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“May I help you?” asked the young hotel receptionist as Keith and I stepped up to the desk.

“Yes, we’re passing through and wondered if you have a room for the night,” I said. “We don’t have a reservation.”

“There’re only a few rooms left,” she replied.

“How much for the least expensive one?” I asked. She quoted a price.

I turned to Keith. “That sounds OK,” he said. “We’ll take it.”

I gave the receptionist my credit card, signed the agreement, initialed the section about a $500 fee for smoking in a non-smoking room and picked up the passkeys.

When we entered the room, Keith and I remarked about the faint smell of cigarette smoke. I wonder if this is a scam. Oh, come on, Carole. Don’t be paranoid.

We got ready for bed, tired after a long day of driving. Keith fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow while I monitored room sounds. The air conditioner hummed, coughed, whoosh-whooshed and thump-thumped then hummed. OK, maybe I can fold that clatter into sleep.

Several minutes passed. “Chirp!” I opened my eyes and saw the smoke alarm’s green light blink red.

“You have got to be kidding me,” I said, waking Keith. The clock beside the bed read 11:23 PM.

“Chirp!” I leaped up and turned on a light.

Keith rolled out of bed wearing only his t-shirt. “Bring that chair over here next to the bar refrigerator. I’ll see if I can reach the reset button.”

He stepped from chair to refrigerator while I looked up, admiring the view. “That might do it,” he said as he climbed down.

We settled into bed again.

“Chirp!”

“I’ll go to the Front Desk,” Keith said.

“I signed the agreement. I got this covered.” I pulled yoga pants on, slipped on sandals, clasped a jacket over my Cats nightshirt, then grabbed one of the passkeys and headed to the Lobby.

“May I help you?”

“Yes. There seem to be problems with our room. It smells like cigarette smoke, the air conditioning whooshes and thumps intermittently and…”

“Would you write down everything that’s wrong with your room? I’ll try to find you another.” The receptionist handed me a pad of paper and a pen.

“The smoke alarm is chirping and keeping us awake. It probably needs a new battery.”

“I’ll have it checked in the morning. There’s only the King Suite available. Here are the passkeys. I apologize for your inconvenience.”

Keith and I gathered our stuff and moved to the new room. The King Suite’s door opened to a King-sized Jacuzzi.jacuzzi

As we snuggled into bed yet again, I started to giggle. In my mind’s eye, I saw Keith standing on the bar refrigerator in his t-shirt and that King-sized Jacuzzi across the room.

Sweet dreams.

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