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Love NOLA: The sur-real reality of French Quarter hotels

Today’s column asks one of the most pressing questions of our times:  Why has no one ever made a TV show about French Quarter hotels?

Brett Will Taylor (photo by Jason Kruppa)

I mean, think about it: Alex McMurray reminds us that you’ve got to be crazy to live in this town, but you’ve got to be downright insane to work in a French Quarter hotel.

30 Rock, schmerty rock. You want to see real crazy? Just talk to anyone who works in a French Quarter hotel. Sure, the bars and the restaurants have it rough with the tourists who come to our beautiful city to throw up and pee on the streets. But the tourists just visit those places. They stay at the hotels.

To wit, while most of us talk about Jazz Fest from the perspective of the music, three friends who work in Quarter hotels said they measure each fest by the level of idiocy. And, just like the crowds on the Fair Grounds, this one broke records. Sitting on my stoop the other night, they explained why.

One friend told me about the 20-something young man his night auditor saw walking through the hotel lobby (and toward the front door) at 3 a.m. on the second Saturday. Carrying one of the hotel’s 30-inch flat-screen televisions.

“Excuse me,” the auditor said. “Where are you going with our TV?”

“Oh no,” the man replied.”I brought this with me” (an indication of the level of the man’s intoxication).  Which led the night auditor to ask, “Then can you tell me why there are pieces of plaster still attached to the back of it?” (a sign of the level of the man’s stupidity).

Not to be outdone, another friend said that his front desk manager greeted him at his office the Monday following the first Sunday to let him know NOPD was on the way.

“Why?” he asked.

“Well,” the very east New Orleans manager replied, “some fool brought three women up to his room last night. Two real, one not.  And, of course, they robbed him.  He came down here awhile ago, tail between his legs and all, wanting to use my phone — my phone — to call his wife to cancel all of his credit cards. I told him, ‘Hell no, you’re not using my phone.’ ”

My friend said he pleaded with the manager to tell him that she, in fact, did not say, “Hell, no” to a guest.  “Hell yes, I did,” she assured him. “I’m not the one who brought three women — two real and one not — up to my room. I’m not going to let that fool use my phone.”

Finally, my third friend chimed in. I have a soft spot for him because his sense of humor is particularly twisted (think “Family Guy” meets “The Simpsons” meets Sarah Silverman).  His boss is particularly tyrannical and, so, he has assigned him a ringtone that is the sound of a bomb detonating. The boss hates the color yellow, so my friend and his coworkers wear yellow shirts to every monthly staff meeting. Twisted. I love him.

“Late in the afternoon of the last Thursday my front desk got a call,” friend #3 started. “A female guest was screaming, ‘Get it out, get it out’. He promptly sent his bellman up to the woman’s room, saying, “It must be a rat. Just go kill it.”

Ten minutes later my friend was typing on his keyboard, head down, when he heard a large thud on the desk behind him. Followed by the staff member saying, “I don’t know how you expect me to kill dat!” Which caused my friend to turn around. Which led him to cast his eyes on a super-sized, black, how to describe in a family paper? Let’s just say battery-operated, late-night, pleasure stimulator (think the rabbit episode of “Sex in the City”).

“What the….” my friend stammered.

“The previous guest must have left it,” the bellman said. “Mrs. Jones said it rolled out when she opened the chest drawer to put her blouses up. By the way, you got a housekeeping problem. Obviously, they ain’t checking those drawers,” the bellman said as he returned to his station, leaving the battery-operated, er, rabbit, on the desk.

“Ya think?” was all my friend could think to say.

Who wouldn’t want to watch a show with these characters? And we could get A-list stars with New Orleans ties to guess star. I, for one, vote for Ellen DeGeneres, Portia DiRossi and Angelina Jolie to be the afore-mentioned three women. Ellen and Portia, of course, would be the two real. Angelina would play “One not.”

I’d watch.  Would you?

Brett Will Taylor is a southern Shaman who writes Love NOLA weekly for NolaVie. Follow him @bwtshaman, email him at or visit his site


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