The problem with sending a man to do anything is that we don’t know what we are doing! That’s right, I said it. We are babes in the woods making up things as we go through life all with the sole purpose not to be discovered we haven’t the foggiest clue what we are doing! And lets not leave out the ones who we are trying to hide this from….Women! And that includes, girlfriends, mothers, wives, sisters, nieces, aunts, grandmothers and any other form they might take! These judgmental creatures have formed a secret pact and have secret meetings behind our “men” backs in the dark of night, remote, and heavily guarded locations around the globe planning their looks, snickers, rolling of eyes, silent treatment, and most commonly utilized all out nagging.
This morning I had the great pleasure of being awarded the job to head down to the lobby of the hotel to gather breakfast and bring it back to the room. And why such a journey is necessary when room service is only a phone call away, you ask……IT’S FREE! I tend to be more of a room service type of person and am more than agreeable to roll over in bed and just pick up the phone and dial 8 where a nice lady takes my order and brings it to me. But this current journey I’m on is shared with my mother who wouldn’t think of such a thing. So, out of bed I go, slipping on yesterdays clothes, minus the socks because it would be far too much trouble since I’d only be taking them off again to take a shower upon my return. I make my way to the lobby breakfast room and take a tour to plan my strategy. This strategy has one purpose and only one purpose to me which has nothing to do with bringing food back to the room….it is to NOT F* UP ! Silently to myself as I enter the breakfast room I say to myself “oh please god, give me the wisdom to make sound decisions in this challenge I am about to embark on”. This is not an official prayer, since we only get so many official prayers in life, but just a little side prayer, which we are allowed to have as many as we want.
I am the only person in the breakfast room, obviously all the other men were far to scared to accept the challenge and possibly face the consequences but I’m always up for proving my worth as a man so I gladly give it a go. In my first tour of the room, (there were 3 to formulate my plan), I see they have pretty much the normal things….cereal, hard boiled eggs, muffins, coffee, English muffins, croissants, and juice. “This is going to be a piece of cake, I’ve got this one”, I say to myself and am relieved.
A nice gentleman enters the room after me. He is an older gentleman, who obviously had yesterdays clothes on too, and was booted out of his comfy bed by his wife as his hair has been pushed up into a mini-Mohawk look from a nights sleep. We both look at each other, exchange a friendly “hello” and without saying it both know that this is not just getting breakfast for each of us, this is, or will be depending on the outcome, one of life’s most important moments for us! It is understood between us with our looks of purpose.
My first move in this well thought out plan is to get a tray to carry the food back to the room. Check! No problem, I found a nice green one with lots of room. Oh shoot, it is only big enough for 1 plate and 2 cups of coffee I observe. Well, I wasn’t very hungry anyway I rationalize. I will just get food for mom and a cup of coffee for me. Many important men in all kinds of powerful positions in life don’t eat breakfast and only have coffee I tell myself. The older gentleman by this time has completed his 2’nd tour of the room and appears ready to make his first move. This as it turns out is to be the pivotal moment of this quest. My new found “co-quester” stops at a waffle maker over in the corner of the room. I missed this part of the room on my 3 tours while calculating the tray size divided by the number of plates planning phase. Upon further exploration and examination to this unknown territory I find a waffle maker with batter on ice, premade egg rounds with sausage patties in a heated bin which are to be made into an egg muffin sandwich as well as a bin of toast and a toaster. The older gentleman at this time is preparing his attempt to make a waffle as I am standing aside him and a little to his rear so I can be close enough to get a good look at what he is doing but far enough away just in case I need to duck for cover under a table. He tells me step by step what he is about to do and it all seems pretty simple. He says he as done this many times before and making a waffle is simple enough for any 8 year old to do. And so it is….our mutual fate is sealed at this moment.
From here on out all hopes of successfully completing this task is out the window and we are facing our self created wrath upon return to our rooms. It is now a certainty. He picks up the batter, opens the hot waffle maker and in a confident manner starts to pour the batter onto the hot plate. But the batter seems to be a bit thick so in motions similar to getting ketchup out of a bottle he is attempting to get the batter out. Not being successful he then decides to squeeze the batter out of the plastic cup. Well, the cup breaks! Batter has now exploded out of all sides of the cup onto his shirt, the table top. the waffle maker now has a nice new color, and the floor is close to being able to be used as a slip and slide should we so choose. I’m in between a smile and laugh at this point. Mostly because I am not the one who just made this colossal blunder in my plan. It was his plan, owned by him, and I can’t help myself but to unleash my smile to a full blown laugh at this point. He turns and in an obvious acceptance that of what awaits him upon his return to his room I can feel his pain. The attendant girl comes out from the back at this point and almost as though she expected this to happen begins the clean up process without too much reaction.
My co-quester begins to clean the batter on his day old shirt only to smear it into larger and larger sticky batter mess area. I decide to pass on the waffles. I make my focus on making an egg and sausage sandwich instead. After all the eggs are already made, the sausage is there, all I have to do is heat up an English muffin. How hard could that be. The toaster is the type which has the little moving conveyor belt that is always moving. It is preset to a certain temperature and all I would have to do is place the English muffin on to the moving belt. It’s a sure thing!
