Friday, January 28, 2022

Andy Young: The Dumbest State

By Andy Young

Writing uncomplimentary things isn’t something I enjoy, but facts are facts. Connecticut is a really dumb state. It’s literally fraught with nitwits. There. I said it. 

A recent holiday reunion brought my family and I back to the place where I was born and raised. I secured overnight accommodations there with an established national hotel chain

When we arrived after a lengthy drive, the lobby desk was being manned by a young fellow who asked if I had a reservation. When I responded I did, he asked me for my last name, which I cheerfully provided. “Ah yes, Mr. Young,” he said with a smile. “And your first name?”

When I said, “Andrew,” he furrowed his unibrow, the first indication that I probably wasn’t dealing with a Rhodes Scholar. I helpfully added, “A-N-D-R-E-W,” hoping to help hapless simpleton find the room which my tired and hungry family desperately wanted to get into.

Finally, after a few more moments of looking puzzled, the empty-headed young man’s face brightened. “Okay, Mr. Young,” he said cheerfully. “I’ve got your room. It’ll be $79 per night, for three nights.”

Whoa. I most definitely did NOT reserve a room for three nights. Returning to his computer screen, he said, “I’m sorry, sir, but you made this reservation online; you’ll have to talk directly to them about making any changes.”

When I called it quickly became apparent the person who answered the phone was a lamebrain from Connecticut, too. When she asked for the confirmation number of my reservation, I read it off the sheet of paper I had written it down on, only to have her inform me in an emotionless, perception-free voice they had no record of it in their system. My son suggested looking for the confirmation number online, but it turned out even the automatons in Connecticut are dumbbells, because the disembodied robot voice at the other end of the line insisted it had no record of my reservation. 

Nearly as miffed as I was hungry, I took the kids to a nearby Subway to get some sustenance, where we were waited on by a genial but simple-minded sandwich maker and an equally vapid cashier.

At our hotel’s breakfast nook the next morning I sat near two men who were speaking Spanish. I didn’t understand everything they said, but it was pretty obvious to me that these two Constitution State residents weren’t rocket scientists, either.

The morning desk man seemed pleasant enough, but since he was another glassy-eyed local I knew what I’d be dealing with. I informed him of the previous night’s mix-up, but naturally his computer couldn’t find the confirmation number I had painstakingly written down. I’d have gotten him a copy of the document confirming my reservation, but of course I couldn’t access it, since I had long since forgotten the secret password necessary to gain remote entry to my email account. 

When I mentioned a second time that I was certain I had written down the correct number for my Hampton Inn accommodations, the man at the desk unknitted his doltish brow and looked at me quizzically.

Sensing his confusion, I asked, “What? Is there another Hampton Inn around here?” 

That’s when he responded, deadpan, “Sir, this is a Holiday Inn Express.”

Hey, how was I supposed to know that the big “H” I saw on the side of the building should have been red, rather than green?

Connecticut may very well contain a lot of blockheads. But whatever the current number is, it’s at least one less than it was on the night I stayed there. <

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