Mexico has a very good system of warning that topes -- speed bumps -- are in the road ahead. The warning helps cut down on damage to mufflers and suspensions.
I need something as equally efficient to give my readers a bit of warning that a grump moment is at hand. Well, I guess I just did. Because there is one around the next period.
My grumping about hotel services has been rather frequent. Complaints about high prices for not-so-speedy internet in big bucks hotels (high speed at a price). Or shampoo bottles that are fashionable, but almost nonfunctional (did you ever wonder --).
It may be one reason I travel alone. After all, who wants to travel with Oscar the Grouch?
During my trip to Puerto Vallarta earlier this week, I stayed at the Comfort Inn near the airport. It was convenient for my purposes and kept me away from the tourism of Old Town.
When I got up on Wednesday for my morning ablutions, I discovered another practical joke that hotels like to pull on their customers. The trick soap.
The trick soap comes in two varieties. The first is in a box with flaps that do not quite close. When you pick up the box, the soap pops out of the box and (if your unlucky) smashes into pieces on the floor or (if you are moderately fortunate) cakes in nose first picking up whatever grime is on the bathroom floor.
My soap was not boxed. It was the second variety of trick soap. The soap that is tightly wrapped in the same plastic paper used for Mexican currency and then hermetically sealed with a label that could be used on a space station airlock.
I wish I had a video tape of my attempts to extract the soap from its cocoon. What is embarrassing is I can never recall how I opened the soap on my last visit.
But this time, I used logic. I knew all attempts at scratching at the paper would be futile. The weak link appeared to be the paper seal. My fingers could not find an opening. So, I used my teeth. After a couple of attempts, off it came -- the label, not my teeth. Unfortunately, only the top layer came off. The soap was as safe as a queen bee in her hive.
It was clear a tool was required. And if you want to open something, what do you need? A key. I gathered my key ring from my pants that were still wet from the previous night's rain storm, and sawed my way through the plastic.
The big question is why I bothered. The hotel had provided me with a small bottle of shampoo with a very simple top. I could have used the shampoo and skipped the bother with the soap.
But what good would that have done me for today's post?
And next time? I will either start with the key -- or happily pretend that the shampoo is nothing more than some fancy label body wash.