Don’t Touch That Dial!

March 2, 2010

With the roar of an ill-maintained Jake Brake from a passing semi-truck rattling the hotel room windows, I woke from a dream in which I was trapped inside a bag of Orville Redenbacher popcorn, slowly roasting toward a climactic death in a convenience store oven.

I ripped the covers away, jumped up, ran to the thermostat, ran back to the bed because I forgot my cheater glasses on the nightstand and can’t read a fucking thing anymore without them, ran to the thermostat, stepped on the Hershey Kiss the maid planted at the foot of my bed the day before, limped to the door and fumbled the lights on so I could see the thermostat, limped back to the thermostat, and stared disbelieving at the numbers on the display. 37? What the hell? It felt more like 100! But then my sleep-addled brain reminded me that I was in Mexico and they use this crazy metric system down here. 37 degrees Celsius.

Now I’m not so good at math, certainly not with a throbbing instep and a pounding headache caused by one too many Ziegenbocks (only TEXANS get it!) at the Houston airport, but I was able to do the rough conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit in my head: 37 times 2, carry the 4, add 30…Jesus! 104 DEGREES!

I should have known better. After years spent in Mexico hotel rooms, I should have known that the maids here like to dick with you. Just two weeks earlier, under similar circumstances, I found myself suffering hypothermia in the middle of the night after the maid had purposefully set the thermostat at 5 (around 40 degrees Fahrenheit). Just for fun.

So heed my advice: if you’re staying in a Mexico hotel, and are lucky enough to be assigned a room with a functioning HVAC unit, always check the thermostat before passing out for the night.

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