We burst into the Marriott Residence Inn room after a long, long night of drinking and carousing. I threw my suit jacket across the kitchen table and we tumbled into bed.
A frantic but hazy hour passed.
I lay back and turned to ask her if she wanted some water, but she was already snoozing. I turned off the bedside lamp and closed my eyes. Oh, no; the room was spinning. If the room spins and my eyes are closed, it means one thing: I'm about to vomit.
I clicked the light back on and stumbled into the bathroom, closing the door behind me. Kneeling in front of the bathtub, I pulled on the knob until water was flowing strongly out of the faucet and then promptly vomited into the tub. Brown beer, Moscow mules, and whatever that Italian food was that we'd eaten downtown mixed uneasily with a frothy inch of warm water. After a few coughs and gasps, I rocked back on my knees. I could still feel a mix of beer and vodka boiling in my stomach.
Two fingers tickling my uvula enticed the rest of it to explode into the tub. Exhausted and still drunk, I grabbed a towel and wiped off my chin.
I turned off the faucet. Except it didn't. The water was still rushing out. I rotated the knob again; nothing happened. I pushed it, pulled it, and rotated it with no success. Figuring this must be "operator error,” I continued fruitlessly manipulating the control knob. I sat there, naked and burping, pawing at this stupid chrome knob. Still the water gushed.
After twenty-five minutes, I figured I'd tried everything humanly possible, and was anyway about to pass out. "What the hell, it's going down the drain. I’ll deal with this a little later," I thought. I got up, closed the bathroom door behind me, crawled into bed, and fell asleep, lulled by the distant sound of running water.
Three hours later, the phone rang. I groggily answered, "Hello?"
"Mr. Holmes!" cried a frantic woman. "Is your room flooding??? Because the two rooms below you are flooding!"
"Um. The. Um. Yeah, the faushet won't turn off," I slurred.
"WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US?" screamed the woman. "I'll be right up!"
Almost instantly, the frenzied desk worker burst through the door, not even knocking. She was large and black, and had a huge cell phone pinned to her ear with her shoulder. She went right into the bathroom. I slowly swung myself out of bed.
"What? What's happening?" mumbled the young woman in the bed, eyes still closed.
"Nothing, go back to shleep," I said, and she did.
The woman in the bathroom was clearly on the phone with a plumber. I watched over her shoulder as she forcefully rotated, pushed, and pulled the bathtub knob.
"Shee? It won't turn off!" I asserted, feebly.
On instruction from the phone, she pulled out a standard-head screwdriver and undid the plate around the faucet. She located a screw and turned it until the water stopped. Then she turned on her heel and squelched toward the door.
"Mr. Holmes, we'll get you a new room in the morning" she said as she left. I climbed back into bed, turned out the light, and fell right back asleep.
Sunlight eventually woke me up around 9:00AM. My head was pounding. As I squished my way across the room, I saw that our kitchenette still had a quarter-inch of water all over the floor. In the middle of it all floated my suit jacket, which had apparently slid across the table and fell on the floor where it now swam.
They tried to give us the room next door, but it, too, was flooded. "We flooded at least four rooms! I hope they don't charge me for all of them," I said to the girl. They found us an empty room down the hall and we moved our stuff over there and prepared for the day.
When I checked out, I looked closely at the bill, but there were no extra charges—no flood damages. Whew!
A few days later, after I got home, I received an automated email survey from the Marriott asking how I liked staying at the Residence Inn. The last page of the survey featured a general comment field, which I filled in.
"It's probably no one's fault,” I said in my comment, "but my room flooded and my suit had to go to the cleaners."
The next day I received the following email from "Cindy," who was apparently a manager at the hotel. I thought it was really nice.
"Upholding my commitment to provide a memorable experience with exceptional service, I will purchase 10,000 Marriott Rewards points for your account for the inconveniences you incurred."
I felt kind of bad about accepting all those Marriott points—in some places they add up to a whole free night. But given the choice between paying for four flooded rooms or receiving a free nights’ stay, I know which one I would take every time. And, looking back on the situation, it wasn't really my fault, was it? Unless I've become so strong from all the working out that I broke the faucet without realizing it.
But we'll never know, now, will we. Unless it happens again, and I get another free night at the Marriott.
© 2017 David Holmes
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