Monday, December 26, 2011

Reconsidering hotel amenities and other overreaching theories

What's a blogger to write the day after Christmas? Hmmmmmm ... I dodged this dilemma last year by taking a holiday during the holidays.

It was so tempting last week to draft a blog full of potshots at idjut Senators of both parties who fantasized that a two month extension of payroll tax relief would look like anything other than inability to govern; and at Republicans in the House who imagined that voting down this pathetic "compromise" was somehow going to come off more heroic than holding their collective noses and punting on real legislation until 2012.

Somehow, that didn't work out for the Party of No, not even in the Wall Street Journal. Trying to hand a hundred sixty million U.S. citizens a tax hike for Christmas? Not a smooth move. Silly, silly elephants...

What theory could possibly explain why "rank-and-file" G.O.P. Representatives would hang that albatross around their own party's neck?

Well, tea party people are a mystery to me, but CNN quotes a GOP source who explains that most members were concerned with the uncertainty caused by just a two-month extension [fair enough] as well as the political benefit the White House could gain in the national dialogue over taxes [wha ... huh? really?].

As SemDem of DailyKos, to whom I owe the CNN link, put it: The House GOP is admitting their big concern is that the middle-class will get a tax cut, and Obama will get credit for it... so let's JUST F- them!!

It's a theory.

But hey, it's still Christmastime, more-or-less, and just because my idea of celebrating on December 25th is to see a movie and go out for Chinese food doesn't mean I'm blind to the merit of dismounting from high horses for one week each year. Minimum, I mean.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to retract a theory of my own. It's a theory I advanced in Decline and fall of hotel amenities, a post I published here on One Finger Typing in late August.

In that post, having recently stayed at a series of hotels that, across the board, provided guests with shampoo in bottles that are virtually guaranteed to leak in your luggage if you dare take them home, I theorized that cheap shampoo bottles might well be a secret plot on the part of a hotel industry determined to shore up its bottom line by any means necessary ... that hotel management types put their heads together at some hotel management type conclave, and figure[d] out that flimsier bottles would stanch the flow of amenities (and profits) from their properties.

It was a theory, okay?


I'm here today to tell you, mea culpa, that my sample size was, well, a little on the anemic side. Since August, I've stayed in several more hotels, some of them downmarket, one of them featuring $600 rack rates on the back of the door (no, of course I didn't pay that much). In point of fact, the mix of shampoo bottle quality at these hotels was ... mixed. The most downmarket among them provided single-serve, hard-to-tear-open envelopes of astringent shampoo, and nary a drop of conditioner. The place with the $600 rack rate offered well-constructed bottles, with secure screw-tops that would easily survive a trip home in a traveler's luggage.

So much for late-summer's conspiratorial theorizing.

It's a big world out there, no? I guess you can't always tell Why Stuff Happens.

So here's to chillaxin' through the last week of 2011. And to hopes that the federal government will come back fresh and rested in 2012, ready to do the jobs we elected them to do.

Yeah, right......


  1. Hey, just so you know, I'm collecting those little bottles for a project that distributes them to homeless people looking for work. So. . .if you're looking for someplace to direct unopened ones. . . Keiko

  2. Thanks, Keiko, I'll remember that. When I wrote about hotel amenities in August (Decline and fall of hotel amenities) I mentioned an outfit in Chicago that does the same sort of thing, with partially used bottles -- collecting them from the hotels. Better by leagues than plowing them into landfill...