I had the honour and pleasure recently to go for a walk with a bunch of creative types on a sunny spring day near Cambridge. The landscape looked like this:
As we strolled in the bright sunshine I mentioned my Seven Hotel Stories.
I said I was proud of the stories, and that they sold in good numbers. Someone asked: why is that?
I said: “I guess it’s because the Hotel Stories can improve your life. Here’s how:
(i) the Hotel Stories are funny. One reviewer said Susan, Engineering Manager of the new hotel to which the beautiful but naive Tatiana transfers in The White Blouse “had me chuckling on the tube” with her curiously appropriate mispronunciation of key words. Everyone knows that laughter can improve your mental and physical health. The excerpt from The White Blouse on this site includes an introduction to Susan and her bright yellow, low-cut top;
(ii) the Hotel Stories provide top training for hotel staff and managers on how to treat customers. The excerpt from The Two Rooms on this site shows how Ms N, the brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel general manager who is the star of the series, simultaneously solves half a dozen crises so that Tatiana, on the front desk, can sort out the astonishing list of extras on the bill of the gay couple, Ms Feuchtwangler and Ms Cladders, with the quality service which they deserve. The more hotel staff work to the standards of Ms N and Tatiana, the better your next stay in a hotel will be;
(iii) the Hotel Stories lower your blood pressure. Ever felt your blood pressure rise when you see someone behaving badly, but feel unable to intervene? Ever hear the expression “don’t get mad, get even”? When you read how Ms N gets even with the obnoxious Buddy Knox in Gents, the sense of justice will lower your blood pressure automatically. Buddy Knox is introduced in the excerpt from Gents on this site;
(iv) are you gloomy about the state of the world? The Hotel Stories remind you the world is actually a terrific planet. With help and training from Ms N, even someone who “comes from a poor village far from the historic capital of our beautiful country”, like the beautiful but naive Tatiana, can tackle the thorniest problems. These include Mr Minas, the over-sexed owner of the hotel, who is introduced in the excerpt from Britches on this site. Britches also provides important information about what a Scotsman wears under his kilt, although you have to read the whole story for that;
(v) if you do ever visit hotels, the Hotel Stories contain invaluable information on how to interact with hotel staff to make the most of your stay. If you don’t want to end up like Mr Burke, Mr Minas, Buddy Knox or any of the other villains who people their pages, in episodes featuring ultra-sharp Chroma knives and many thousand cubic metres of concrete, you’d better be polite. As one reviewer has pointed out: next time you check into a hotel, it may be Tatiana at the reception – or Ms N cruising the lobby, wearing her inquisitive smile with just a hint of mischief.
If you really want to know how to behave, study The Swedish Woman. Now that is class.