Interesting Situation

Here’s an interesting situation:

A widower who lost his wife to cancer was accused of being a paedophile by Travelodge staff because he booked a double room for him and his daughter.
Craig Darwell, 46, was taking Millie, 13, to visit Thorpe Park and was forced to book the double room in Chertsey, Surrey, because there were no others available.
But when he checked in, suspicious staff demanded that he show them his daughter’s ID.
Mr Darwell, who lost his wife to leukaemia when Millie was just four, explained that he did not have ID for his daughter and instead showed staff pictures of them together when she was a baby.
But even after seeing them, staff called the police and he and his daughter were forced into separate rooms and interviewed by a police officer.

Needless to say, the daughter was traumatized by the whole thing,

Here’s why I think this is an interesting situation. I know, hotels should MYOB and all that: the days of refusing to let rooms to unmarried couples and such are long past, and we have Moved On.

However: pedophilia is a crime after all, and the hotel  staff has every right to be suspicious — they could be held culpable if they allowed a criminal act to be perpetrated on their premises when there was evidence that such a crime might be committed.

Where this hotel screwed up was involving the Filth (sorry, but it’s a Brit story) right from the get-go, instead of taking the father to one side, quietly explaining their concerns, and letting him have his say. The problem, of course, is that 13-year-olds don’t have ID, and proving paternity for a man (like this unfortunate guy) could be problematic. Nevertheless, having baby pics (as this guy did) is prima facie evidence, I think, that he’s just a proud dad and not Chester The Molester, and the hotel should have apologized and let the matter drop. I bet the guy would even have thanked them for their concern — I probably would have.

The reason that this story resonates with me is that it could quite easily have happened to me. Back when the Son&Heir was a youngin, we lived apart — I in New Jersey, and he with his mother in Chicago and later, Texas — and I used to fly down to spend weekends with him every month. And of course, we’d check into a local hotel as our base of operations. So had the above chain of events happened to me, it would have been unpleasant, to say the least, and proving my paternity equally problematic.

As I said, I can see the hotelier’s concern, but I am excoriating them for their insensitivity and clumsiness, and I am especially angry at the fucking police for treating this guy like a criminal when it was so obvious that he wasn’t. It’s a transparent case of bullying someone because you can, and not because it’s justified. The whole matter could have, and should have been handled discreetly and sensitively by both the hotel and the cops, but clearly, both sets of bureaucratic fools possessed neither characteristic.

Do you realize what would have happened to this man (and his daughter) had some bastard cop decided to arrest him? Court cases, legal fees, sex offenders list etc,. etc., etc. And don’t tell me that this couldn’t happen, because if we’ve come to learn anything in today’s 1984 society, it could.

I am generally loath to involve The Lawyers, and because this happened in Britishland, not much can be done because Britain. But these amateur Sherlocks need to get their pee-pees whacked, and this should be actionable, if for no other reason than that the man’s daughter was traumatized by their blundering actions — yeah, why not show concern for a young girl’s well-being post facto?

Grrr grrrrr grrrrrrr….

Caution

Conversation between Doc and myself, this morning:

“Kim, the lawn guys are coming to mow the grass and spray the weeds in a few hours.”
“Okay.”
“So if you see some strange guys walking around the back…”
“Yeah yeah yeah, I know, don’t shoot any of them.”
“Just wanted to make sure…”

Life in a Gun Nut’s house is so complicated sometimes… shoot this guy, don’t shoot that guy, yadda yadda yadda… I think I’ll just go to the range later on today to avoid a potentially messy situation. Anyway, that new Ruger Mk.IV isn’t going to shoot itself, you know.

Just Curious

I see that Amazon is facing an attack from the Usual Suspects who demand that they stop selling this Halloween costume.

But this isn’t about that, although I think it’s funny as hell (the protest, not the costume, which is kinda lame).

No, I’m curious to see if any of my Male Readers would be interested in getting one of these (my design and yes, I’ve trademarked it), which is guaranteed to trigger the LGBTOSTFU crowd:

Let me know, in Comments or by email, and I’ll get the thing rolling if the response is adequate.

 

 

Intemperance

And lo did the Combatte Controller and his fair bryde venture unto the castle of the Physician, where they mette with the man they call Evil Kim. After supping upon the flesh of dead bullock did the carousing beginne, with the drinkynge of much ale and strong spirits. And there was raucous laughter, and loud conversation, and foulle language, and fondling of weaponry large and small, more loud laughter and carousing, and did I mention drinkynge?

By the light of the dawn did Evil Kim awake, with throbbynge head from the liqueur and sore stomach from all the laughter, because he had to penne this blogge, and lo did the bright rays of the Sunne afflict his eyes. In vain did he plead with the others, whose bodies are clearly more accustomed to such debaucherie, to keepe their voices down lest his pore head explode. And loudly did they laugh at Evil Kim’s predicament, callynge him ugly names such as Olde Fartte and worse (which I dare not mentionne here lest the Ladies reading this sorry tale be offended). Even the Physician, who should knowe better, did mock the ailments of Evil Kim and gave him not of his potions to ease the pain, and did cackle upon hearing the groans of sufferynge, the Foul Bastard (for such did Evil Kim call him).

