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Monday, November 11, 2013

A Cautionary Tale

This weekend we stayed at the Embassy Suites, in Lousiville.  We were going to the season opener for the defending champions; The Louisville Cardinals (Go Cards!).  The football team from Morehouse Univeristy was also staying in the hotel.

It was kind of cool, some of the players came down to the lounge and hung out while we were having a drink and many of them were having breakfast at the same time as we did.  They were all very polite, and well mannered.  It was like one big happy family, us and the Morehouse football team.

I even looked them up on the Internet (you have to love technology) and would say "Go Tigers" as they got off the elevator.  They seemed to enjoy having a new fan, and always said thank you, and and smiled graciously.

Morehouse is a University in Atlanta, Georgia, they were playing Kentucky State in Frankfort.  These  are not big football schools, so the score was not reported on Sports Center Saturday, or anywhere that I could find.   

But, since we had been friends for a while, sharing the hardships of the road, and enduring one of the slowest elevators ever made, I had a stake in the outcome, and genuinely wanted them to win.  They moved on after the game and did not "return to the nest."

Sunday morning, I went down to get a cup of coffee, we were staying on the sixth floor, and with the "speed" of these lifts, it could take some time to get down there.  So, I decided to look up the score of  Morehouse's and my game.  I would have plenty of time.  

On the fifth floor the elevator stopped and two women stepped in, we resumed the long, slow descent.  I went back to reading the account of the game, my friends, the Tigers of Morehouse got beat, and I was a little disappointed.

The elevator stopped, and I got off, just as some cranky people were getting on.  Since my powers of observation are so keenly refined, as soon as I rounded the corner I noticed that it was not the first floor, the land of coffee, and juice, at all.  It was the second floor, the home of cranky people and elevator stoppers.  

I had to think fast!  The elevators had glass walls in the back, so if I got back on everybody in the breakfast area, would know I made a mistake, and since the breakfast area was in a courtyard in the middle of the motel, and every room in the place had facing windows it was possible that everybody in the motel would see my mistake.  And I would be the joke du jour, "Hey, how was the second floor, dummy!?"  That didn't sound fun.

I devised a perfect plan.  I would take the stairs down to the first floor, and no one need know of my little tactical error.

Every great plan has a few flaws, this plan had one. The stairs only had one door on the first floor, and it went outside. and I was dressed in gym shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops, and it was November, in Kentucky.

I had to think Fast!

Here I am, outside.
Evaluate the situation, devise contingency plan, done in nano seconds.  Time for a quick disguise, and my alter ego, a traveling tourist photographer.  "Tim, you amaze me at times!"   I walked around the building snapping photos, and taking little notes.  Nobody the wiser, I went back inside, took a few photos, and moved ahead, another day saved by lightning like thinking and flexible reasoning.

Walking in, almost home
and dry
I got my coffee and headed back toward the elevator, feeling content, and successful.  Just to finish the act strong, you have to sell these things, you know, and since I was waiting for the elevator anyway, I took a last couple of pictures of the lobby.

The elevator showed up, and a woman got off, kind of angry looking and in a hurry, maybe from the second floor, and went barreling around the corner almost running into into an older gentleman who was not really paying attention, and somehow overlooked the intense, fast moving, purposeful woman, wheeled suitcase in tow.  He almost spilled his full cup of scalding hot coffee on her, which would have made her even angrier, and perhaps have blown my op.

Just one last shot to sell the cover ID
He got on the elevator with me, and said, "that was pretty close.  I should have been watching where I was going, but I was wondering that you were taking pictures of."

I said "the lobby."  And he seemed content with that.

There is a lesson here, don't text and drive, and don't surf the Internet and ride the elevator.