Wait, you did WHAT in your hotel room?

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in a hotel room?

How about bring two monkeys? How about dying? How about both?

It actually happened a few weeks ago in North Port, Fla., where the body of Linda Smith was found with two capuchin monkeys.

It doesn’t get any stranger than that.

But I’m asking for a reason. This week’s top story is about the college kid who allegedly smoked in his room. The conflict between Joe Wilson and Marriott quickly turned unpleasant, and a hotel rep shooed him off with the threat, “Should you choose to remain and/or become hostel [sic] in any way, the Lowell Police will be called and you escorted off the property.”

Really, Marriott?

But then, nearly 80 percent of my readers sided with the hotel. You suggested that if Wilson didn’t smoke, maybe one of his roommates did.

Kids these days!

The problem of “nonsmokers” allegedly smoking in hotel rooms is not uncommon. Here’s a case from 2010. And here’s another one from 2013.

People do all kinds of things in their rooms. It goes way beyond smoking.

For example:

That doesn’t even scratch the surface of the things people do, not just to their rooms, but to each other, when they stay at the No-Tell Motel. Please don’t go there.

I admit, I’ve done some unpleasant things in hotel rooms, but they were pretty ordinary. I won’t go into detail because it’s still early in the day and I don’t want you to lose your breakfast. But I can tell you they involved diapers, hiking gear and a cat. (Those were separate incidents, in case you were wondering.) I always cleaned up the mess, though.

Related story:   "This is just the beginning of a much larger investigation"

There’s a takeaway from all these stories, and it’s an important one: It doesn’t really matter what you do — or don’t do — in your room. I can only imagine, and I don’t want to. What matters is that you will be judged against all of the guests who came before you, and all of the animals they brought with them, the joints they smoked, and the parties they threw.

You may be innocent. In fact, I may believe you’re innocent. But it’s what the hotel thinks that matters. And they may blame you for something despite the fact that it was the guests who came before you who actually did it.

I heeded the advice of my readers and am staying away from the Wilson case. Besides, it looks like he’s lawyering up for his fight against Marriott. But the next time I get one of these questions, maybe I’ll start by sharing a link to this story.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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