The Stabbin’ Cabin(s)
So, like I was saying, we had a fire at our house last week. There has been a lot to deal with. One of the things to deal with has been the lingering smell of smoke in the house. The insurance adjuster told us that we could stay in a hotel and get reimbursed as part of our claim. At first we did not leave. We stayed in the bunkhouse on the ranch the first night. It was 11 below zero and the pipes froze in the bunkhouse. My wife, Sugar, got up at 2:00 a.m. and said she had to use the bathroom in the big house, but warned me that she might not come back if she decided the smoke was not as bad as the cold, leaving me and the dogs in the bunkhouse until morning.
The next few nights the dogs and I joined Sugar in the main house. The smell was dissipating until the high winds blew the burnt smell back into the house. On the sixth night we went to the hotel.
I don’t recall staying at a hotel in our town before because there was no reason when we could go home to sleep. But now we did not want to go home to sleep in the smoke and wind coming from the hole in the north wall where the fireplace used to be. (See photos in previous post.)
Well, I picked a nice place so Sugar could rest up in relative luxury — the Hilton by golly. It has a nice restaurant. We had been to the Sunday brunch in the past. It has a spa and exercise room and pool. It has a ballroom where Sugar had put on a big art and craft show in December 2013, called “Handmade for the Holidays.” There is a beauty salon off the lobby where Sugar had gone for a haircut in the past. We felt kind of at home there. We stayed three nights.
In the morning after the first night, we went down the glass elevator into the lobby and there was crime scene tape on one side of the hall where folks exit the elevators. There was more crime scene tape around the front desk and more by the revolving door at the entrance where cars park while guests register or taxis drop guests off or pick them up. You have seen such entrances to big hotels. Some have valets. On that day, the yellow tape put a damper on the elegance.
I asked the woman at the front desk what happened. She told me that they “are not allowed to talk about it.”
So when we sat down in the restaurant to have the breakfast buffet for $15.00 each, Sugar asked an employee stocking the buffet what happened. Then she asked in Spanish. He replied in Spanish that someone got stabbed. He illustrated with a motion to his stomach. That information did not diminish my appetite. I got my $15.00 worth. The crime scene tape was marking off where the victim was bleeding throughout the hotel and out side.
A lady serving coffee and juice told us that nothing like that had ever happened at the hotel in the 28 years that she had worked there. I believe her. (It does happen other places, which I will explain later).
She said that someone on the 5th floor had been stabbed in a room and took the elevator down to the lobby, past the front desk and on out the doors. She did not say what happened to him next. Maybe he called a cab. Anyway, he is now in the hospital and on the front page of the local newspaper.
Who stabbed him? There are two suspects, who are accomplices. One is a 19 year old woman. The other is a 31 year old man. That is a big age difference for dating. I do not know whether they are romantically involved. However, it is alleged that the man who was stabbed was meeting with the girl for a business transaction when for some unknown reason, one of them stabbed him. Some speculate that the meeting involved the payment of money for something offered by the girl. It appears they did not agree about payment. Maybe the stabbing victim did not bring enough, or his credit card was declined. He obviously caused some disappointment.
Sugar thenceforth called the place The Stabbin’ Cabin, an inside joke between us, referring to a bar wherein I had a run-in several years ago. I was supposed to meet Sugar to go out to dinner later that particular day but I was in town early and had time “to kill.” Almost literally.
I am not a frequent drinker, nor a heavy drinker. I have never been drunk in my life, believe it or not, but on this Saturday afternoon I was thirsty, probably after mowing the lawn or some manly hard physical labor. I noticed a sign about half price beers and went into the establishment. No sooner had I sat at the bar by myself, and before I had even ordered a half price beer, a man entered the barroom and yelled some bad things to and about another man who was playing pool. There was a fight. Some of the patrons tried to break up the fight. I should have stayed out of it, but concerned about justice and even peace, I inserted myself into the altercation. I am a fairly large guy and was easily able to pull the combatants apart. I encouraged the attacker to leave the premises and, guess what, he did. The guy who was the victim was grateful. I felt important, like I usually do. I felt like John Wayne. (Like I usually do.)
I returned to the bar. The bartender seemed apologetic. He defended the reputation of the establishment. He told me that it is usually not that rowdy there so early in the day. It was like a Western movie. “Thanks, Stranger, for keepin’ the peace. What’ll ya have? It’s on the house.”
So when I later met Sugar at the fish place where we had planned to eat, I proudly told her what had happened while I was killin’ time. She had seen me do similar things in her presence and even on her behalf (See https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/a-cry-for-help/). She reminded me of my age and the distinction between chronological advancement and actual maturity. Overall, I got the message that she was not impressed. Well, I take that back. She was impressed by my stupidity, which apparently is way above average in its enormity. Our waiter, however, had overheard my tale of brave exploits and asked the name of the saloon. When I told him, he was familiar with its reputation. He told us, “We call that place the stabbin’ cabin.” That did not make Sugar feel better. Still, she remembers that name to this day and thinks it is funny to re-name the Hilton.