The Jinx returned last week. Usually it catches me in restaurants. I go in, sit down, study the menu, order and the waitress tells me to try again. Either the cooks has nothing left to make that dish or it will take an extra 20 minutes to prepare it. Sometimes I receive the wrong order.
This time The Jinx met me at the hotel as it has at least once before. That time The Jinx appeared at the end of a long day of driving over cold, snowy roads. We pulled into a hotel. I shivered in the quickly cooling car while my husband registered. Key in hand, we slumped our way to our room, ready to crawl in bed to get warm.
We would have done just that if the room had had any heat. It didn’t. The electrical connection to the heating unit was gone. We couldn’t even call and talk with management because the wire to the phone had also been removed. Hubby trudged back to the office to complain while I waited and shivered.
The clerk apologized. He sent us to a wonderful, warm and welcoming room. Lovely, except from the moment we stepped in I began coughing and could not stop. My husband stood there holding the suitcases and watching in astonishment for the coughing fit to stop. It didn’t. That night I discovered a previously unrecognized sensitivity to cigarette smoke. (Not an allergy. In my family we do not allow anyone to be sick or have an allergy.) I blame the cough on reeking smell of cigarettes.
My coughing bothered my husband but the smell did not. However, being the gentleman that he was, he took us back to the office. He heard another apology and received a third set of keys this time to a clean, non-smoking room with a working heater and phone.
So last week when The Jinx returned to a hotel room, I recognized it immediately. Hubby, as always, verified our reservation at the front office. The clerk gave him a key card and instructions, “your room will be around the corner and up the stairs.”
He grabbed the suitcases while I collected smaller bags and walked up one flight of stairs to the room. I reached the room first. I slid the electronic key card into the slot and turned the handle. The door opened to reveal a lovely young woman sleeping in my bed. Well, not exactly sleeping. The astonished Goldilocks stared at me, gasped and swung her scantily clad self under the blankets of the mussed up bed as I yanked the door shut.
“There is somebody in this room,” I told my husband. He stopped and dropped the suitcases. “so I guess we need to go down and fix it?” I asked meaning him.
“No, you go.” he gasped. “Those steps have done me in.”
“Okay.” I swiftly found my way down to the office and explained the situation. The clerk apologized profusely, double checked the computer, shook her head and said, “I wonder who is in that room?”
I accepted the apology, smiled, shrugged and took our new set of key cards upstairs. I pointed my husband down a few doors to our new room. This time we entered a room designed for the hard of hearing. Press the doorbell and inside a special light flashed to alert the occupant. The walk-in shower came with a full contingent of handrails to stabilize weary old folks. We accepted the assistance. At our age, with The Jinx popping up unexpectedly, we need all the help we can get.