There are some things you give up when staying in really cheap hotels. Comfort, convenience and service are the first to go, of course, but that’s to be expected. Unfortunately, safety is usually next on the list.
I’ll have a Widow Maker, Please
I guess I’m just going to have to get used to these electric shower heads but I’m not happy about it. Based on a design by Ben Franklin, the heating element is actually built into the shower head. Knowing that the only thing shielding me from certain death is a pair of wire nuts hanging just six inches above the spraying water makes me think “You know, maybe those smelly hippies have the right idea…”
The Outlet of Death
Now, if you’ve been here before you may know that I tend to give anything remotely dangerous the “of Death” suffix, but this thing really was frightening. Traveling with my buddy Rich, we’d decided to stay at a nicer hotel that had a small kitchen in the room. I plugged my Macbook into the nearest outlet and got one hell of a shock when I touched the laptop’s aluminum case. I may have shrieked like a six-year old girl at summer camp — Rich laughed so hard he nearly spilled his beer.
Panicked that my laptop might be on the fritz or that the charger was dying (imagine trying to find an Apple power supply in a small town in Honduras), I switched the plug to the second socket and tried again saying “Maybe its justzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsonofabitch!”
“Dude, I think I saw your skeleton that time. Do it again.”
After very carefully testing the setup on a different outlet, I confirmed that it was just a wiring problem with this one outlet and not my laptop. Heating up leftovers later in the Half Pint microwave was a challenge, but we got it done without further hot electrotherapy action. One cool side-effect: the plate in my head is now magnetized, so I’ve got some new bar tricks.
Paging Jackie Chan
Finding a power outlet in a budget room can be tricky. I’ve been in hotels where it was hidden under the bed or I had to choose between using the fan or charging my laptop, but I’ve never had one that was nine feet off the ground. At six foot, I’m still about a foot short — I contemplated trying some kind of jumping kung fu move but decided that really would get me electrocuted or knocked out.
The only other outlet was in the bathroom, next to the toilet. It really was the worst office ever.