Whereupon did the groaning elder member of the group repair unto his bedde until such Tyme would pass that the hobgoblins would cease their clogge dance in his head, or merciful Death arrive to claim his ravaged body. Should the first come to pass, and not the last, will Evil Kim (now called Nice Kim) penne further tales for his Loyal Readers, but ’twill occur most lykely in the morn.

 

Lovely To See You Again, My Friend

Yeah, I know: it’s the title of an old Moody Blues song (and one with which they usually open their live shows). But in my case, it resonates with me, and not only because I’ve always loved the Moodies.

I have been astonished at how many of my former Readers — that is to say, Readers from my previous website offerings — have come back to see this latest version of my back porch. More than that, however, is the pleasure I feel at making their acquaintance, again. I recognize the online nicknames, remember the stuff they like to read about, and hell, even their writing styles are familiar to me, some as much as my own.

I’m not a man who requires much validation — as all know, my attitude is “Like me, and stay; dislike me, and feel free to go somewhere else” — so to have all you guys and ladies reappear out of the mists of time gives me not a feeling of validation, but of pleasure, just as one would greet an old school friend.

And yes, while the circumstances of my back porch’s reappearance are lousy, it helps a great deal that so many of you have said, in essence, “We’re truly sorry about the circumstances, but damn, it’s good to have you back.”

Ditto.

When I relaunched my blog, I spoke about needing a reason to live (and I promise, this will likely be the last time I mention this), and I believed that writing was okay, but not a complete reason to do so.

Actually, it is. I wake up each day not with a thought of “What the hell am I going to write about today?” but rather, “What do I feel like writing about today?” The difference between the two questions is profound, and I have to tell you all, the fact that there’s an audience of old friends willing to indulge me in my rants, raves and quasi-intellectual scribblings one more time makes the whole thing easy.

You see, I don’t choose to write; I have to write, have to communicate, and make known all the stuff which pleases me, enrages me and strikes me dumb with its beauty. And of course, there’s the godless Democrats to consider… and in a later post, I will explain the concept behind The Glorious Day.

In the meantime, please let me offer my deepest gratitude to all my Returning Readers for having faith in me after so long an absence, and to the New Readers, with whom I’ll no doubt become as familiar as with the older group, a.k.a the Beer ‘N Treason Set (thank you, Longtime Friend and Reader Jim D, for the name).

It’s good to be alive and writing again. And it is lovely to see you again, my friends.

Now For The Marketing

Later today I’ll be doing a walk-through of the old house to see how the reno contractors performed. Then the realtor and I will formulate a marketing strategy to get the house shown in its best light — by “the realtor and I” I mean of course “the realtor”, because this is their métier and I’ve always believed in letting the pros do their job unmolested. She’s going to tell me what she’s going to do, and I’m going to nod sagely and say, “Excellent idea.” I’ve sold maybe two houses in my time, and not locally; she does that every week. Who do you think has the better idea of what sells in our market?

On that topic, by the way, there’s a good rule of thumb that whenever you see a totally shit ad on TV, the chances are excellent that it was either created by, influenced by or produced by the client, and not the ad agency.

I was once responsible for a marketing department which had three ad agencies working on different aspects of the company’s business — one handled all the fresh items (produce, fruit, bakery, floral etc), another did the grocery “dailies” — the everyday ads such as seen in the newspapers and flyers — while the third agency handled hard goods (furniture, clothing, appliances and housewares). Each agency was picked because they specialized in that particular area, all tried ceaselessly to poach parts of each other’s business, and all had their pee-pees whacked (by me) for straying into areas outside their own expertise.

“Leave it to the professionals!” should be every manager’s motto, but sadly, few follow that simple rule. Most think they know better than the pros — like I could perform a laparoscopy on myself better than a doctor simply because it’s my body and I know it better than they do. But businessmen — especially company owners — think they understand the marketing of their business or product better than the pros in marketing- and ad agencies. Without exception, they don’t. Even I, who had once worked at a couple of ad agencies and actually understood the process, generally deferred to the agency because — wait for it — it’s their job to know more about it than the client. The one time I exercised the Client Veto was because they’d misinterpreted the brief, which was — ta-da! — my fault in that I hadn’t communicated the brief properly (a.k.a. GIGO — garbage in, garbage out, as the old pros know).

Likewise, my brief to the contractors (flooring and painting) was simple: “Do what you think is best, make the place look amazing, but stay within the budget — unless I specifically authorize otherwise, because otherwise, you’re going to eat the overage.” I also told them before we started that I am the world’s most understanding client and will leave them alone — right up until somebody fucks up or breaks their word to me, and then I’ll be their worst nightmare. We’ll see how well they did, later in the day.

I love Linda, the realtor, by the way. Consummate professional, very experienced, no-nonsense and smart as hell. Took no shit from me, explained everything fully, brooked no argument; but when I told her why I was selling the place, she teared up. “You must really have loved your wife,” she commented; and when I asked why she said that, she replied, “Because every time you talk about her, what she said and what she did, you have a smile on your face.”

Guilty as charged. Damn, I miss her still more, every day.