The thing about men is that when given too many options you can always be assured that they will vier off the easy course and go for the slightly more difficult choice offering a greater reward. It is bred into us from generations of previous men who when given the choice to sleigh the local smaller dragon or venture up the mountain to sleigh the larger dragon we will always choose the larger one up the hill. We will never learn and it is just way our genes program us to be. And so it is…next to the English muffins are the nicely plump croissants. “A croissant , egg sandwich would be much better than an English muffin sandwich” I say to myself. So, I cut 2 croissants in half, which in itself is a feat since they are slightly hard, and small, and well, difficult to cut but I manage to do it without too much trouble. Now, place them onto the conveyor belt….”I wonder if it makes a difference if I put the soft side up or down” I say to myself. I opt for the soft side up so they get a little crispy. There, no problem. placed nice and easily in the middle of the conveyor, and I made sure there was enough clearance on the top so they wouldn’t get stuck. I’m doing well I think to myself. I got this one. I will not follow in the path of my dear friend next to me who by this time is making is second attempt at a waffle. “Poor guy, just doesn’t know when to give up”, I think to myself. The conveyor on my toaster is a very slow moving toaster and I wonder if my croissants might get too crispy. Not to worry, I think, because there are quite a few more in the bread bin and I can start over.
By now, quite a few more people have come into the breakfast room. All women, who obviously decided to forgo sending a man down and opted to cut out the middle man in having their breakfast. They all seem to have done this before. They are scurrying around like busy little bees, with coffee, orange juice, muffins, and are sitting at tables by now eating. All the while my gentleman friend and I are still in the beginnings of our plans. They must have been staying at this hotel for a few weeks and have this down to a science, I think to myself. A ping is heard from the waffle maker now, and I wish my my co-quester “good luck”, this time. He opens the waffle maker and if you have ever ordered a pizza and had it arrive squished with the cheese stuck to the top of the box then you know what was the outcome was. I can’t control my laughter at this point and don’t even bother to try to hold it back. The look on this poor mans face is now something that will always be memorable to me. Not only does he have to go back to his room with a Forest Gump waffle batter happy face, splattered all over his shirt but it isn’t looking good he will be going back with any food either. I knew that 2 tours of the room were not enough for him to formulate a good plan but I thought because of his age maybe experience would pull him through. Sucker! He should have followed my lead.
And then my plan goes out the window…….”Boy these croissants are taking a long time”, I think. Wait, whats that? A little smoke coming out of my toaster. Well, my croissants are probably all right, and might just be a little crispy. I like them crispy. I peak inside the toaster and everything looks fine. Except that now it’s not just a little smoke it is increasing and increasing! Wait, something is wrong here!! At this point the smoke is equal to a small camp fire and is pouring out of the toaster. Being a responsible person my first thought is to look to the ceiling to see if there is a smoke alarm that is going to be going off soon. Or even worse, fire sprinklers!! Thank god no, neither are near by and my embarrassment will be limited to only those in the breakfast room and the few hundred people they tell. I can accept that.
By this time, not only is it smoking but it has grown into a small fire in the toaster with actually flames. Apparently burning croissants do stick inside these toasters, afterall! Who knew! Why wasn’t there a sign? Where is the responsibility of the hotel or the toaster makers people? Where is the warning label? It could not have been my plan, as I thought it out very carefully! The attendant girl is now out from her hideout behind, everyone has gathered behind me and I now fear for my life as it is starting to take the shape of a stoning. The older gentleman doesn’t seem at all phased by my predicament. In fact, I think he expected it. What I thought was his experience in “breakfast making”, wasn’t at all breakfast making skills, it was the acceptance that this was going to be a mess for both of us that he had already resigned himself too before he even entered the breakfast room. It was in his experience that he was at peace already for what was to lay ahead for us.
“It is in accepting ones fate, in which peace can be found” ~ Earth Zebra
The attendant girl has now taken over the situation and booted me aside. In a slightly panicked tone, and swift actions she proclaims that “croissants can’t be put into the toaster” because they ignite like kindling. She unplugs the toaster, pulls out the conveyor and removes the now charcoal looking mounds of what was going to be a tasty croissant sandwich. The older gentleman looks over with a grin on his face and says with a happy to not be the only F*-up, “looks like we made a mess of things” and we both have a nice smile and chuckle over it.
The rest of the story pretty much follows it’s expected course. I return to my room with coffee, and an English muffin sandwich which is received with the failed journey response I anticipated on the elevator ride back to the room. I can only assume the older gentleman was greeted with the same reception upon return to his room. All in all, it was a good morning. I didn’t burn down the hotel, made a new friend for a few moments and am far wiser in life for what I’m sure will be thousands of failed plans to come. But you know what, I wouldn’t trade the moment for all the successful plans in the world.
“Sometimes it is in our failed plans, which we find our greatest successes” ~ Earth Zebra