Monday, June 17, 2002

What do you wear to a hotel fire? That's a question I got to ask myself on Saturday night. The hotel wasn't actually on fire, and for some reason I was sure of that before I had much evidence, but the alarm was going off.

It was 2:30 AM, and I was sleeping quite soundly when the sirens started blaring. I turned on the light and thought about it a moment, realizing it was probably a false alarm, but I heard some people in the hallway, so I pulled on the slacks I'd been wearing earlier that were still out and tee-shirt and went to the door.

My neighbors all agreed that it was probably a false alarm and went back in their rooms, and I did as well. I was getting ready to take the pants off and thought, "I'd feel pretty silly evacuating the hotel only to find out it's a false alarm." Then, a moment later added, "I'd feel even stupider burning to a crisp." And so, down six flights of stairs I went.

I was very proud of myself for remembering my fire safety tips: At each door way I first felt the door and handle to see if they were warm before opening!

In the lobby people were in all states of dress, from nities that only a spouse should see (thank you!), to fully dressed and quaffed, looking like they'd never been to bed. And all fairly upset as the folks at the front desk explained that it was "probably" a false alarm.

Although it was only "probably" a false alarm, the hotel didn't want to call the fire department - they didn't want the truck sirens to wake up any of the guests who may have slept through the initial wailing. One of the hotel guests called the fire department, who showed up a half-hour later, just as I was back in my room and trying to get back to sleep.

Anyway, I'm obviously back from my trip now, and trying to catch up on all my messages - If you wrote me over the last week and haven't heard back yet, please be patient: it may take me a day or two to go through it all. It's good to be home.

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