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Friday, November 16, 2007

Pick Your Poison

posted by on November 16 at 15:25 PM


This was in the night stand next to the bed in my hotel room in Portland last night. The newish Hotel Deluxe is in the old Mallory Hotel building. I miss the Mallory.

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Not that it matters, I suppose, but they really should be using the NRSV Bible.

Posted by Greg | November 16, 2007 3:29 PM

What, no Principia Discordia?

Braise Eris!

Posted by Secret Squirrel | November 16, 2007 3:30 PM

Oh, I was heartbroken when the Mallory got taken over.

Is the Driftwood room still there?

is it modern and dumb now? Do they still wear the green uniforms?

Posted by rubyred | November 16, 2007 3:33 PM

What about a Monster Manual? Guess I had Portland all wrong.

Bibles (or preferred book of choice) in hotel nightstands always baffled me. I mean, if you really give a shit, wouldn't you be traveling with one?

Posted by Dougsf | November 16, 2007 3:33 PM

The Mallory was nice. Classic old dowager hotels have the Fnarf seal of approval. I think the nice cocktail bar is still there, and still nice, though.

Posted by Fnarf | November 16, 2007 3:34 PM

No Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? That saddens me. . .

Posted by Michigan Matt | November 16, 2007 3:42 PM

You know, the Deluxe isn't that bad. They didn't gut the building -- the Driftwood is still there, in fact, and unchanged, so far as I can tell.

And here's what's really weird: the place smells the same. It smells like the Mallory.

The Deluxe has an odd, off-point classic Hollywood theme. Lots of framed photos of movie stills. The rooms are nice, the beds are nice, the new furniture is luxe in that luxe way that all hotels seem to be luxe these days. They didn't fuck up the lobby, and the restaurant is unchanged.

It could have been a lot worse.

Posted by Dan Savage | November 16, 2007 3:43 PM

Hm. I think the problem is it's not inclusive enough.

Maybe add

The Communist Manifesto
Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus
Ovid's Metamorphosis
Graves' The Greek Myths
The Golden Bough
Newton's Principia
Freud's Totem and Taboo
and Darwin's The Origin of Species
and you'd be getting somewhere interesting

Posted by Eric F | November 16, 2007 3:47 PM

That's funny... I just read an article about how hotels were giving customers more choices now, to the point where things were getting a little overwhelming (10 kinds of pillows to choose from, 20 kinds of soap, etc.).

Though I want to find the option of many religious texts annoying, I actually think it's kind of cool. A step up from just having a Bible...

Posted by Julie | November 16, 2007 3:56 PM

that menu sucks. though it would be funny to call down and ask if they would be so kind as to make substituions;
"yes please, send up a Maya codice, and some virgin blood, and a ceasar salad instead of the fries, thanks"

Posted by pissy mcslogbot | November 16, 2007 3:57 PM

Well, at least Buddhism (the Four Noble Truths) is not, or at least need not be, a religion.

Posted by Sachi | November 16, 2007 4:13 PM

@11: Neither is the Tao, really.

Posted by Greg | November 16, 2007 4:21 PM

Have to agree. This discriminates against all us Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster faithful.

May the pirates burn you down!

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 16, 2007 5:02 PM

hotel max has something like this - along with an equally varied pillow menu. at least they did right after they first opened.

Posted by stacy | November 16, 2007 5:06 PM

they should have a sex menu: the kama sutra, my first 500, anais nin, the story of o (highbrow is not the goal). +/- a medley of porn. throw in some condoms and lube and a few nat shermans...

Posted by pretentious | November 16, 2007 5:21 PM

WHAT THE FUCK? The Mallory is no longer?!?!?! That is terrible news. I guess it's been a minute since I was in PDX but, still. You could always rely on the Mallory for a cheap, clean room in a neighborhood where there were still weirdos on the streets.

I guess this is what it is to be old. I miss something new almost every day.

Posted by kerri harrop | November 16, 2007 5:39 PM

Oh, and one more thing:

@9: I had a crazy, exquisite meal in Atlantic City last week at SeaBlue, in the Bortaga. For the salad course, you are given a sheet that lists 35 different items, from which you must choose up to 10 different things to be included with your greens (5 different kinds). There are six dressing options.

It was novel, and the choices were delicious, but, at $17 a pop, it just seemed like too much damn work. We had oysters, tuna tartare, and lobster corn dogs instead.

Posted by kerri harrop | November 16, 2007 5:53 PM

Clearly the Gideon folks are getting muscled out of the hotel religion business.

Posted by Bont | November 16, 2007 6:08 PM

Wait a sec. The "Make It So" button? Who the fuck runs this hotel, Jean Luc Picard?

