Tales of the Tab
By Mark David Blum, Esq.

Getting in late last night (late for an old man, anyway), I was not quite ready to lock myself into that airlock they call the modern hotel room. So, after a brief exploration of the neighborhood seeking something, anything, interesting to do, I returned to the hotel and found the bar.

In a typical hotel bar fashion, there were a smattering of couples and a few old guys at the bar. Since I am now an official member of the fat old man’s club, I bellied up on, put in my order, and glued to my eyes to the television where I saw the highlights of Kershaw slaughtering the Giants last night 5-0.

By way of background: I growed up in Los Angeles, did my college here in Berkeley, and then moved to Syracuse for law school and a career. In New York, folks like to walk around with baseball hats with their state’s initials on them as if that meant something. I have no seen Dodgers gear or a flagged up fan in eons.

This weekend, Friday Saturday and Sunday, the Dodgers are in here in San Francisco playing their weakest and mouthiest opponent – the SF Giants. Part of the reason I came here this particular weekend was specifically to catch one of those games. That part didn’t work out due to sell outs and MINIMUM ticket prices of $75.00 just to sit in the bleachers at the top back row.

Even though I live in NY, colleged here, and was created in SoCal, I have never seen more flagged up Dodgers fans than I have these past days here in the Bay Area. Everywhere – Dodgers hats, shirts, hoodies, and lots of gorgeous Dodgers babes. Dodgers won the first two games moving them into first place and the Giants flailing to stay relevant.

You already met my snorting snorting blorting drunken Dodgers fan passed out cold at a restaurant. Last night, a capped Dodgers fan bellied up to place his order and after showing team love and support – I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. Apparently he was at Friday night’s game and had screamed himself hoarse. I loved it. He told me enough and joys and experiences of the game that for just a brief moment, I was able to feel as though I too shared the exquisite joy of watching the Giants get slaughtered in their home stadium by the Dodgers.

Next up to my other side, came two young men who were at an engagement party. After dropping a few dozen wisecracks and jokes, they decided to sit and join me. With me, a 27 year married veteran on one side, and his other friend, a 10 year veteran of marriage, the guy in the middle was talking about his pending nuptuals.

Now when women announce their engagement, all their women friends are happy for them and applaud them and do all kinds of nice and pretty things. When guys get engaged, it is more funeralesque. We do not let the guy forget he is making a mistake. Men rag and harass each other when they are engaged. It can get real bad too. Nobody pats you on the back and congratulates you unless they are just casual acquaintances and if they do so, a guy knows he is not dealing with a friend.

While our conversation meandered from Dodgers to Marriage to Law to how cheap and petty the Oakland Marriot* is, the subject eventually changed to “women”. His buddy and I were giving him every lecture as to why he shouldn’t get married and how miserable it is once he is. As we were talking, his fiancé from upstairs was constantly buzzing his cell phone – apparently cracking that whip and demanding his return.

Since we were having such a wonderful time, the finance adopted the attitude (with the married men’s encouragement) that he was already in trouble for not bring the drinks back to the room as promised but was instead sitting and having some fun with the guys. His cellphone keeps ringing, he keeps laughing saying it was her, and we keep telling him that since he is already in trouble, may was well go all in and enjoy the moments before Medusa is let loose.

Now mind you, this all in good natured fun and ribbing. The engaged one is trying his damnedest to tell us how happy he is and us old married folks are throwing out scenario after scenario; constantly inquiring if this is what the guy really wanted. I couldn't stress hard enough to not have kids and get a dog. He understood.

The next thing I know, the guy I am looking at and talking to gets smacked in the back of the head with a book. Guess who showed up. It seems she does not take too kindly to her phone calls not being answered. That was no whip she cracked; it was his skull. Me and the other married guys exchanged one of those “yikes, we know this one” looks and remained very quiet and uninterested as the lovebirds spit in argument. Eventually she led him off by the nose and I was once again alone again with the lonely hearts club at the bar.

More to follow

* the Marriot property in downtown Oakland exemplifies everything wrong with the huge corporate hotel property. Considering what they get per night, they have the additional audacity to want to charge $10 per day for internet access. Every frickin Starbucks and Motel 6 has free wifi. Here, they nickel and dime you to death. It makes them look real cheap and sad. Thankfully, my phone enables me to set up my own hotspot so I bypass they cheezy hotel games and do my thang.

Lastly, there were several weddings and related receptions in the hotel. I saw the stretchiest of stretchy Hummer limos with the bride and her entourage pouring out. the one who ended up with me alone in a locked elevator was the very sexy Nubian princess who had caught the bridal bouquet at the wedding. Made for some very interesting conversation and like at the bar, I suggested she consider getting a goldfish instead of a spouse. She would live longer and be happy.

As I got to my room and bid new found friend a good night, I got into my room and began the wind down. My neighbors at that time decided it was time to wind things up. As I was relaxing and dozing, a full blown fight broke out next door. I heard the shouting and stuff being thrown against the wall. (either someone has bad aim or it was a conspiracy to fuck with my head).

So yes, I notified the front desk and begged for quiet.

within two minutes, everything in the room got real quiet. Having done hotel security before, I just assumed (don't do that) that someone from the front desk called up and asked them to STFU.

With no more noise or distractions, twas time to end it all and go to sleep. Half hour later and waking me from the start of REM sleep, there is a loud banging on my door. I figure someone has the wrong room and will go away. I turn over and go back to sleep. But then there is that banging again -- louder and more persistent.

So fuck it. I force myself to consciousness, put on jammies, and answer the door ready for a brawl. It was hotel security, arriving almost an hour after my call and they were banging on my door -- MY DOOR -- because the idiots at the front desk mixed up complainer and complainee. Thanks guys for waking me up. This hotel does wonders to make what should be a peaceful experience into the model for chaos and a lack of customer service.

The best example of that is the single bartender working the bar and the lounge by himself. The crowd ebbed and flowed and those old lady lezbians were NOT nice people as they either really just hate men or are just arrogant idiots. They have shown themselves to be rude and abusive with every person they dealt -- including me. One near octogenarian even called me out for a fight because I had kindly asked her to push my floor button. I let it go cuz I don't want to finish my life in a California prison.

mas, mas tarde

Back to the MarkBlum Report

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