Wednesday, March 14, 2007


COPS: Roseville

OK, here are the details from our Super 8 adventure in Roseville, as promised by Denise.  I'll try to keep this story brief but probably wont be able to.

So as I've discussed with Running Jayhawk and Out of Shape Guy and others, the expression "Super 8" refers to something that all men ought to know about women.  But for Denise and I this past weekend it came to represent something entirely different and nowhere near as nice as the other meaning.

Our story begins in Roseville at 10PM Sunday night, when Denise and I returned to our hotel room at the Roseville Super 8 (motto: "low rates and no towels to serve you better") after a long day.  Our room keys didn't work, so I went down to the front desk where the clerk recoded the keys and gave them back to me.

(Number of teeth missing from the night front desk clerk = 1)

The re-coded keys worked, but our relief was short-lived.  For it took us only a few minutes to realize that we had been robbed.  Both Denise's iPod and the WiFi card from my laptop (though not the laptop itself) had been taken from our room.

Thinking that the cleaning person had perhaps left our door open, I called the police to file a report and then called the front desk.  The front desk clerk told me that the manager would be onsite to speak with the housekeeper first thing in the morning.

Now even before this incident we were already fed up with this hotel.  It was ugly and there weren't enough towels and our door security chain was broken and the place smelled bad and many of the rooms were occupied by loud hockey hooligans.  On top of that, the promised free WiFi didn't work in our room.

Needing to book a new hotel room (because we sure weren't spending another night in that shithole) I took my laptop (with spare network card) down the hall in search of a better wireless signal in order to conduct my hotel search.  On my way down the hall I bumped into a nice woman named Julie, who noticed both my laptop and the room I had emerged from.  Julie told me that she was in the room next door and had seen the people who had taken our things, and that they had tried to sell her Denise's iPod.  Apparently these people had been checked into our room by mistake and had helped themselves to our stuff before being given another room by the hotel.  I asked Julie if she would be willing to talk to the police but she said she would prefer not to--though I eventually persuaded her.  I then called the police again and the officer said he would be on his way over.

(Number of teeth missing from Julie = 1, but with at least two looking like they were about to fall out)

I don't have a photo of Julie, but she looked something like this.

Denise went downstairs to wait for the police, calling me on my cellphone when they arrived.  I then knocked on Julie's room door, only to be surprised when her boyfriend answered.  Now I don't want to say that this was the biggest person I saw the entire weekend (that distinction goes to someone else), but he was certainly a close second.  This piece-of-the-mountain introduced himself as Lewis and seemed quite aggravated to be bothered.  Here's how the discussion went:

Josh:  I'm really sorry to bother you, but Julie offered to speak with the police and they're here.  I promise they'll have her back in 5 minutes.
Lewis:  I'm not comfortable with this.  It's going to have to wait until morning, maybe.
Josh:  The police said they wont help us unless we have an eyewittness.  And Julie already promied she'd help.
Lewis:  Listen, I'm the MAN in this room and what I say goes.  We're not going to do this tonight.  [closes door]

The officers showed up a few minutes later and they seemed quite sympathetic and helpful, unlike everyone else, though they warned me that without our eyewittness all they could do is try to persuade our suspects residing in room 309 down the hall.  I sent the officers next door to talk to our eyewittness, warning them that they may not get any cooperation.  I then closed the door to my room and waited for something to happen.

I listened to the loud voices out in the hall for about 40 minutes, which included the police, the occupants of the suspect room, and another man I didn't recognise.  Finaly, there was a loud knock on my door.  I opened up to find not the police but Lewis (the uncooperative neighbor) holding our stolen merchandise in his hand and wearing a nametag reading "Super-8 Security."  I didn't quite know what to say.

After Lewis and the cops went downstairs to complete their paperwork, I asked Julie why her boyfriend hadn't been very cooperative before--especially since he worked for the hotel.  She wasn't able to explain very clearly, but from lots of little hints I later guessed that Lewis probably had a wife at home who perhaps thought he was away on a hunting trip or something like that.

