Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hotel Beds

To prove a point about the cleanliness of your average hotel room, I need to relate a little story.

A year or so ago, I was staying in a downtown Vegas hotel during one of my frequent binges of gambling and buffet consumption. Never mind which hotel. Well let's just say it begins with Horse and ends with Shoe. And on the first night, I woke up suddenly in a panic.

I had shit the bed.

Or at least, that's what I assumed. The funk of feces was present and powerful. Reaching into my boxers, I was thankfully able to clear myself as a suspect. But feces there was, and it seemed to be somewhere in the bed. I scrambled out of bed, turned on the lights, and threw the sheets and blankets off.

No shit anywhere. But the funk was, if anything, even stronger now, and I knew there was a fecal intruder somewhere in the vicintity. I spent twenty feverish minutes turning the room upsidedown, looking for the evidence. I opened all drawers, upturned every chair, (well, just the one chair) and looked under and behind everything. I even looked between the mattresses. No luck.

So finally, I had to admit defeat. I even had to concede that I didn't smell it so much anymore. So, angry at having not solved the mystery, I climbed back into bed and turned out the light.

And there was the funk again, stronger than ever.

This time, I was hit with a flash of insight. I slowly turned on the light, reached not for the sheets or blankets, but the *bedspread* and gave it a hearty whiff.

OH MY GOD!! It was the bedspread. So, using tongs I keep in my suitcase for just such a purpose, (okay not really) I deposited the fouled linen outside in the hall.

When I finally returned home, I did some internet research. And what I found shocked me. Hotels routinely do NOT clean their bedspreads. Sheets are washed daily, blankets sometimes, but that big comfortable bedspread - hardly ever. Usually only at a guest's request. Now this policy is halfway understandable. After all, it would waste a lot of water to wash a bedspread for each new guest, and hotels have a right to assume that the customers won't use the bedspread for toilet paper. Still though, my advice when staying at a hotel is to call ahead and request a laundered bedspread. Particularly in a place like Vegas or New Orleans, where people aren't just in town on business.

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