Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hide and seek at hotels

Hotels without pretensions helpfully attach the blow drier to the wall right by the sink. It is easy to find and easy to use. Hurrah for hotels without pretensions.

Hotels with pretensions of greatness, though, find the sight of a naked blow drier, right there on the wall by the sink, off-putting, like Victorian ladies who covered naked table legs lest their male guests come unglued by the sight. Or, perhaps but rather implausibly, they imagine that their guests have such a reaction.

So, these hotels put the blow drier in a cloth bag and hide it somewhere. Less ambitious hotels hide it in the bathroom, so that it takes only a minute or two to find, though you still have to unwind the cord and all the rest (and you have to do it every single day, because the cleaning people always put it away again, even after you signal that you do not care by leaving it out).

More artistic hotels will perhaps hide the blow drier in a desk drawer, or in a small cupboard within the big, ugly, wooden box in which they have hidden the attractive, modern TV. A couple of hotels I have been to have even hidden the blow drier at the front desk, so that one has to go down in an elevator and wait in line with the people checking out while offering them your wet, wild hair to gaze upon.

I do not understand why posh places, or places that pretend to be posh, do this. Blow driers are not that ugly. Posh hotels don't put their toilets in cloth bags and hide them, and they usually are ugly. Their lamps are often pretty ugly too and they, too, escape the cloth bag treatment. Presumably the guests at posh hotels have higher values of time, too high, one might think, to want to play hide-and-seek with the blow drier.

A mystery to be solved by some clever applied theorist.

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