Arriving for my duty early in the morning at the London hotel where I was employed, I called the Night Manager to see where he was so we could meet and he could do his handover. “Meet me in the lobby bar, I’m here with Night Security”. This was a bit strange as we normally handed over in the office, but still, to the lobby bar I went.
We had a football team staying with us, finalist for the FA Cup which had been played the day before. If memory serves me right, they lost, but had a mega-party to drown their sorrows, and sprawled out in the bar from the effects of too much alcohol was their driver, Mr Graison. The first thing that came to mind when I saw him was Mr Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. He was big. He was also comatose.
Both the Night Manager and Night Security were trying to revive him, for Mr Graison was laid out on a sofa in the middle of the lobby with other guests passing by to go to the breakfast room. His snoring and chin dribble were not the best things to encounter first thing in the morning, neither were the glimpses of his belly fat through the unbuttoned parts of his shirt.
“See, he’s not moving”, said the Night Manager, shaking the beached whale. “We’ve been trying to wake him for 20 minutes”.
I said I’d try, started shaking and calling his name, but to no avail. “Nah, doesn’t look as if he’s…guys?…hey, guys?”. The night shift was retreating, waving to me from the staff access door and wishing me luck. Scumbags.
The large Italian group we had staying at the hotel were making all sorts of comments as they passed by, some laughing at the hilarity of the scene, others noticeably grossed-out by Mr Graison. I had to keep trying.
After 5 minutes his eyes suddenly opened, saw through me and then shut tight again. He’s alive! More shaking and shouting resulted in Mr Graison opening his eyes once again, this time registering my face. “Now Sir, let’s get you to your room, please stand up slowly”.
The sight of him grunting and standing up was akin to the sight of an elephant seal on land. Shit, I thought, hope he doesn’t fall on me. We slowly made our way to the lifts, Italians scurrying away as they saw this male bull staggering towards them. We reached the lifts…