Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Naked emergency

Weary after a restless night's sleep, I was standing in the hotel shower this morning, hoping it would work its magic.  Whenever I travel to Perth from Melbourne, I feel like the living dead.  I'm in a fog of weariness from the moment I arrive until the day after I return home.  There is a three hour time difference at the moment and it shouldn't be under estimated.  At 3:30am it feels like time to get up, but it isn't and then at 4pm you're ready for a pre dinner cocktail.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was in the shower.  Just as I was getting the hang of being upright I heard a beeping sound.  I soon realised that it was the alert tone - stage one of the hotel's evacuation system.

The alert tone means "stop what you're doing and prepare to evacuate".  In other words, be ready.  I didn't know how long I had, but I was covered in soap and exiting the shower would be more than just getting out.  I started to think through the logistics.

Firstly, the tiny towels.  Hotel towels (unless you're staying at a really expensive one) save money on towels by cutting the normal sized ones in half and pretending that it's a whole towel.  I knew that in an emergency situation like calmly walking down the fire stairs whilst dripping wet and covered in soap, the tiny towel would contribute nothing.  I needed to start drying now!

But I wasn't ready so I started to think through alternatives.  I could just get into yesterday's clothes without worrying about drying myself.  That could work, but the lack of underwear might be a problem.  I decided I could cross that bridge when I came to it.  I'd be wearing no underwear, so I'd just pray there was no one under the bridge and looking up. Or if there was that his name was George Clooney.

The beeping persisted.

I was certain that any minute I would hear the whooping of the evacuation tone.  I started to panic.  What about moisturiser?  I couldn't just leap out of the shower and then not moisturise!  I'd be like the Simpson Desert and need to use polyfiller to get my make up on later.  Speaking of which, the idea of being surrounded by half naked strangers before going through hair and makeup was not a great start to the day.

I decided to turn the shower off and start the moisturising.  At least I would be dewy on the way out!

I grabbed the tiny towel and worked it over my body with all the strength in my index finger.  I sighed and turned on the hair dryer instead.  It was quicker, but a bit uncomfortable in the tender areas and I used more body lotion that I ever have before.

The beeping stopped.  I waited for the whooping to start.  Nothing.  There was just silence.  I proceeded into hair and makeup and was ready to face the day.

Emergency averted.

It reminded me of fire drills at boarding school.  It was the only opportunity to see what the boarding house mistresses looked like in real life.  They'd be there in their dressing gowns, fumbling with a torch and a list of boarders on a windy winter's night at 3am when the temperature was about 10 degrees Celsius trying to elicit a response from contrary teenage girls assembled on the school oval in various states of undress.  But that's another story.

Have you ever been evacuated at an inconvenient moment?


  1. Wow! This is so funny I had to read it outloud to everyone around me!

  2. You poor thing! Glad you averted disaster ;)

  3. Me too! although where is George Clooney when you need him?