April 27, 2013

True: Elevator Escapade

While crashing a Star Trek convention sounds interesting, the true story from last weekend's "Is It True?" post was the coke-splattering elevator escapade in an Atlanta hotel.

I'm assuming the poor guy must have dropped the plastic coke bottle in the parking lot while walking into the hotel. Otherwise, I'm not sure why there would have been enough pressure built up for the bottle to burst when the elevator doors hit it.

I really did back up and just stand there watching in awe as his soda sprayed all over the inside of the elevator. It's not that I didn't want to help. I think I was just stunned by what I saw.

An interesting side note to this hotel story: Staying there was such a horrible experience that after the trip I sent a polite but firm letter of complaint to the CEO of Ramada. (Yes, this was before email was mainstream.) When I first checked in at the hotel, the keycard they gave me wasn't programmed properly, so I couldn't get into my room. I lugged my suitcase back to the one slow and slamming elevator and down to the front desk to get a new card.

Once I finally got into my room, it was swealtering hot because the air conditioner was broken. So back down to the lobby I went to request a different room. There were other problems too, but it's been too long to remember those details.

Anyway, the general manager of the hotel wrote back and offered me a free two-night stay at the hotel as long as it was after the Olympics because they were already booked through the summer of 1996. But alas, by the time I tried to book another room there a couple of years later, the hotel had changed owners and names, so they wouldn't let me cash-in on that free stay.

As for the Star Trek story, it was based on actual events but the main part of the story was false. I really did wind up staying in the same hotel as a Star Trek convention in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area while I was in town for a football game in the early 90s. And I really did have to force myself not to laugh while I was on the elevator with a bunch of fully-costumed Trekkies. But nobody said a word to me, and I certainly didn't crash their party.

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