Room Service

There is a time and a place for everyone. My time is between four and five o’clock in the morning. I’ve found that sometimes a good whopper of a dream can put me into an interesting situation. Take, for example, this nocturnal sleep-induced encounter I recently had:

doorI approach a room with a sign on the door that reads ‘Growth’. I enter in and see that there is a fellow sitting at a desk reading a book. A nameplate reads: H. Allen Smith. I say to him, “Mr. Smith, or should I call you H?” He looks up from the book and gives me a nasty sneer and says, “you can call me Henry.”

So, trying to be cute I begin again, “okay, Hank. Is this the room for growth? If so, I’d like to add a few inches to my height.”

Smith replies, “It’s Henry, not Hank. And can’t you see the vending machine over there? That’s where you buy the height.” He returned to looking at his book and tried to do a good job of ignoring me any further.

I walked over to the machine and saw that it had a slot for coins as well as paper currency. The glass case display to the machine had various measures of inches and the required value to purchase each. I settled on two inches as I didn’t want to be a pig about it as well as be too obvious to those who knew me that somehow I looked different.

Two inches cost a dollar so I pulled out a dollar bill put it in the slot and pressed the appropriate button. Nothing happened. I pushed the button again and still nothing. After a few more tries, I pushed the cancel button and my dollar came back out of the slot.

I looked over at Hank, I mean, Henry, and he was just as absorbed at whatever he was reading. I hesitated to call to him. I thought, “okay, maybe they are out of two inch additions. I’ll go for the one incher.” I put two quarters in the coin slot and they came right back out. The machine wouldn’t even give me a chance to push a button. I tried it again and to no avail. So I thought maybe the machine didn’t like my coins. I took out two other quarters from my pocket, tried the slot and the same thing happened again.

Quite frustrated I walked over to Mr. H. Allen Smith and complained to him. He looked up at me and said, “it figures. There’s a sensometer built into the machine and the moment you come within a foot of it, it knows whether to give you extra height or not. In your case, you’re too old. The machine never makes a mistake. Why don’t you check out those other rooms over yonder.”

I looked at where he was pointing and noticed two doors. One was marked Improvement” and the other,”Compromise”. I didn’t think I needed any improvement other than height so I walked over to the Room For Compromise and entered.

There was a table with a guy sitting at it also reading a book. In fact, it was the same fellow except his name plate now read James Thurber. I approached the table and asked him, “how did you get here so quickly and why did you change your name?”

He looked up at me and said, “huh? Oh, that’s my cousin Hank. But don’t call him that or he gets upset. What can I do you for?”

I said, “well, what kind of compromise can I purchase here?”

He said, “it all depends on how much you want to spend. And what topic do you prefer- religion or politics?”

I told him that I really didn’t know- that I was just curious. I asked him how much the cheapest compromise cost. He told me one hundred dollars. I then explained that I didn’t have that much with me but would fifty dollars do?

So he said, “okay, I’ll compromise and give it to you for fifty but don’t tell anyone.”

It was at this point that I started thinking about water and said to the attendant that I thought maybe my dream was coming to a close. He said that it was only because I couldn’t think of anything else more creative and that maybe I should check out the door leading to another room that had a sign reading “Development”. It was at that point I woke up, looked at the clock on the nightstand, saw that it was 4:15am and ran to the bathroom.

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