Somewhat Irrational Fears – Murder at Marriott

Somewhat Irrational Fears - Murder at the Marriott Stacey Gustafson

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Some people have irrational fears, like fear of heights, spiders or public speaking. When it hits, survival instincts kick in and we go from calm to paranoid in a microsecond. My phobia was scelerophobia, fear of burglars, bad men or crime in general. This causes me to check and recheck hotel locks. Constantly being vigilant can be exhausting.

Since I usually go out of town with my husband, I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to overnight travel, but one thing I understand perfectly is personal safety. My accommodations at the Marriott in Dayton, Ohio for the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop had all the essential amenities, free shampoo, complementary breakfast and no husband or kids. Hotel locks upon initial inspection appeared in working order.

Don’t Forget to Double Check Doors

In the evening, before I snuggled down into the plush duvet and prepared to hog the entire bed, I double-checked the door locks one last time. Chain in place, check. Deadbolt activated, check. Wait a minute. When I turned the deadbolt to the right, nothing happened. No little click. Nada. I kept turning and checking, waiting for the distinctive click. I even opened the door and stared at the outline of a deadbolt nub on the doorjamb. Why won’t this stupid thing pop out?

I walked around the bed, grabbed the phone, and called the operator. The other end of the phone line made a buzz rather than the familiar ring tone. D.E.A.D.

Not Falling For This One

I’m no dummy. I read a lot of murder mystery books and know the ending to this scene. Someone’s waiting in the hallway to murder me. Not falling for this one.

Since it was 10:00 p.m., well past the time management could fix my problem, I decided to barricade the door with an end table, ice bucket and the Holy Bible.

Take that, bad guy.

Somewhat Irrational Fears - Murder at the Marriott Stacey Gustafson

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In the morning, I contacted the front desk. “Excuse me. My deadbolt is broken and the phone doesn’t work. Do you think maintenance could repair it by the time I return from the workshop.”

“No problem,” he said.

Just an attempt to lull me into a false sense of security.

‘Friendly Note’

This continued for two more nights. By the third day, I received a gift basket filled with a bottle of wine, chips and snack bars. Plus a friendly note.

Good morning Ms. Gustafson. I wanted to let you know that we had Adam from our engineering department look at your phone and dead bolt are both are working order so you will be safe from the Grandpa Big Foot. Now the deadbolt works a little differently than the standard dead bolt as this one is electronic, so when you turn the lock it will activate the dead bolt that is already out, so you will not hear the ‘click’ when it locks. For the phone you will need to press the talk or speaker button, and then dial the number. You won’t hear a dial tone or anything until after the number has been dialed and it starts ringing.

P.S. I thoroughly look forward to reading, Are You Kidding Me? And passing it on to my special someone once I get my hands on a copy.

Suffice it to say, I’m not really sure what happened. Maybe it was a case of user error or Grandpa Big Foot? You can never be too safe.

Actual Amazon Reviews for Ninja Grappling Hook Will Blow Your Mind Stacey GustafsonLooking for a good read?
Are You Kidding Me?: My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is available on Amazon and eBooks. It’s filled with stories about crazy families, holiday chaos, school disasters and more. Hoping to make you laugh one story at a time. Get your copy now!! Click to purchase on Amazon.

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  1. You are so funny! That sounds like something I would do, too.

  2. I love a good anxiety story turned hilarious. This was great!

  3. Ha! That is so me! Whenever I travel alone, I lock all the doors (heaven forbid their should be a sliding door out to a balcony!) then drag a heavy piece of furniture in front of the door to at least buy me some time in case of an intruder. Maybe long enough to dash out the slider and dial 911 on my cell! >:-0

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