I forgot to mention one funny detail.  The night before, while Denise and I were struggling to fall asleep on our terrible Super-8 mattress, we heard the couple next door having sex.  It consisted of 5 minutes of loud thumping, then silence.  It was funny to meet Lewis & Julie the next night in order to put faces on the five brief minutes of thumpa-thumpa.

The entire ordeal kept us busy until about 3:30AM.  After everything was done (the thieves were kicked out of the hotel but not arrested) I took my laptop down to the lobby to try and find a new hotel.  Several of the night staff were hanging around, including some dude who I think was the night manager.  He tried to make small talk with me but all I could bring myself to do was glower at him.  Can you blame me?

(Number of teeth missing from night manager = 2)

The next morning I got up at 7AM to give the hotel manager a piece of my mind.  I was intercepted by the daytime front desk clerk and she admitted to me that she had been the one to give access to our room to the thieves the day before.  I confronted her on this and she immediatley grew defensive, insisting it was an honest mistake and not a big deal.

Those of you who are familiar with my anger management issues can imagine how I reacted.  By the time my tirade was finished, the clerk agreed to wipe out our entire bill.

(Number of teeth missing from daytime desk clerk = 1)

Still feeling angry, I channeled my energy and had an amazingly satisfying run around not very scenic Roseville.  I didn't have a lot of time but still had a great workout.

Distance:  3 miles
Time:  27:24
Pace:  9:08/mile

After my run Denise and I couldn't get out of there fast enough.  So we quickly gathered our things and I went downstairs to wait for Denise to pull the car around, which was parked far away.

Standing out front with me was the night mananager, some other hotel staff, and a few locals and their pit bull (which was growling).

(Number of teeth missing from this group collectively = at least 6)
(Number of fangs missing from pit bull = unknown)

By the time Denise pulled the car around I was ready to jump in before she even hit the brakes.  If it had been me driving I would have peeled rubber to get out of there.

Let us never speak of Super-8 or Roseville or dental hygiene ever again.

OMG...I literally felt like I was there with you.

I guess Tom Bodett didn't think about this dump when he said, "We'll leave the light on."
Wow, just wow. I don't even know what to say about that. That's unbelievable. Ew Super 8.
ROFL! I LOVE how you told this UGLY story....and the total TMI part with our next-door neighbors. :D
What a great story. Thankfully you were not hurt...
Wow, sounds like a fun night. So at least Denise lives in the good area of Roseville, hate to know what might have happened if she was in the bad area!! :) I can't believe the people weren't arrested for theft and that the hotel didn't offer to do more for their mistake on the stolen items.
Your debacle was 11 miles away from my hometown. You can see why I talk so little of Fridley and got outta there ASAP!
Brandy, yes I do see your point. Fridley is MUCH worse than me. I worked on a PD right next door to your hometown. We have to talk later. :D
Oh my god... I am so sorry for all that happened - but tha tis quite possibly the most funny recap of an even t I have EVER read in my life.

Thank goodness you got out of there!
Remind me to visit Roseville someday soon.
That's just nutty. So much for the clean comfortable room. Glad that everything worked out in the end.
Well, I'm glad you got your stolen merchandise back. As we say in Minnesota, "it could be worse." But it could also be so much better. If you can stand it, you should report the incompetence to the Super 8 Corporate offices.

Unfortunately, I had no trouble envisioning the people you were talking about. I don't go to Roseville, but Julie's type is all over Uptown. We do actually have intelligent and educated residents in this state; sorry you didn't get to meet many of them.

When I read your posts, the voice I give you is like Patrick Stewart. Maybe it's the hair. :-)
That's appalling! Denise, I am so sorry your exit from Roseville turned out like that. Yuck.

(However, Josh, you are a very goos storyteller, and I can just see you going ballistic on everyone's asses.)
Holy Toledo, that is one crazy hotel:-(
Oh man - oh man, oh man, oh man... I'm wiping the tears from my eyes. Tragically funny. If you hadn't gotten your stuff back it would just be tragic but as it is - so funny. The writing that is... the writing was so very funny. The incident is something anyone could have done with out. Makes a my little adventure with Jiminy Cricket at the Hilton look pretty tame.
Hope you make it back to Chicago sooner than later.
You know, in all the years I've known you I've never actually seen you blow your stack. I've seen you fake it, but never the real thing
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