If you see skid marks on the way out of St. Louis, that would be me, trying to leave before the creeping FOR LEASE fungus that appears to have infected most of downtown attacks my hotel too. I haven’t had a decent meal here – the breakfast place several readers recommended, Roosters, is opening an hour later than normal this week due to the All-Star Game, with no signage up anywhere at the store to explain this. That’s right: In a week when there are more potential customers than usual in town, Roosters is open for fewer hours. They did not teach us this strategy in business school.
My first Futures Game recap is here on ESPN.com, and I just filed a second one today with notes on more players. I also appeared on Mike and Mike this morning for a segment and a half. Those are so much better when I’m live with the host. We didn’t do Futures Game talk but I thought their question about balancing the future versus the chance to win now was a good one with no clear right answer.
Anyway, here’s the ridiculous story of the post’s title. I’m allergic to feathers. It’s not a huge deal, just annoying when I go to hotel rooms, since most hotels assume people would rather sleep on feathers (which I don’t like anyway because I’m used to sleeping on foam), and some hotels decide to get all fancy-like and use down comforters too. Like, for example, the Union Station Marriott in St. Louis.
Occasionally, a hotel will see that my reservation has a “no feathers” request and they’ll just prep a room without feather pillows or bedding. It’s great when they do it, but I don’t expect it, and the first thing I do when I get into a hotel room is punch one of the pillows. (If the hole fills back in, it’s foam. Otherwise, it’s down. Either way, it’s fun.) If the room has foam pillows, I’ll just swap them out. I used to call housekeeping when I encountered down bedding beyond just pillows, but what usually happens is a giant production where two or three people come up and detox the room, including an almost choreographed effort to remake the bed with regular bedding, begging the question of how many hotel employees it takes to make a double or queen bed. There’s no reason for me to cause this kind of disruption, since I am perfectly capable of making a bed myself, so when I discovered down pillows and comforters in the St. Louis Marriott, with a cotton blanket in the closet, I fixed everything myself. Each bed had one foam pillow and one regular one, so I took the two foam pillows and put the two feather pillows on the other bed. I threw the down comforter on the unused bed and made my bed with the regular blanket. It wasn’t very complicated.
I come back from the Futures Game the next night to find the room made up … incorrectly. The maid did leave the fabric blanket on my bed, but topped it with the down comforter. Even worse, she took one foam pillow off my bed, moved it to the unused bed, and took one feather pillow from that bad and put it back on my bed. I’m imagining a maid with OCD who was highly disturbed to find anything in a place other than the one in which she had left it 24 hours earlier.
I’m checking out in a few minutes, but I was contemplating the hypothetical situation if I was staying another night or two. Do I call down and have the feather stuff removed, risking an army of hotel employees coming through the room for no good reason? Do I simply play cat and mouse with the maid every day? Do I hide the feather bedding in the closet or under a bed, and see if that’s sufficient to stop her? I have no answers.