Deep in the Well of Savage Salvation

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Hyperion May 12, 2006

The Hyperion Chronicles
“More conflicted than a Furry at a Petting Zoo”

#390 Mr. Buffalo

Read Part 1 (Where I have adventures on a Plane)
Read Part 2 (Where I am captivated by a room with a view)

Part 3: Can I get a Light?

[Before I get to today’s final installment of my trip, I wanted to post a few photos taken from my hotel window. Make sure you click on them for full size. The night pictures didn’t come through (very disappointed), but I found one that gives you somewhat of an idea.]

(if you enlage it, you can see me in the reflection, with bloody mary behind me)

When I checked in Friday afternoon the clerk saw I was there through Monday. Yet he didn’t think to say anything. Every time I came down to the lobby no one thought to mention it. All day Sunday, including when I had Room Service show up and even Sunday night, asking the concierge for a restaurant, no one bothered to give me a simple heads-up.

Just writing the last paragraph I’m getting pissed off again.

With only one day left there was still a lot of work to be done, and a full night was planned. I had the lights off momentarily, just so I could spend a few more minutes looking at that incredible skyline. I heard the air conditioning go out. (It had been running nonstop since I got in the room. It’s one of my favorite parts of staying in a hotel; cranking that AC.)

I remember saying, “That’s not a good sign.”

It didn’t come back on, and a couple more minutes determined that none of the lights worked. (Nor did the faucets give water or the toilets flush.) After a couple of minutes when nothing returned, one of the secretaries called down on the landline to find out what was going on.

The message came back: there was a planned power outtage from midnight to 5:30 a.m. to fix fuses or some idiocy. (I never got a straight answer, as the story seemed to change every time I asked.)

The enormity of how awful this was didn’t hit me right away. There had been some snags for such a nice hotel. My bed had broken twice. (And before you do you best “Mr. Buffalo” joke, know that the maintenance guy said it happened twice before in the last month. The Westin spends literally thousands for ultra-high thread count sheets and pillows and comforters to die in, and then they get shitty frames for the bed. It makes no sense.)

There had been a couple of other little things too, but the incredible beauty of my view made up for it, and ultimately this wasn’t a vacation, but a trip to save Canada itself, so I didn’t dwell on it.

But now…we needed the internet, not to mention the several laptops in the room. I also wanted to check out the sports highlights during a break. Light was needed. Power was needed, and with all those people in a hotel room, working toilets and sinks were damn sure needed.

I started calling downstairs. I was getting more and more irate, mostly because the attitude was, “Well, you should have been told. This was a scheduled thing.” As I pointed out repeatedly (more vehemently each time), if someone had bothered to tell me—at any point from the check-in on to Sunday night—I could have made arrangements to be in another hotel the last night. Sure it wouldn’t have had the proximity to the parliament and that view, but who cares?

The lady down front sure didn’t seem to care about me. It was scheduled, someone should have mentioned it, and it wasn’t her problem. She said housekeeping should have left a note with glow sticks, but neither was there. Any way you look at it, this was a colossal screw up.

We briefly considered shelving everything and trying to just get some sleep, but without the air conditioner it was very very stuffy that high up, and there was no way to sleep.

The more I thought about things, the angrier I got. And then I started thinking about how high up we were, and how if the power was out, the elevators wouldn’t work. With my back and ankles, I wasn’t even sure I could walk down 21 flights of stairs if I had to.

I’ll be honest with you, friends. I started to panic. I sometimes have problems high up in buildings. I feel claustrophobic, trapped, like the walls are closing in on me. I’d done very well since I arrived at this hotel, with nary a peep of that, but now it hit me in full force.

I normally am the most even-keeled guy you’ll meet. I keep my head in a crisis. The kind of thing that would freak most people out I handle without batting an eye. It’s the little things that get to me.

And when Mr. Buffalo gets emotionally upset, wise people tread carefully. It’s not a pretty sight, and I’m fairly sure there is a support group that meets somewhere to talk about their experiences with me when I go nuts.

It could have been quite ugly. Luckily for the people in the lobby, I couldn’t get down there to make my displeasure known. But I wasn’t doing much good up here either. One of the porters brought us some cool glow sticks, and we ended up playing poker all night.

Friends, I have to tell you: in all the times I’ve been that upset before, nothing has ever calmed me down like winning Three Hundred and Eighty Seven Dollars while looking out over a beautiful skyline. There’s something just…calming about that.

(skylines go much better with full houses)

Eventually the lights came back on and I got ready to leave. Before taking off I had lunch in this cool kind of open-air restaurant called a marché, which had food from all over the world. I also managed to pick up two sweet pairs of sunglasses. One was a Dolce and Gabbana knock-off (at least, I think it was), and the other a pair of “Choppers.” Now all I need is a Harley.

(I totally need a biker bitch too. Anyone know where I can find one?)

The only real mishap on the way home was going through security in the Ottawa airport. Right before me was this Montrealer (who else), trying to smuggle drugs through by wearing two pairs of pants. He pretended not to know what was going on until they drug him away. This made the security people really nervous.

Anyway, large as I am I brushed the little metal-detector doorway, which set off the alarm. No big deal; I put my arms up in a patient but bored expression for the pat down. However, after Frenchie these guys weren’t taking any chances.

“Please remove your belt” I was told.

“Uh.” I said intelligently. This wasn’t a great idea. For reasons I can’t quite figure out, I’ve been dropping inches like mad.

“Are you refusing?” The guy looked almost hopeful.

“No, no.” I assured him. I took off my belt, trying to stand in that widen-your-hips posture. Then he asked me to turn around.

With a small sigh I complied, and of course my pants came down. I looked up to see several airline personnel entering through the employees section of the security.

You might think I’m making this up, but if you’ve been reading my adventures or know my life at all, you’ll know I’m not. Who should I happen to see but the same flight attendant from my trip there!

She looked up at me and I just shrugged.

The security guard looked at my boxers with a raised eyebrow, but I told him I was American, so he didn’t say anything. Thank the Light. I don’t know how I’d have explained what Mr. Buffalo was smuggling home.

(Let's just say that Hyperion was very happy to see the end of that security line)


May 12, 2006

Motto Explanation: the line comes from the Webcomic Questionable Content. As to the meaning, if you don't know what a Furry is, let Wikipedia explain.


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