New posts, on DiA about Rick Perry (again), and on Gulliver about whether you should by carbon offsets for plane journeys.

While on Gulliver I was catching up with the controversy, inspired by the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, over whether it's common for hotel guests to be surprised by the cleaning staff--that is, whether a naked man in a hotel room with a maid should get the benefit of the doubt. I don't think I've ever had a cleaning lady walk in on me doing anything, even though it sometimes happens that I'm writing in the hotel room during the morning hours when maids tend to circulate. Usually they knock first, no? In any case, I really enjoyed this story from one of the commenters at Crooked Timber:

I have only once had any similar experience in fifteen years’ business travel...I did indeed forget to bolt the door and was surprised while in a state of partial undress. But there were extenuating circumstances!

1) It was not mid-morning or turndown time, it was 2am.
2) The female worker who surprised (and indeed woke) me was not a housekeeper; she was a prostitute who had got the wrong room number.
3) She was naked herself.

So I think I can throw myself on the mercy of the court. The (male) hotel employee who was called on to resolve the situation had a somewhat resigned look to him, as if this was a frequent occurrence only complicated by the fact I don’t speak Dutch. I frankly did not see it as a tipping situation at the time, but I will always treasure his apology; “this hotel is popular with sailors, and the women who love them”.

If one of the hotel chains did adopt a blacklist policy about flashers, as Kevin Drum suggests, they would no doubt lose some business from flashers, but I imagine they would have some uptake among female travelers, and perhaps enough to offset it. It's not part of my job to go into other people's hotel rooms, but I might still be moved by an ad touting "30% fewer creepers!"
 



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