Endangered Authors Tour Diary, Days 6 and 7

We’re in Houston! And there weren’t any events scheduled over the weekend, so this seems like a perfect opportunity to complain about my hotel room. 

Penguin booked us into the finest hotel we’ve stayed at yet — so fine, in fact, that there’s a fireplace in the lobby! It’s not real, but it does seem to be in HD:IMG_1538b

And there’s a world-class restaurant downstairs! By “world class,” I mean “so expensive that Penguin would never reimburse us if we tried to stick them with the bill for eating there.” Which is why we wound up walking a mile along an interstate underpass to get to the Cheesecake Factory last night.

When I first entered my hotel room, I was so impressed (not quite La-Quinta-in-Atlanta impressed, but still pretty floored) that I immediately took a picture:IMG_1526

 

Nice, right? And it was!

Right up until I pulled out the desk chair to sit down:IMG_1527

 

Do you see it? You don’t see it, do you? I didn’t think so. That’s why I took a close-up:IMG_1528

Yeah, that’s what you think it is. That’s a half-eaten Rice Chek.

Which raised ALL sorts of questions.

First of all, is the singular form of Rice Chex actually “Rice Chek?” We debated this while sitting around the fake fireplace, and the general consensus was yes, although Jacqueline pointed out that it could be “Rice Che” if the Rice Chex people are French, or even just pretentious. But spelling it that way would require the insertion of a French accent mark that I can’t figure out how to access on my keyboard, so I’m going with Rice Chek.

More importantly, though, WHOSE RICE CHEK WAS THIS? It was not mine. I very much doubt it was the cleaning person’s. Most likely, it belonged to a prior guest.

Which opens up a real can of worms. Hotel rooms are like girlfriends–you know they’ve had other boyfriends, but it’s sooooo much better if you can just pretend that’s not true.

And when they leave their Rice Chex behind, the illusion is shattered.

This is a real problem for the relationship. Because you can’t stop thinking about what kind of things went on between your hotel room and this other person.

Where else did he eat Rice Chex besides the desk chair? The couch? The bathroom? The bed?

(Not the bed. Oh, please, not the bed.)

He must have had a drink, too. Nobody eats Rice Chex without getting thirsty. Was it a sticky drink? Did he spill it anywhere? What glass did he use? That one, there? Next to the sink?

Oh, sure, it LOOKS clean. But IS IT?

I didn’t sleep well last night.

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