22 August 2010

This Post Contains Adult Language and Adult Activities

[Note: This is a post that I wrote a few years back for my now-defunct old blog. It's not for kids. So, if you are a kid GO AWAY. DON'T READ THIS. GO DO SOMETHING WHOLESOME. SUGGESTION: EAT A SLICE OF WONDER BREAD WHILE READING THE BIBLE. Are all the kids gone? OK, good. Now, fasten your seatbelts, folks. It's going to be a bumpy night. -jones]

I was in Orlando recently for a videogame-related event. They booked me in cavernous Sheraton situated in an industrial park. Rain fell constantly, blurring the view from my room of the parking lot.

I went downstairs to look for something to eat. The girl in Guest Services informed me that the hotel's restaurant was closed at the moment. "Is there anything close by?" I asked.

"Applebees," she said. A pink barrette pinned her hair behind her left ear. "Across the street." I peered through the glass doors. There, in the distance, through the drizzle, I could see the neon Applebees sign.

Between me and the Applebees stood six lanes of traffic. People in Florida always drive like maniacs. I noticed that there was no concrete oasis in the middle of the road. I'd surely be killed out there.

Lightning flashed. Rain came down harder. It was only four o'clock in the afternoon, but already the parking lot lights were on.

I went back to my room and decided to take a nap while waiting for the hotel restaurant to open for dinner. Not feeling especially sleepy, I turned on the television. And, naturally, this led me to peruse the hotel's selection of adult channels.

It's truly amazing the amount of pornography that hotels have now. Twenty years ago, people had to drive to creepy ADULT WORLD-type places to watch a scratchy film loop inside a dark, not to mention beyond unsanitary, bleach-soaked booth to get a little titillation. Now, press two or three buttons on your hotel room's remote, and boom, you've got hardcore.

As the British say: Brilliant.

I scrolled through the countless pages, noting the abundance of titles that featured the word "secretary" in them. Secretary Nights. Secret Secretary Sex. Sexy Secretaries: Unleashed. Secretary Hardcore Hotties. Asian Secretary Sluts of the Orient. Honey, I Banged My Secretary!

I settled on a movie called The Best Of Secret Secretary Sex. When in doubt, always go with a "best of." That's my motto. Or, rather, one of my many mottos. I hit the big green ORDER button on the remote. A warning appeared on the television: ONCE YOU PROCEED BEYOND THIS POINT YOUR ROOM WILL BE CHARGED WITH THE MOVIE AND THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS.

Thunder rumbled overhead. I hit the OK button, agreeing to spend the exorbitant price of $19.95 for a movie that was, at most, 70 minutes long. And of those 70 minutes, if history has taught me anything, I would most likely only need about four of them. Which, if you do the math, averages out to be about $5 per minute.

Music started coming out of the TV's speakers. Nothing gets men in the mood quite like the dulcet sounds of a Casio keyboard coupled with a braying saxophone. A picture appeared on screen, but it was all scrambled and blurry. I thought I saw part of a leg. Then a fish-net stocking. But then it vanished. "Mr. Johnson's office," a woman's voice said. "I'm sorry, he can't take your call right now. He's in meetings all morning. Call back later. Bye."

"Ms. Cox," a man's voice said. "Would you come into my office please?" A wristwatch. A phone. Another leg. Something was clearly wrong here. I got up and shuffled over to the TV. I peered at the back of the TV. I pressed a few of the buttons.

I sat on the end of the bed, fuming, still watching the $19.95 jarbled-up porno I'd just purchased. This is just great, I thought. Lightning flashed outside.

I spent about five minutes fuming, hoping the TV picture would miraculously clear up. Then I realized something: This porno, hell, the whole porno-ordering system, might have been broken for months, or even years. People would gladly take the $20 loss in the name of preserving their dignity. I mean, what kind of person would actually call the front desk to complain that their porno is not working properly?

I'll tell you what kind of person.

Me. I'm that kind of person. What do they think I'm up here doing anyway? Knitting prayer rugs? I thought. I picked up the phone and dialed.

"Guest services," a voice said. It was the girl with the pink barrette.

"Hi," I said, suddenly feeling nervous. "I just ordered a movie? Here, in my room? And it's not working?"

Silence. Keystrokes on a keyboard. "What exactly is wrong with the movie, Mr. Jones?" the woman asked.

"It's jarbled," I said.

"It's what?"

"It's jarbled up. I can't see what's going on. On the screen. There's no picture. I mean, there's a picture, but it's scrambled."

More keystrokes. Silence. I imagined the words THE BEST OF SECRET SECRETARY SEX appearing on her monitor in big, flashing letters. "Well," she said. "Everything looks fine down here. Why don't you cancel out of that particular movie. And then reorder it. If you're still having problems, let us know."

