Bill Todd, vice president of sales at Choice Hotels International,
said hoteliers are not too bright. After all, he asked delegates to
the recent Receptive Service Association annual meeting in New
York, who else would charge someone $180 to stay overnight and call
the person paying the bill a guest?
In addition, it seems to be only hotel companies that can be
persuaded to buy all those 37-watt lightbulbs, he said.
And, when promoting all kinds of amenities, he said, hotel
companies "never talk about beds" although the key reason anyone
stays at a hotel is to have a place to sleep.
remark was by way of promoting new mattresses that Choice
commissioned with a challenge to engineers to create the "world's
most comfortable mattress." Todd also drew names from a bowl to
give away two of the mattresses to RSA delegates.
But to make his point about how really, really comfortable these
new mattresses are, he quipped that "it takes two wake-up calls" to
get someone off these beds -- and he came to the lunch-hour
presentation in pajamas.Blue moons
On a recent Caribbean cruise, Insider discovered that some
fellow passengers decided to engage in a 2 a.m. game of volleyball
-- sans garments.
Now, we have no personal objection to such free-spiritedness,
but we have to wonder if the impromptu event was appropriate,
especially when conducted in full view of the ship's security
Luckily for the participants, this footage wasn't included in
the post-cruise video. If it had been, it would have made quite the
But this wasn't the only nude event we were exposed to. One
adventurous couple (it was not clear if they were part of the
volleyball crowd) found late-night skinny-dipping to be a pleasant
activity. Indeed, they found it so pleasant that one agent
traveling on the cruise caught their water show on consecutive
No word yet whether they have been booked for a return
A sign at the new French Village complex at the Beaches Turks
& Caicos resort directs guests to the different groups of rooms
named after French cities, such as Bordeaux, Cannes, Dijon and
As Insider walked by at one point, we heard a little girl in a
two-piece Pokemon bathing suit saying to her mother, "I wish we
were in one of the nice rooms."
Mom immediately replied, "We are staying
in a nice room," and the colloquy continued along these lines for a
minute or so, until the little girl pointed out that the "Nice
Rooms" were straight ahead, whereas their room, in the Paris wing,
was off to the left.Marsupial correctness
An acquaintance at TWA told us a story out of the carrier's
past, one that conjured a rather comical image.
The carrier once was called upon to ferry several koalas from
the South Pacific to the St. Louis Zoo.
Apparently, the cute little darlings were considered too
precious to cage up in the cargo hold, so each koala was buckled
into a seat in first class, each next to a staff member from the
Food and beverage service included eucalyptus leaves, we
assume.A Jet all the way
It is an irony that birds are the bane of human aviation.
At airports everywhere, indigenous birds in multitudes are
roused by the sound and tumult of aircraft and, as is their wont,
take to the air, obscuring pilots' vision and sometimes getting
themselves sucked into the wingborne apparatus of planes.
This is especially troublesome at
facilities such as Southwest Florida International Airport, in Fort
Myers, where the shorebirds and wading birds are large and
magnificent and oblivious of the perils presented by the flying
Enter Jet, a 3-year-old Welsh border collie and hero. Jet has
been trained to herd local birds away from SWFIA's runways, for
their own good and that of the growing number of passengers using
The noble kayoodle was put in service at the airport just last
year, and in a matter of weeks, according to officials, the number
of birds troubling runways dropped dramatically, by about 50%.
Jet doesn't merely scare off the birds, according to an airport
official. He herds them away from the runways, and when Jet was
taken out of service in order to heal an injury unrelated to his
job and to undergo some further training, back, in short order,
came the flamingos and egrets and such.
Jet is back on the job now, we hear, and the bird numbers are
back down to where they were prior to Jet's hiatus.