Posted by Bont | November 16, 2007 6:12 PM

@16...well at least the building still exists and is more or less intact and is still a hotel...unlike the poor Commodore in SF.

Posted by gnossos | November 16, 2007 6:54 PM

It's actually not a bad idea. Rather than assume that one if one is going to be religous that they're going to be a Christian, they give the religious/ spiritual folk a choice in the matter. If you're not interested, then there's no book there to begin with. It could be a lot worse, like an Ann Coulter book in the nightstand.

Posted by Wes | November 16, 2007 7:25 PM

@8: Don't forget the Poetic Edda.

Posted by Christopher | November 16, 2007 10:11 PM

What, no "GOD IS NOT GREAT" by Hitchens?

Posted by Andy Niable | November 17, 2007 12:05 AM

Smart. This way they can keep track of where the Jews are and gas their rooms while they sleep.

Posted by Lily | November 17, 2007 12:51 AM

Seems like an easy way to pick up tons of reading material.

I must say though that it is every American's duty to ask for the Scientology books and then later dispose of them. Scientology is evil and must be opposed.

Posted by Jim | November 17, 2007 1:13 AM

I love the DeLuxe!

I stayed on the "Song & Dance" floor when I was there last October, in a room with a framed photo of Judy Garland above the desk. It was pure heaven.

The following night I found myself in the bunkbed room of the Jupiter Motel, missing Judy Garland, missing the "Make it So" button, and missing the DeLuxe's various menus (including -- yes, @9 -- a pillow menu).

Posted by chrisdiani | November 17, 2007 3:46 AM

When I moved to Portland 8 years ago the Mallory was my home for my first week. Those are special memories.

That being said, some day people will be lamenting DeLuxe being gone or different. Nostalgia is stupid like that. Carly Simon summed it up best, I think, "these are the good old days".

All hotels should flush the whole "holy book" idea imho... But this sort of over-quirky, over-PC choice is completely Portland!!

Posted by backinthemidwest | November 17, 2007 6:39 AM

This post reminds me of an argument I once had with some friends about whether it degrades an awesome song (I think we were using "Flip Your Wig" as the test case) if it's played over the loudspeakers at a fast-food restaurant at a highway rest-stop (i.e., where all the straight guys go to have gay sex). I still think it does, which is why I would be embarrassed to be too closely associated with any of these books (but maybe I'm just a snob.)

Posted by The Gay Recluse | November 17, 2007 9:02 AM

@17 - the article I read mentioned this new tendency towards providing choices in restaurants too. The best example was someone being asked how they wanted their chicken cooked (WTF?! Umm, long enough to get rid of the salmonella, but not so long that it tastes like cardboards, please).

I've sort of been puzzling out this "more options" trends the last few days... what does this say about us? About customer service-related businesses? Are we so picky/high-maintenance now that businesses have just given up and said, here you pick?

I tend to go your route -- I go out to eat to relax and absolve myself of the need to make all those little decisions...

Posted by Julie | November 17, 2007 9:12 AM

My manager told me last night that some hotels are doing away with bibles all together, and replacing them with "personal gifts", such as condoms or lube.

We are not doing this, and all questions about it are to be directed to a manager, (we can't even say, "yes we have bibles in the rooms").

I have never understood putting bibles in hotel rooms. If someone is really interested in having one, wouldn't they travel with their book of choice? Maybe it is meant to discourage sinful activities, (no one ever goes to a hotel for such things, right).

I, personally, am all for putting condoms etc. in the rooms. Maybe it would cut down on stupid people breeding.

Posted by Anonymous hotel worker | November 17, 2007 4:16 PM

Dan! You are still in Portland??!!!???

I got a new job, so I could afford to take you out for a large coffee instead of a small one!!! :) If you move down to Portland, I could babysit for you! :) And, I'm a good babysitter too. Kids love me, because they don't normally hate fat people yet...depending on the age! :) Plus I am willing to participate in squirt gun fights with them! :)

Posted by Kristin Bell | November 18, 2007 3:13 PM

This reminds me of something I read about Ian Mackellen. Apparently he tears out and throws away "anti-gay pages" from the bibles he finds in hotel rooms. It made me laugh. I used to throw the the entire bible in the bin. Maybe variations on this practice are more common than we all thought and this is an (albeit more inclusive) response to such vandalism. If so, I hope they start including some real books. "The Wind in the Willows" contains more wisdom on one page than that entire pile of old crap supposedly "sacred" texts.

Posted by Alex | November 18, 2007 7:44 PM

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