I thanked her and hung up.

Cancel button. Back out to the main menu. Back into the porno menu. The Best Of Secret Secretary Sex. ORDER. Warning. Music. Dialogue.

And once again: the dreaded jarbled-up picture. I stared at the phone. Well, I've carried things this far, I thought. I suppose I have to see this through to the end now.

"Guest services."

"Hi. I just called a minute ago."

"Jarbled picture?"

"That's me. Jarbled picture. I reordered my movie, as you suggested, and it's still jarbled."

Silence. Keystrokes. More silence. A sigh. Did I just hear some degree of judgment in that sigh? Because it sounded judgmental to me... "At this point, Mr. Jones," she said, "all we can do is send up a technician."

She waited. I was sure that she was sure I'd decline. That I'd cut my losses here. That I'd hang onto whatever tiny shred of dignity I had left.

I thought of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of horny travelers and horny business men who had tried to watch The Best Of Secret Secretary Sex and had gotten duped by this jarbled porno. The fucking buck stops here, I thought.

"Send him up," I said.

"Are you sure?" she asked.

I looked at the screen. The hem of a skirt. An ankle. A Rolodex. Something hair-covered that could have been a man's armpit or a crotch. "Oh yeah. I'm sure. Send him."

About 45 minutes later there was a polite tap on the door. "Maintenance!" a voice shouted.

I opened the door. A bald black man with a massive keyring on his belt carried a toolbox into the room. He set it down on the bed. "I'm in room 237 now, over," he said into a walkie-talkie. "What's the problem?"

I pointed at the TV. A wrist. A necklace. A woman's mouth. The back of a hand. "I've got sound, but no picture," I said.

The man put his hands on his hips. He furrowed his brow. "Hmm," he said. "Quit out of this movie. Go to another one. Let's see if you get the same problem. Could just be a bad movie in the system."

I fumbled with the remote. I felt awkward having this stranger in my space. I wished I'd picked up a little, put some of my personal things away. Stray sections from USA Today were scattered around the toilet. My suitcase was on the bed, opened, my Hanes on display.

Cancel button. Main menu. Porno menu. I started aimlessly scrolling through the titles. Secretary Ass Fest. My Secretary Loves Cock. Cocked-Up Secretaries From Barcelona. I could hear the man breathing through his nose. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Rain pounded against the room's air conditioning unit.

I thought: Do I just pick anything? Or, do I pick something that I want to actually watch? I scrolled through the list, faster and faster, picking up speed. Finally, as if reading my mind, the man sighed then said, "Just pick something. Anything. It doesn't matter. We just need to see if it's the one movie, or if it's all the movies."

I landed on something called Secretaries In Da Hood. The WARNING screen came up.

"Now hit the 'OK' button," the man said.

I did.

Sound came from the TV. And then, miraculously, a picture appeared. A light-skinned black girl was on her knees fellating a man with a penis the size of a six-dollar hoagie. The Sheraton maintenance man and I stood there together, watching the TV screen.

Inhale. Exhale.

"Well," the man finally said, "it sure looks like it's working now." He grabbed his toolbox. Then he said something unintelligible into his walkie-talkie. He headed towards the door.

"So I guess that other one was a bad movie?" I said.

"I guess so," he said.

"You know, it could have been out of order for a long time," I said. I thought of all those business men before me. My brothers! I'm making a stand for you!

"It could have been," the man said. "Who knows, really."

He stopped in the doorway. He looked back at the TV. "Look, don't worry about the movie," the man said. "I'll tell them downstairs to take it off your bill."

I thanked him, then shut the door.

I stood in the room's entryway, listening hard, my ears straining for the slightest sound. I could hear the hum of the hotel around me. The cooling systems. The vents. The inner workings. The elevators going up and down.

I was listening for something beyond the hotel's machinery, listening for something human. A judgmental snicker maybe, or even a chorus of judgmental snickers. Or maybe a bark of laughter as the maintenance man told his maintenance buddies about the call he'd just responded to. I stood there, listening as hard as I've ever listened.

And I heard nothing.

Then I thought, Man, what do I fucking care. Fuck Orlando. Fuck Florida. Fuck these people.

I drew the blinds and enjoyed four utterly delightful minutes of a fine piece of cinema known as Secretaries In Da Hood.


  1. I literally laughed out loud when I first read "Secretaries in Da Hood"

  2. Love it, Jones! For $19.95, you better get your four unjarbled minutes of pleasure!

  3. I'm sure everybody wants to know if he really took the 20$ off the bill...

  4. Ummmm...& you're a Scorpio right??