The Strangest Story I Never Told

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I was throwing out some files the other day when I came upon a story that never made it off the drawing board.

I thought it would have made a nifty television feature but it died at the conceptual stage because I could not convince a certain hotel to cooperate. Maybe this blog will let me tell the tale.

The subject is hotel room peepholes. Many years ago Angie and I stayed for a night in a certain downtown Vancouver hotel. We had attended a party there and decided to crash in a room, rather than risk a drive back to the burbs. We’re very mature people.

It was only after we had crawled into bed and turned out the lights that I realized that this hotel room had unique features. There were multiple peepholes in the door. It just so happened that my side of the bed faced the door and the light coming through those holes was like a collection of laser beams piercing the gloom.

In fact, there were six peepholes in the door. Six! Two near eye level (where you would expect a single peephole to be), another two lower down and a final two about six inches from the surface of that typically horrible hotel carpeting.

Angie didn’t care. She never cares about such things (God, how I wish I could live in her world), but I lay awake for hours staring at the shafts of light from those half dozen peepholes trying to decipher the riddle.

I was disturbed

Why would any hotel go to the trouble, not to mention expense, of installing six peepholes in every door of their establishment? Were the middle viewing ports designed to be used by people in wheelchairs?  Who would crawl on their stomach in a hotel room to peek at feet on the other side of the door? Is that for the shoe fetish crowd? I had a lot of questions.

A few days later I contacted the public relations people for the hotel chain, told them I was a television reporter, and asked about the six peepholes. No one could give me an answer. It was the same kind of awkward response I used to get from companies with famous mascots. Some folks are not necessarily up to speed on the history of their brand. Remember, this was before the world was blessed with Google. Not everyone who makes Cow Brand baking soda can explain the cow on the label. There are some people at the rice company who can’t instantly tell you about Uncle Ben.

There are marketing types over the years who have simply wanted me to go away. And so it was with the peephole people.

Finally, finally I did get through to someone up the corporate food chain who explained that the six peepholes were simply a design concept. I see. A design concept? I wish I’d been at the meeting when the architect or decorator or whomever explained that they planned to drill six holes in every door.

I was also told there was no way they were going to let me into the hotel to do a story on their peepholes.

End of story..until now. I’m glad I finally got that off my chest.


5 Responses to “The Strangest Story I Never Told”

  1. Very strange indeed, and a terribly unsatisfying reason to be given about the holes…so much so that it begs to be questioned again. But maybe that’s because I assume people make sense. My mistake eh.

  2. Yet another reason to have duct tape handy … tape those tiny holes! How odd … a design feature? ICK!

  3. I was going to suggest the same thing. Bring some tape to cover those holes. I have seen the ones waist high for the handicap folks.

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