Incidentally...

I spend a lot of my life in hotels. Today, when I checked in, I got asked (again) for my credit card “for incidentals”--even though the venue is paying for my hotel room. Even though they don't have room service. Even though they don't—you know what? I'll save that rant for another day. For today, I want to focus specifically on why I don't like hotels having my credit card on file “for incidentals.”

I stayed in a hotel in the New England region last year. It was a nice, family friendly hotel—so family friendly that they give you a key card featuring prominent cartoon characters on it. Not that it matters, though. I was hardly in the hotel. Why?

Here's what you should know about me when I'm on the road. If I'm in the hotel room, I'm working on something, I'm reading, I'm performing some hygiene function (I include masturbation under this banner,) or I'm sleeping. I find all sorts of other stuff to do on the road, from cheap tourist attractions to walking at the mall or in a park. I find hanging out in a hotel room bleak and depressing for the most part. And I almost never turn on the television—when I watch TV shows, I do it on computer or dvd, generally.

A couple weeks after checking out, there is a charge on the credit card. They had “incidentally” charged my room for an adult movie. $7.99. I called them.

The young lady who answered the phone was very polite and good natured when she answered the phone, and even as she answered my questions about the charge. She laughed politely when I said that I hadn't even turned on the television. That got me. I don't mind people laughing at my expense when I'm performing, or even when I'm the butt of a good (read: funny) joke, but her condescending little chuckle made me snap. I attacked.

“Why the hell would I pay $7.99 for your chintzy hotel porn? Have you ever watched hotel porn? Cause I have, and it makes that tepid softcore we used to stay up late to watch on Cinemax After Dark look well directed and edgy, lady. You realize that you have free internet access, right? And that I have a smart phone, right? I don't even need your internet to get good porn. I can stream it from a 3G signal, and watch the good shit. Penetration. Girl on girl on girl on girl on guy. Do the words 'anal jackhammer' mean anything to you, lady? Cause they do to me. Those words are precious to me. I covet that phrase like an Everlasting Gobstopper I'm trying to sneak out of Willy Wonka's factory. It's my one true thing, my cup of coffee in the morning--and how many coffee drinker do you know who limit themselves to one cup? So no, lady. I didn't watch your shitty hotel porn. I sure as hell didn't order it, and there's no way I'm gonna pay for it. I'm not saying I didn't whack off in the room. I probably left enough seed on your carpet to start a sperm bank, but I did it all with streaming porn over your wifi and my phone. Get it?”

She remained very polite as she told me my card would be refunded.

I said, “Have a nice day.”

Incidentally, you probably should never use the washcloths at a hotel. Or lay on the bedspread. Or walk barefoot. Or touch the remote. Ever. Just saying...