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Friday, September 18, 2015

The Day The Elevator Died...


It's Friday, let's have some fun.

On a recent Irish holiday, I stayed at a quaint, old hotel. Place was awesome, the staff and food were great, but over the last 150 years the hotel naturally expanded. Ok, no worries.

However,  getting out of the (only) elevator, and already confused that I needed the third floor -- when my room was #513 -- I literally stood in front of this sign for about two minutes. Then I noticed little three-step stairwells dotted all around.

The hotel had obviously expanded to the sides and back, rather than up, but I wondered if I'd stepped into the Twilight Zone?

Or better yet, an Irish Fawlty Towers?

A few days into our five-day stay, there was a problem with the elevator. Just wasn't working. No problem, we only had the three floors to get to room #513.

Then, I noticed a harried tour guide with his trusty clipboard. He was doing everything humanly possible to get a busload of Irish (able, and not-so-ably bodied) seniors to their rooms. But, with signs like this, many of the new guests got a little lost as they travelled up and down the many mini-stairs.

(There were nooks and crannies, and most were filled with grannies. It was truly hilarious :)

Having navigated -- and by now mastered the numerous halls and corridors -- my eight-year-old son and I spent the next while lending a hand (and elbow) as we steered people in the general direction of their rooms.

About an hour later, I saw the same tour guide, sans clipboard and asked if everyone found their rooms?

He nodded, and the look of relief was evident on his face. I laughed when I saw he was headed toward the hotel bar.

"Off for a pint?"

"Oh, you better believe it."

Perhaps the best thing was how everyone handled the unusual situation: With humor and grace. People met each other as they rounded corners with a smile and a question.

"Found yours yet?"

"No. You?"


...and off they'd go again with a wave and a "good luck to you."

The whole event was a highlight for us, and yes, I'm easily amused. (Back home, I asked my son what was his favorite part of the trip?

"Helping at the hotel with the 'lost' people."


PS: I'm sure Manuel would have been harried, Sybil would have disapproved, but I know Basil would have been proud of me -- so long as I didn't mention the war :)

And hey, am I the only one who always thinks "pitch" is the next word after "elevator"?


Elephant's Child said...

I am still in shock that Fawlty Towers is 40 years old!!! I always felt v sorry for Sybil. And Manuel. And everone who wasn't Basil.
Loved that room 513 was (sort of) on the third floor. And the grace with which people took the challenge.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Or do any impersonations!
Fawlty Towers is a classic.
It does sound confusing, especially as the numbers weren't according to floor level.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - yup stayed in those sorts of hotels before ... and gone crazy trying to find my room. Fun memories for you ... especially as your son will apparently remember this part for many years to come.

I loved Fawlty Towers and still do if I spot it on tv ... wonderful post .. and Elevator Pitch ... clever - cheers Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

Sounds like a great hotel. I love the idea of people wandering aimlessly...It reminds me of the Doctor Who episode set in an 80s hotel where the corridors and rooms kept moving.

S.P. Bowers said...

Sounds like a hotel I would love to stay at. I'm glad everyone rolled with the punches (or stairs) and had fun with it.

quietspirit said...

I need to watch Fawlty Towers, I would have found the floor plan interesting. One of our hospitals here in our city has six floors. The ICU section is on the first floor but the room numbers are in the 1100 numbers. Once you learn that, it's easy to find where someone is. If our church prayer list says St. Vincent/St John's Room 1116, We know that person is in ICU.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I definitely want to stay at this hotel!!!!
And even though the room numbering would have been Basil's fault, he still would have smacked Manuel in the back of the head while Sybil said, "Don't mind him. He's from Barcelona." And then Polly would have tried to sell the guests her hand-drawn maps to find their rooms. :)

Jo said...

I'm pleased to say I have never had that kind of a problem except in dreams. Glad your son enjoyed it though.

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

So glad you and your son had fun and found humor at every corner.

Crystal Collier said...

That's awesome. There's nothing that makes a lasting memory like serving others.

Melissa said...

I love your son's comment. Too funny!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I get lost so often, I just consider it part of the journey.

You're right, no need to get mad when you can laugh.

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