A Late Night Snack in Chicago

A few summers ago I landed an internship at a 4-star hotel in Chicago. I was in college at the time, pursuing a Tourism and Hospitality Management degree and, thanks to the good word put in by one of my instructors, I got the internship. Although I was excited at the time, part of me worried that they would have me cleaning and other tasks that I wouldn’t learn anything from. After a short period of time however, I could tell this wasn’t going to be the case at all.

What a lot of people may not know is, a lot of really crazy shit goes on in most hotels. A lot of it you might expect – the drunk bachelor parties, the wannabe rock stars trashing their hotel room, and the people so out of their minds fucked up that we need to help them find their rooms. And don’t let me forget to mention the skeezy old men who would walk in through the front door with their high-priced “dates”. I have to say, though, that these things are crazy in a normal, expected sort of way. Everyone encounters people who do crazy things every now and then, but you usually just shrug it off because you don’t know them.

Sometimes, however, you see something just so ridiculous and unexpected that you start to question everything around you. At least for a while, anyway. One example of this occurred very early one Thursday morning that summer I worked in the hotel. I had just re-stocked some paper products in the supply closet on the twelfth floor and was walking down the hallway to the elevator. A few steps away, I noticed a man eating the leftovers off a room service cart that had been wheeled into the hallway.

Needless to say, I was very surprised as I stood there watching the man stuff stale dinner rolls, cold garlic mashed potatoes, and bits of German chocolate cake into his mouth. I was about to ask “what the hell is wrong with you” but, as he washed down his scavenged food with leftover champagne right from the bottle, I realized the man was Bill fucking Murray!

By this time he had already picked up a half eaten shrimp cocktail and started to calmly walk toward the elevator, which opened as soon as he pressed the button. Before getting in, he put a hand out to hold the door, turned his head, and stared right at me. After a few awkward seconds, he told me in a matter-of-fact sort of way, “No one will ever believe you.”