Another one in my occasional series on humiliating myself online. This time to prove that I'm a true creative desi, I will copy a scene transition from a recent acclaimed Hollywood movie.
I'm attending a conference and like most work days in this city, I have spent half a day in meetings and the other half in the well-known hotel pool (with the awesome swim-up bar). Tired I order in and finish my meal. The phone rings. It is a friend.
"I'll call you back" I tell him "I need to put my plate outside the door. Give me 15 minutes".
"15 minutes!" he says "How long does it take you to shunt your tray outside the door?"
"Well, I'll have to get dressed again" I say.
"Dressed again?" he retorts "To put your food outside!? Is this a crazy bawa thing?"
San Francisco, 3 months earlier
I am attending a conference at the Moscone Center and like most working days in this city I run my legs off for ten hours straight and then go out with someone for a drink. Tired, I come back to the hotel, order in and finish my meal.
Now usually when I'm in the hotel room all tired by myself I sit around in my boxers. There is a good reason for this - most of my formal or biz casual wear isn't exactly good for lounging around a hotel room. And I like to pack light.
Well, right after I finish, I walk out to place the tray well clear of the door. And I get a bit distracted by this wonderful flower display in a huge vase outside the room. Before you know I hear a click behind me - I've been locked out! I quickly check my boxers. Yep, whatdyanow, it had to be the cutesy pink metrosexual one.
Now picture this: I'm in pink underwear, holding a tray with empty plates in the lobby of a rather fine hotel. Did the words "Stark Raving Parsi Lunatic" just run through your mind?
Luckily no one is in sight, but clearly I need to get back in the room and only someone at the front desk can rescue me. After the initial swell of panic subsides, I spy a hotel phone about 10 doors down. So I set the tray down, grab that vase and holding it in front of me, weave my way towards the phone. Hopefully, I pray, startled guests might mistake me for a drunk janitor rearranging furniture and at the most reprimand me with a "Madre del dios!"
I call the front desk using the hotel phone and tell the lady at the front desk about my predicament. After she offers to come up and open the room for me I warn her again "I'm really sorry about this, but I'm in my underwear. Please be mindful of that when you send someone up". And what happens? A gorgeous Latina woman shows up, wisely accompanied by a male escort. Such is male conditioning that your embarrassment grows ten-fold in front of an attractive woman.
Gorgeous Latina doesn't flinch even once although I notice her eyes quickly flick down to my pink underwear and back up again. Situation assessed, she opens my room, peers round the door to make sure everything is in order inside and then walks in. Great, I think, nightmare is over! But Gorgeous Latina then stands right next to my bed, flanked by her provisional bodyguard and says "Sir, I'll need some ID"
Now two options present themselves. I can either (a) pretend like all is cool, grab my wallet from my pants and show her the ID. The disadvantage here would be prolonged exposure. Or I can (b) grab my pants, put them on and then show her the ID. The disadvantage here would be additional indignity.
I opt for (a), try to look all casual and even put a hand on my hip. A faint smile crosses Gorgeous Latina's lips for the first time. The bodyguard nods. They both leave, probably to hours of continuous laughter in some Market Street bar later that night. I place the vase back on its pedestal outside.
Since then I don't take chances with disposing my food tray by doing it in a semi-naked state. You see, I don't make the same mistake twice (although I do make a new one every waking hour).