the charge was so high. I told the clerk although it’s a nice hotel, the rooms certainly aren’t worth $350.00 for four hours.

Then the clerk tells me that $350.00 is the ‘standard rate’. I insisted on speaking to the Manager.

The Manager appears, listens to me, and then explains that the hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference centre that were available for us to use. “But we didn’t use them,” I said.

“Well, they are here, and you could have,” explained the Manager.

He went on to explain that we could also have taken in one of the showsfor which the hotel is famous. “We have the best entertainers from New York , Hollywood, and Las Vegas perform here,” the Manager says.

“But we didn’t go to any of those shows,” I said.

“Well, we have them, and you could have,” the Manager replied.

No matter what amenity the Manager mentioned, I replied, “But we didn’t use it!”

The Manager is unmoved, and eventually I gave up and agreed to pay.

I wrote a check and gave it to the Manager.

The Manager is surprised when he looks at the check. But sir, this check is only made out for $50.00.”

“That’s correct. I charged you $300.00 for sleeping with my wife,” I replied.

“But I didn’t!” exclaims the Manager.

I said, “Well, too bad, she was here, and you could have.”

Don’t mess with Me!

Thanks to CK for sharing this story with me