New Years, for all intents and purposes, is about ringing in a new season of change. The excitement in the air is tangible. Good times had by all, the excitement of the ball drop, the insane kazoos, the silliness. Many a New Year spent with friends and loved ones provide warm memories, and some peculiar and hazy ones as well. To a lot of people there stands one New Years event that stands out as a ‘miss’ as opposed to a ‘hit’.
My personal stand out in the ‘it-could-have-been better’ New Years stories involved a series of well intentioned disasters that one can only laugh at with the benefit of hind-sight. That it ended up without any need for hired legal representation or calling-in-of-favors makes the ordeal all that much more hilarious.
In the throws of what seemed to be a burgeoning relationship, my paramour and I chose to spend the New Year in a delightful downtown hotel. What made it even more magical is that my date’s employer decided to pay for a top floor executive suite in a gesture of thanks for a hard year’s work. The room, in a trendy boutique hotel, was enormous, well stocked and quite beautiful. We were both riding high on a lot of really good feelings, not the least of which was this excitement of a new compadré.
Excited as we were to be enjoying such a grand time together we both started the evening downtown at a very accelerated pace. We dined on the bounty of Portland’s great eateries, and drank with the sort of abandon two people enthralled with each other tend to. We attended the wine tasting in the lobby of our boutique hotel, and enjoyed a great deal of the fruits of Oregon’s wineries at no charge to the point where we really needn’t have gone out for more drinks, but it was New Years, who’d stop now! After a quick walk we found a bar know for its “insider vibe and unique presence” and we sat down to enjoy some more drinks before our dinner at he eatery in the hotel lobby.
As we decided to finish up our third round of drinks at the very trendy bar, I should have recognized things were getting curiously quiet, but I was a bit beyond figuring that out. As we stood to leave, my partner in crime let me know that a quick pit-stop was needed, and I dutifully let her know I’d be outside in the fresh Portland air. I was there for about twenty minutes checking my watch, and standing on the sidewalk until I finally sent a waitress in to check up on her. This was not well received.
To make a long and painful story shorter I’ll skip talking about the dinner which was ladenned with quiet insults, sarcastic chiding, witless retorts and unabashed flirting with the water boy. (Not by me mind you.)
Upon our eventual and exceedingly quiet return to the executive suite, my bitterly drunk, but well fed cohort promptly walked in to the bathroom and began filling the alarmingly deep Japanese bathing tub. I could scarcely hear the tub filling as I took off my dress shoes, but I did hear her return to the room. That’s when the argument that had made dinner such a remarkable pleasure began anew. For about five minutes we traded our opinions of the situation, and just as she began to take the helm for another broadside of vitriol, my ears picked up something. I couldn’t tell what it was at first, and I ignored it in order to try to hear what she was saying. As I continued to hear her out, my mind decided that what I’d heard previously was even worse than her diatribe. I heard the sound of water, lots of real flowing water.
My facial expression must have showed my concern, because her eyes widened and she turned mid-insult and began running for the bathroom. She got half way across the forty foot room before her feet started splashing in inch deep water. I know this because I was right behind her, in socks and dress pants. She stood at the door with her hands on her cheeks like the kid on that Christmas film as I passed by her to get the faucet. I had to reach across the enormous tub in order to turn the damned water off and I nearly slipped on the edge and fell in. In order to get the thing to empty I had to reach bicep deep in scolding hot water to get to the dammed lever. Who makes these tubs, sadists?
We immediately shifted into the most chaotic attempt to stop flooding either of us had ever been party to. We had three towels, and two bathrobes. In a backwards, understaffed version of a bucket brigade we mopped and squeezed water out as fast as we could. Then we heard the knock on the door. It was management. They were ‘concerned’ and they just wanted to let us know that we’d flooded five suites on lower floors. I glanced at my watch, it was 12:03 AM. Happy Verbally Abusive, Wreckless and Drunk New Year!
For the next forty minutes I pushed the hotel’s leviathan of a shop vac over the floor of the room in a vain attempt to dry the thick carpet. I’d have let staff do it, but the late-night staff had no idea how to empty the machine of all the sucked up water. So I did it myself. Some MANVIL cards might have helped them. Plus, I made the mess, so I felt kind of obligated. As it stands, I spent more time draining the receiver bucket than I did vacuuming. When it was all said and done we weren’t charged for anything extra, even though three rooms of the five were relocated at 12:30 AM due to flooding.
If there is anything I learned from that New Years experience it is that a deep tub should not be able to fill faster than it’s overflow tube can purge.