This week's edition to our Olympia Extracts is the wonderful humorous food book, The Hospitality Bible by Peter Sheehan.
Home, Away From Home.
The right motel – modern (bland), clean, with a fridge and television in every apartment, as well as the essential ‘free’ wi-fi.
The right location – in a leafy cul-de-sac just a short walk from a sprawling ocean beach swooning in a pleasantly warm climate.
The right owner/managers – a young couple who had made it their passion to provide the best possible budget accommodation when they first started out in the business a year earlier. They were Jodi and Tim, with her providing the brains of the association and he the balance of the workforce, both still in their twenties when they took on the wonderful enterprise.
Jodi was profoundly proud of her pastoral origins: “On our farm, we had two thousand sheep, and dad knew every one of them by name. He called them all ‘sheep’.” Tim’s tending to the lawns and gardens was meticulous, though he never realized that the original owners had put in entirely plastic lawns and gardens. They were well watered and trimmed, anyway. Obviously, while the tininess of mind required to see the tiniest significance in trimmed plants in the first place would be a debilitating impairment to anyone requiring, in their chosen career, more mentality than a soiled nappy, fortunately, no such requirement exists for a career in hospitality management.
One important thing the two young managers did very correctly, was ensuring never to drink on the job. It was not only a matter of refraining from going on like an idiot and talking inane crap. They were hospitality managers and didn’t need booze to go on like that. I do need to be drunk before I can go on like that, whatever you may think, but they, like us all, were reminded of the sad fate of the dinosaurs after those extraordinary creatures learned to distil cactus. Too great a lesson not to be taken to heart.
One blissful Sunday, and a dusty car pulls into the carpark, with a pile of luggage on the roof, a thirty-ish couple in the front seat and their pre-teenage son and daughter in the back.
Now, of great interest to motel staff worldwide, not to mention the psychiatric profession, is why the suburban tourist couple would go on a holiday and actually bring along their loud-mouthed, half-witted, out-of-control brats, getting away from, which being the main reason the parents needed the holiday in the first place. Perhaps they had gotten afraid of what the beloved little loonies would get up to in the parents’ absence, or perhaps it’s simply to make the return to the rat-race seem like a great release.
Back to the motel and the newly arrived, much treasured, family of four. The car doors swung open slowly, advising the world of their royal suburban highnesses disembarkation. So precious is the guest. Well, to the guest, anyway.
Out they get, stretching and looking around before walking up towards the office. In a time honoured manner, Tim, watching their approach, made that statement that all motel workers make when experiencing the unbridled joy of seeing new guests, “Oh, here we go, another load of tourist shit.”
Jodi reacted with that great, though overwhelmingly futile, hope, “I wonder if we’ll ever get any normal people coming here.”
Tim correctly surmised as he left to attend to the front gardens, “At this rate, nope.” He then pretended not to see the family as they passed up the path towards the office.
The family entered to see Jodi’s smiling countenance and warm welcome, “Hi! Well, don’t you all look tired! Come a long way?”
The father tourist replied in the affirmative and then proceeded to rant about how far he and his family had come, the towns they went through, the bad motels they stayed at, the weather, etc, etc, until Jodi could tell the fellow, by yelling over the top of the boring tripe he was talking, the price for a room. After the vital rigmarole of paying, getting a key, and being shown to their accommodation, of course, they just had to ask for assistance in bringing their luggage in. Jodi put the idea to Tim who was still setting sprinklers in the front gardens. He felt it only right to remind his angel of their motels rating, “Christ, what do the shit-heads think this is? A fucking five-star resort? Fuck ‘em, they can carry in their own bloody junk.”
Jodi had the beautiful knack, from years of practice as an office worker, and in particular as a receptionist, of being able to speak with divine warmth and congeniality to someone’s face before preaching the most spectacular of criminal slander about them behind their back, “I’m sorry, I hadn’t realized, the porter’s off sick today, I hope you’ll be able to manage on your own.” With a “Yep, we’ll be able to manage by ourselves, won’t we, bozo!” from the wife to her spouse, and the husbands reluctant agreement, the guests returned to their car to collect their baggage as Jodi smiled through the glass of the office door to them, “Fucking pigs.”
Some details on the motel wouldn’t go astray. Furnishings for the rooms had all been bought with the guests in mind. When they purchased mattresses for the guests’ beds, for example, Jodi and Tim chose carefully. Always second hand ones that had been thoroughly pissed on, so that more pee from guests – and not just their children – wouldn’t make any significant artistic difference.
Back to Blog