June 27, 2009

Payback Is Heck

We all have those moments when we picture the jerk that cut us off getting pulled over or suddenly going up in a small nuclear detonation. Usually that’s as far as we get in our revenge. And, generally speaking, I’m not a vengeful person. Sometimes it’s just because I can’t think of something that won’t get me in trouble. However, I had one small sweet victory years ago when on vacation with the family.

We were in Laguna Beach, California, in one of those diminutive beach hotels that stacked units here and there in odd configurations that accommodated older buildings and tight topography. Like most places in perpetually mild climates, all of the units opened to the outdoors; there were no hallways.

Our first night there was pleasant until our sleep was broken at 2 a.m. by the occupants of Room 231, the unit just behind us. They came in slamming doors and cabinets, shouting and laughing. Even children were a part of the considerable racket. Abe and I and the two kids woke up and eventually went back to sleep. It took me forever, though, because I didn’t have the option of my usual routine of reading or watching a show or two to get sleepy again. It was torture lying there in the dark for hours, waiting for sleep to find me. Exhausted, I finally fell asleep at about 6 a.m. and slept for a few hours.

The next day we toured around town and fell in love with the place if not the prices. We were pretty beat when we went to bed. Sure enough, Room 231 came crashing in while laughing and shouting at 3 a.m. Abe was so angry he banged on the wall. We were greeted with loud obscenities. Abe called the front desk, as apparently did two other rooms. Room 231 was warned. But I was miserable as I lay awake in the dark once again.

I finally rose and dressed and grabbed a book. I couldn’t read in the room, and the office was closed for the night. So I sat just outside the room in a beach chair immediately behind the air conditioner, using its exhaust to stay warm. I looked up from my pages occasionally to watch the opossums raid the garbage cans to my left. I had lots of time to think. Slowly, ever slowly, the sky began to lighten.

At 6 a.m., the office opened. I left my book on the chair and went to the lobby to get one of its brochures. The bakery next door had just opened as well, so I sat at the counter and ordered a bagel. I found the phone number for the hotel and rang it up.

“Room 231, please."

Whoever answered the fourth ring didn't speak.

"Good MORNing!” I was smiling and practically shouting into the phone with unbearable glitter-filled cheerfulness, the kind for which no stranglehold is tight enough. “It’s time for breakfast! I’m already here at the bakery!”

“Whuh?”

“It’s time for breakfast! Aren’t you up yet?”

“Mmmmmmhhhh…”

“This is Patsy, isn't it?” Pause for dramatic effect. “Oh my gosh, do I have the wrong room? I’m SO sorry.”

* Click *

The bakery barista looked concerned. “Did you get the wrong room?”

“No. I got exactly who I wanted.”

And again at 6:30.

Petty, childish, yeah. But it felt really good.

9 comments:

Java said...

HA ha ha ha ha!!! I love it!

I'm not typically vengeful, either, but when I haven't had enough sleep, I get very cranky. When I am very cranky, it is much harder to resist wonderful opportunities such as the one you describe. I salute you!

the hobbit said...

Not the high road, indeed!

People always say, "Oh but karma..."

Bitch please. Sometimes I *AM* karma. She needs elves, too.

tornwordo said...

That's pretty good. I grew up around there you know. Lots of Laguna memories for me.

Jeaux said...

I prefer to think of this as a "teaching opportunity."

Rox said...

Now THAT'S an awesome story!

Greg said...

Call it what you will, this is f***ing awesome! Nicely done, Birdie!

A Lewis said...

Petty and childish?? Oh boy, would this be the appropriate place to tell you that I do that regularly while traveling ..... if they are willing to keep me up at midnight, I'm more than happy to call them (a few times) at 4am when I have to get up. Shame on both of us!

Monica said...

LOL Birdie. I'll have to add this to my repretoire of weapons (also similarly limited as your own for fear of getting in trouble.) ;-)

Ur-spo said...

who shameless thing!