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Friday 26th October 2007

As I suspected one of you managed to find out the answer to my Travelodge conundrum. I know that I didn't want the mystery ruined, yet when Estelle posted a link explaining the situation on the guest book I couldn't help myself from looking. This is the nature of a mystery that we want to keep a mystery - there is still a part of us that will refuse to let the beauty of ignorance prevail. I hate the ugly truth. It spoils everything.
Anyway, if you are a stronger person than me and care enough about not knowing then don't look at this link or indeed read anything else in this entry beyond this point.

It turns out that Cancer is Toyah's star sign, which thinking about it is probably good from her point of view - to have Cancer as a surname or an illness would be much worse for her and as for having been born on the Tropic of Cancer and having to let everyone know about it - well that would have been a bit weird.
Star sign was always the most likely explanation and yet now I have had my suspicions confirmed (despite my relief for Toyah) I am slightly unsettled by this policy. To impose this ridiculous superstition on anyone who works for them, regardless of what they might think of astrology, seems to me almost like an infringement of human rights. If I worked at the Travelodge then I would have a big problem with informing everyone of something that I find at best a stupid irrelevance, especially given that like Toyah I would also have to have the word "Cancer" displayed on my chest. Not only that but I would be encouraged to learn about the characteristics of my sign so I could chat with customers about it. So I would have to learn about a load of generalised traits that I was supposed to have and talk about them, rather than being able to tell people about traits that I actually might have in less generalised terms. Not that I think any customers at the Travelodge would be interested in my traits, whether real or imagined. Toyah seemed a personable young woman, but to be honest I would have preferred it if the booking that had been made for me had shown up in the hotel's system, rather than finding out that the woman who was failing to give me my room card was Emotional and loving, intuitive and imaginative, shrewd and cautious, protective and sympathetic. Or indeed that she was changeable and moody, overemotional and touchy, clinging and unable to let go. I didn't know that off the top of my head, but I found the list on the internet. And apparently I share these general characteristics with Toyah and anyone else born in a somewhat arbitrary clump of 30 days. But with no-one else. And I am always exactly like that, not sometimes sympathetic and sometimes not giving a fuck, not occasionally shrewd and occasionally a stupid, gullible fuckwit, not clingy with some people and aloof with others. No I am sympathetic, shrewd and clingy all the time. And so is Toyah. I am amazed that either of us even managed to finish the transaction of sorting out my room and then getting on with our lives. You'd think a pair of clingy, loving and over emotional crabs like us would have been unable to let each other go. I can't believe we're not still at the reception of the Ancoats Travelodge clinging to each other right now.
I really object to this imposition on the Travelodge staff and myself and though there may be more important things to get upset about, it troubles me that this regression into ignorance and superstition is allowed to pass unchecked. Kyle Rowe, the Travelodge Operations Director (and the new Adolf Hitler in my world view, making people wear badges based on the way he chooses to categorise them - but then I am a moody and overemotional motherfucker) says, "It is a fun and light-hearted way of engaging our customers and ensuring that they begin their stay feeling relaxed." I disagree. I think it's sinister and backward and odd and pandering to the ignorant and far from being relaxed it made me spend a significant amount of time worrying that the person who had checked me in has a terminal illness.
This evil Travelodge Nazism must be stopped. If we don't stop it now then who knows what ancient bullshit will be installed in our low cost hotels? Perhaps a piglet will be slaughtered on your arrival and its entrails smeared across your face. Perhaps you will be made to stay up all night prostrating yourself in the lobby and praying for the sun's return in the morning. Perhaps you will be forced to lick toads and go on a psychedelic trip to discover your Native American spirit guide (actually that one sounds all right). Or perhaps all the guests will get together, denounce any ugly, strange or eccentric woman and then drown or burn her. It's all light-hearted fun and anyone who doesn't want to go along with it should be sacked.

Oh and apparently I was in Alexandra Park last night - which suddenly doesn't make the experience seem so scary.

And I had such a lovely gig at the Comedy Box in Bristol tonight. I am back there Saturday night if you're in the area!

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