Free skibs: Rockin' it out bare-butt in Scranton

This is supposed to be a fine hotel. It's the Marriott for christ's sake, and it runs about $150 a night, including the corporate discount. I would think that for that amount of money, I wouldn't be forced to deal directly with some stranger's dirty tighty whities. Do the maids even vacuum under the beds here? I think they need to deploy a fleet of these:

Industrial strength, heavy duty underwear-sucking Roombas to go room to room snagging errant skivvies and other detritus from under the beds.

Here's what happened: I was so tired when I got back to my room that I fell face first on the bed and slept straight through what was supposed to be "going to the gym." Feeling guilty about that, I decided to do a few pushups after I ate dinner. Somewhere around push-up number twenty, I noticed a flash of white. There was something sticking out from under the coverlet on the bed. I thought it was one of my socks, so after I finished the push-ups, I reached down and grabbed it. I had it in my hand before I realized that:

1. It wasn't a sock
2. It was, in fact, a pair of someone else's dirty underwear and,
3. They were HUGE.

Granted, I didn't spend a lot of time examining them once I realized what they were, but whoever the guy was who left them here had to go at least three times my size. I can almost guarantee that he did not lose them doing anything resembling pushups. More likely, he dropped them by mistake and the act of just thinking about the exertion required to bend down and pick them up caused him to break a sweat, so he just gave them a quick shove under the bed with his foot.

There was no convenient time stamp or expiration date on them, so it was hard to judge just how long they had been there. I figured they were really too big for me and probably way past their prime, so I did the only thing I could do under the circumstances: I opened the door and kicked them into the hallway, half on top of my empty room service tray. Let the room services people make of that what they may.

The next thing I did was tentatively check under the other bed. I was cautiously optimistic that I would find nothing even more disgusting, and in this I got lucky. I half expected used snake skins, but the worst of it was an empty jolly rancher candy wrapper. So maybe the underwear Roomba isn't strictly necessary, but I feel it would still be really useful in a situation like this, just so I didn't have to actually touch them.

"Roomba! To the underwear!"

The housekeepers could send them in like one of those bomb-defusing robots or something. Encapsulate the undies and then run them to a safe place before detonating.

So I learned something new this trip. Check under the beds in addition to behind the bathroom door for other peoples clothing. You might score some decent britches. My friend got some lingerie for his wife that way. No such luck for my wife, dammit.

This reminds me of my last trip to Chicago. On that fateful journey, I learned another important and disgusting lesson.

Lesson: No matter how expensive the hotel, they do not wash the top bedspreads.

Always, always, always peel them off by one corner and let them fall to the floor. I cannot stress this enough. Last time I was there, I pulled down my covers and the inside of the top one had boot-knockin' skidmarks on it. Clearly, someone was in a major hurry. And this hotel ran close to three bills a night.

I kicked that into the hallway too. Then I slept in the tub.


  1. I sleep in a tent in hotel rooms. Well, I should.

    Here are my tips to add:

    Chambermaids never ever ever clean the phone. Go to any hotel room, lift the receiver off the hook, and be disgusted by phone gizz. It's a combination of makeup flakes, cheap perfumes, skin cells and ear wax. That's on the ear piece. On the other end is dried spit, maybe some dried food. And the handle...ew.

    Don't sit on the couches if they have any. More skidmark territory.

    I hate hotels.

  2. Um, can I ask how you got that photo? Please tell me you don't travel with your Rhomba?

  3. Chris V. breaks out into a cold sweat when you talk about hotel comforters. One time I just wanted to see how badly he would freak out so I told him that I was in the habit of licking hotel comforters as soon as I arrive in a hotel room, and he completely broke down and had a full-on panic attack. Who the hell would lick a hotel comforter? Seriously. Even knowing I was kidding, he couldn't keep it together. It was fantastic.

  4. As someone who worked in the Hotel industry for 6 years - I could have told you all of this. Comforters get washed twice a year - unless the hotel is a dump - then you're lucky if it's once a year. Housekeepers clean the obvious - tub, sink, toilet (usually -- I have worked in many a hotel where even this didn't get done).
    My husband travels with a travel-size can of lysol and all doorknobs, phones and remotes (OMG - Ammo gal, these are worse than the phones) before he settles in.

  5. My best friend wraps the remote in toilet paper before she will touch it. Me, I carry a jug of anti bacterial wipes everywhere I go.

  6. Thoroughly gross out now, and I had been contemplating lunch. Bleah!

    Most of the rooms I have stayed in have had solid bed bases, so nothing gets lost under the bed.

    But as far as the other stuff goes? I try not to think too much or look too hard when I'm staying in a hotel. It would just drive me nuts.

  7. I always bring Comet with me and scrub the bathrooms of hotels I stay at- because I don't trust the cleaning crew. But I never thought of the bedspread! Ewww! I think I will just sleep in my car!

  8. I always strip the bedspread completely off before i'll even sit on the bed.

    If I had found underwear I would have freaked out to management and been looking for some free comps.

  9. When you spend your life staying in one hotel after another you tend to become immune to the nastiness, literally and figuratively. I was usually too tired to care. And I never got sick despite all the hotel germs and rental car germs and all the germs contained in the recirculated airplane air week in and week out.

  10. that picture seriously bugs me. however, you are the picture-doctorer-guru-master.

  11. Could be worse... my wife checked into a hotel in Arkansas to find, erm... semi-fresh "specimens" on the phone, sheets, and remote control.

    I'd rather just throw a tent up in front of a hotel than risk contracting any number of exciting diseases.