This guest post comes from Laurel Parrott of the Kalamazoo House B&B, a Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association member inn.
What’s practically the first thing an innkeeper does when bed and breakfast guests depart? Check the guestbook to see what they wrote, of course.
At the Kalamazoo House Bed and Breakfast in downtown Kalamazoo, where we have guest journals in each of our nine rooms, the housekeeping staff members make sure I see the most noteworthy comments. The notes are gratifying to read…. usually.
But imagine the sinking feeling when my husband Terry and I returned recently from a rare weekend away to find our professional innsitting couple standing there with somber looks on their faces and the journal from Room #6 in an outstretched hand.
We didn’t even take off our coats before we began to read…
Dear Terry and Laurel,
Sorry to have missed meeting you and hope you enjoyed your holiday. We also missed out on Kalamazoo House’s signature breakfast, but under the circumstances, a 5:00 am departure seems prudent.
We did have a lovely dinner downtown last night and, it being our anniversary, enjoyed several bottles of a fine Pinot Noir. We met some delightful people in a local pub who agreed to accompany us back to Kalamazoo House for a nightcap. Who knew that they would prove to be so difficult to get rid of once they discovered your wine and beer pantry? Or that they would invite friends over!
I warned them about the no-smoking policy to no avail. I think the cigar burn on the credenza can be touched up with a crayon, but the cigarette burns in the carpet in the dining room pose an altogether different problem.
I’m not sure who started the game of strip poker, but that’s when Mildred and I decided to retire to our lovely room. The excitement and the rich food at dinner were a bit much for Mildred, and she experienced some considerable gastric distress. Well, the toilet got clogged and overflowed.
The shut-off valve did not work, so I hurried down to the basement and shut off the main water supply. The system is quite old and the handle snapped off. Hopefully you can find a plumber on a Sunday but sadly, probably not in time for the guests to have running water this morning.
We managed to mop up most of the water in the bathroom using towels and the bed linens, and only as a last resort, the draperies. I expect that any water damage to the ceiling downstairs will be covered by your insurance. The bedroom carpet should dry out by itself. We set the thermostat to 85 to assist in this.
Hope to visit you again next year. You have a wonderful home.
Rev. and Mrs. Percy Molesworth
P.S. The cookies were marvelous!
By the time we got to the bit about the draperies, our innsitters could no longer hide their grins, and we realized our guests had perpetrated the perfect early April Fool’s prank, which we share with you now.
Naturally, I responded to The Rev. and Mrs. Molesworth in the manner of any self-respecting innkeeper: I sent them a bill. The itemized charges included:
- Plumber to unclog the toilet and repair the shut-off valve, $600
- Plumber’s Sunday surcharge $1500.00
- Replacement towels & bed linens $ 850.00
- Dry cleaning of the draperies $ 35.00
- New draperies (the dry cleaning didn’t work) $ 475.00
- 3 gallons of Febreeze $ 18.00
- Replenishment of owner’s private liquor cabinet $ 180.00
- New lock for owner’s private liquor cabinet $ 35.00
- New security camera for owner’s private liquor cabinet $ 275.00
- Brown crayon $2.85
TOTAL: $ 3,970.85
I added, “We are delighted to hear that you are already trying to decide when you’ll be able to return next spring. It means the world to us when guests have such a good time that they want to come back. Unfortunately, I’m afraid we’re already all booked up that weekend!”
You’ll find that Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association innkeepers each have a fine sense of humor. Visit a #MichBnB soon. And be sure to leave a memory in the guestbook if they have one.