I'm a teacher and a linguist, primarily, but I also work a few nights a week behind the reception desk of a small hotel in the middle of nowhere, close to where I live. There are a few golf courses and a wildlife and boating area nearby, so most of our clientele are hunters, fishermen, and large groups of businessmen taking golf outings together as part of a multi-day conference. These gentlemen share a common appreciation for alcohol, and a number of eventful evenings have resulted. Here is a small selection of the more mentionable stories.

Once an entire head of cabbage was found in the pot of the men's toilet. Nobody would claim it, and nobody had seen it placed there.

A few weeks ago, I was searching the maintenance office for a pack of AA batteries, and I found what appeared to be a crossbow bolt. I asked the maintenance guy about it, and he pulled open a drawer full of crossbow bolts of various styles. He told me he didn't know where they kept coming from, but he found them all over our campus, as well as a few in the hot tub building out back. Later that same week, one of our long-term guests checked out, and the housekeeping staff found the crossbow in the guest's closet. Based on the angle of penetration of bolts into a nearby tree, the guest had walked out onto his balcony and used the tree (and probably passing wildlife) as target practice for nearly a month.

Back in August there was a father-son golf tournament involving six teams of golfers competing for one traveling trophy. The trophy has an extremely sharp edge near the handle, and for two years in a row, the same group organiser has cut his ring fingertip to the bone on that edge, during the same tournament, while making the same speech while distributing prizes. He needed nine stitches and had to be persuaded to go to the hospital, because he and most of his friends were too drunk to drive (or even to realise how severe the injury was), and nobody wanted to pay for an ambulance. He finally left when I yelled at him to stop bleeding all over my lobby, because a retired nurse staying with us at the time gave him the necessary ride.

An elderly woman once called the desk, asking if she had left a bag of her personal effects in her room accidentally, and when told she had, she asked if they could be mailed to her. The "effects" in question were a bag of weed, a pipe, six lesbian porn magazines from the Netherlands, and a rabbit vibrator which housekeeping had been very careful not to touch.

The side exits of the hotel allow guests to step outside for a smoke, but they lock again as soon as the doors swing closed. Not realising this, nor apparently aware of the security cameras aimed down the hall, a guest stepped out of his room in a towel, fresh from the shower, to smoke a cigarette in the middle of snowbound February. The door locked behind him, and thanks to the high winds blowing at the time, he put on quite the show in his efforts to find a way back into the building.

No small number of urban guests have asked about "that friendly cat on the front porch."

(We do actually have two cats on campus, Pete and Sauce.)

Which one, ma'am? The big one or the little one?

"The black one!" (Uh-oh. Pete and Sauce are both grey mackerel tabby cats.)

The one with the big white stripe down his back, that'un?

"Oh, yes; he's lovely. Eats table scraps right out of your hand like a dog."

Sometimes I don't have the heart to tell them they've been feeding a skunk.

Iron Noder 2016, 17/30

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