The newest desk attendant, who I think rocks, left me pizza. After I clocked-in, I discovered chocolate cake in the break-room. Double the yum! So, everything was rather peaceful. I was just sitting at the front desk, listening to The Grateful Dead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqtUDg9WFu8 when my nostrils filled with the pungent aroma of fresh burning cannabis. Their performance was so good, I could smell the audience! I took a stroll to locate its origins. My hope was that I would be unable to locate the room, and not actually have to do anything other than take a walk.
The aroma, redolent of every festival, and Dead show I have ever been to, led me to the opposite stairway near 425. I found a guy sitting on the top step smoking a joint. “Hey, uh, can I ask you to please smoke that outside?” I said.
“Do you know how cold it is outside?”
“Yes, welcome to Upstate NY in December. I still have to ask you to smoke that outside.”
“This is medical. New York is medical now.”
“Yup, except that New York medical cannabis isn’t prescribed in doobie form. This hotel has a no smoking policy. You can pretend I am an idiot while smoking that outside, if you don’t mind.”
“Actually, it’s a no smoking in the room, policy.” He said that with a stoner grin. He was also looking at me through pencil thin eyelids.
“As a matter of fact, the paper says the hotel is 100% no smoking.”
“I remember reading it, dude. It said smoking in the room would result in a fee. It didn’t say the fee would count if I smoke in the hallway. Technically, you can’t charge my room, because I’m not in it, and I don’t have to tell you what room I’m in.”
“You’re in room 409.”
“How the hell did you know that?” He was amazed that I figured that out. It was as if he thought I had just pulled off some David Blaine mind reading trick.
“It says 409 on the key-packet that is sitting on the step, next to you.”
“Oh, shit… You still can’t bill the room, because I’m not in the room.” He sounded more like he was hoping that was true.
“You have a car, right?”
“Sit in your car where you can run the heat. You can smoke in there, and not have to stink up the hallways, and stairways.”
“Damn. I didn’t think of that.” I could see the light turning on in his brain. It was a dim light. He took another hit and blew out a huge cloud. I slapped my hand against my forehead, and shook my head. “Oh, sorry. Do you want a hit?” He held it out for me to take. I took it, put it out with the sole of my shoe, and walked away with it. He didn’t even get up. He sat there and asked me to give his joint back.
“I just remembered there is chocolate cake in the break room. I bet that sounds great right about now, huh?” I walked down the stairs. He never followed me. He was probably too stoned to get up. I’m pretty sure he was so high that he won’t know if that interaction actually took place, or if it was just something he imagined.
I started my audit work, and the same guy finally approached the desk. “I can’t find my room key.” He said. I knew exactly where it was, and no, he didn’t leave it on the stairs. I was looking right at his key-packet.
“Are you sure that you can’t find it?”
“Yeah, I looked all over the floor, and the stairs. It’s like it vanished.” The old, vanishing-key-card trick. I love that one. It’s the magic trick where you get so stoned that you can’t see things that are right in front of you, or, in this case, in your hand.
“That’s because I made it invisible with my mind-powers.”
“Uh… Can you give me one that is visible, please?”
“I’ll help you by making your original card reappear. Just place the palms of your hands on top of the desk, like this…” I put my own hands, palms down, on the desk as a demonstration. He copied exactly what I did. “Now, lift your right hand, and your card will be revealed.” He lifted his hand, and he was genuinely surprised. I just blew his frigging mind. His key-card magically appeared beneath his hand.
“Holy shit! How did you do that?”
“A master magician never shares his secrets. Sleep well.” The guy walked to his room, and I ate cake while I made fresh coffee.