Last week I wrote about the thwarted attempt to take my wife on a romantic spa weekend break, getting delayed, losing a phone, and forgetting I had a baby. Surely nothing else could go wrong!
Of course it could. Because my life is scripted by unimaginative celestial sitcom writers.
We had aimed to get to the spa just after lunch, but arrived 6pm. We were still in time for dinner and had all of Sunday to relax. We could rescue this!
When we got to the room I popped to the loo. It was blocked with some large foreign object. It looked like paper or a linen bag or maybe a German spy’s parachute. It could have been worse. But it rather suggested that the room we were in hadn’t been cleaned.
I phoned down to reception and eventually a grumpy janitor arrived. I told him we were heading to the bar for a much needed drink. I thought he’d be impressed that I was being so cool about this.
Worse things have happened to me in hotels (I once found a stranger’s large, dried bogey on the shower curtain in a budget hotel in Cambridge), but after all we’d been through already this was not the romantic reboot that our weekend required.
But it got worse. I had to wait ages to be served in the not particularly busy bar. Then, just as I was about to order my drinks the grumpy janitor walked in with a face like thunder, gingerly holding a clear plastic bag containing the soggy contents of our lavatory. He lifted it to my face and said, “Please don’t flush your nappies down the toilet.” Everyone turned to look at the bag and then at me, like I was the worst and most stupid human being on the planet.
I mean it’s possible that in the five months our child had been alive we hadn’t learned that nappies are not flushable. Equally we might be the kind of idiots who enjoyed travelling to country spa hotels and then immediately flushing large objects down the loo in our room to inconvenience ourselves and the hotel staff. But that isn’t what had happened.
“That isn’t ours,” I protested, “It was there when we arrived.”
He smiled a disbelieving smile. Pointing towards our child, “Of course. It’s just I see you have a baby…”
Because we are the only people in the world with an incontinent infant, Monsieur Poirot. Case closed.
After the day we’d had I was amazed that I didn’t explode in fury, but I was mainly bamboozled that I’d turned up at a posh hotel with a blocked toilet and was now being blamed for it, rather than receiving a groveling apology. Even if I was some kind of insane lavatorial terrorist or just didn’t understand how bins work, then surely professional courtesy dictates that hotel staff have to pretend otherwise. Given that I wasn’t either of those things and the hotel had put us in a room with an uncleaned toilet that hadn’t even been checked for massive foreign objects, I felt slightly aggrieved.
I should have said, “How do we know that you didn’t put it there and get some kind of sexual thrill from blocking guests’ toilets and then embarrassing them in public? Oh yeah, we can all make baseless accusations!”
Being British I just stood there dumb-founded as he sloped off to dispose of the bog-nappy. Almost certainly down another guest’s loo so he could start up this whole charade again. Pervert!
It didn’t get any better on Sunday. More next week.
It was my 48th last Sunday. I turned 16 for the third time. In my heart I am still 16 x 1, so it’s sobering to think I’ve done it three times, without progressing emotionally. Next time I turn 16, I might actually have to allow myself to mature beyond my mid-teens. I’ll be 64. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 16 x 4?