Keeping the Weird in “Keep Austin Weird.” You’re welcome, Austin.

Dear Holiday Inn Express Housekeeping Staff,

Look, I’m not going to hedge here. I stole the Do Not Disturb sign, and I apologize for that. But in my defense, it’s just laminate paper. I’m sure you have piles and piles of replacements. Besides, most Do Not Disturb signs simply say, “Do Not Disturb.” They’re not witty or droll at all. Yours, however, says, “Hang on! I’m Busy,” which conveys a lighthearted sense of flustered urgency, making it the ideal signal flag to wave at my customers when six of them try to check out at once.

With that awkwardness out of the way, and your generous forgiveness accepted, let me just say that our room was spotless and comfortable — you clearly take pride in your work, and it shows. The walls of the hotel itself are a little thin, though, and while I own that this is a only a minor design flaw and almost certainly not your fault, it does explain why you heard what you did. Should it please you, I’d like to offer some clarification on that incident, because I’d really prefer you not assume I’m not a horrible, horrible person over one innocuous, misheard exclamation.

Our IML brother Scotty had come to the Hill Country to officiate a wedding, so Ben (an upstanding and religious young man like myself) and I decided to drive down to see him. We chose your hotel as our accommodations, which? No regrets. We will both be recommending you to family and friends. Anyway, we were packing up after two days of assuredly not-ungodly activities, and I was telling him about the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” parody that’s all about boundaries and consent, and he mentioned how funny it would be to write our own version involving a BDSM relationship.

So when he softly crooned, “I really can’t stay…” I understandably responded by screaming, “ON YOUR FUCKING KNEES, PIG.” But what you couldn’t see was the mortification on Ben’s face as he jabbed his finger frantically in the direction of the hallway and mouthed, “Oh, my God, the housekeepers are out there,” which probably would’ve helped you view the matter in a much more relatable context.

It’s also quite important to maintain Ben’s innocence in this whole affair. As additional evidence, please find below a conversation we had earlier in the morning.

Me: “Would you like coffee?”

Ben: “Sure.”

Me: “Great! I’ll make some.”

Ben: “Hey, Thomas?”

Me: “Yes?

Ben: “Why is the shower running?”

Me: “…”

Ben: [gently, as if to a toddler who wants to know why his goldfish is sleeping on its side] “Were you going to take a shower, but then got distracted by making coffee?”

Me: “… Yes.”

Ben: [carefully removing the k-pods from my hands] “I think I’ll make some coffee. Why don’t you go take a shower?”

See? Ben is a goddamned saint, whereas I was born with a tragic disorder that leaves me incapable of controlling my impulses or using an inside voice. But I do my best to get by. I’m kind of a saint too, when you think about it, especially when given the opportunity to let my guard down in a judgement-free environment such as your fine establishment.

Which reminds me! I picked up a couple of souvenirs when we visited the Museum of the Weird, including the following gimcrack:

The ceramic No Face butt plug pin in the background is another momento but sadly not relevant to the story.

It’s not much, but I’m going to have a few bottles sent over as an expression of gratitude, and also so that we can have our own little inside joke, because God only knows what you thought was going on in Room 516, am I right? Ha ha! Again, thank you for your prompt service and attention to detail. I’m not even going to mention the poop someone may or may not have completely unintentionally gotten on that one washcloth, because a) we both know you deal with way worse on a daily basis, and b) it’s not like I have a norovirus or anything — I just partook a bit too mightily of your fair city’s rich, fiberless cuisine, and there was a situation, and I handled it to the best of my ability.

Your discretion is greatly appreciated as well. I’ll get extra sanitizer in the mail to you ASAP.

Author: Thumper (MJ)

Thumper Marjorie Forge is a Gardnerian High Priest, an initiate of the Minoan Brotherhood, a devout Discordian, a recovering alcoholic, and a notary public

One thought on “Keeping the Weird in “Keep Austin Weird.” You’re welcome, Austin.”

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