Sunday, June 10, 2012
Catwoman Strikes Again at The Empress Hotel!!
There was no time - I had to work fast. Was my heart racing from all the chocolate I had earlier consumed (I won’t reveal how much), or was the anxiety from trying to stay cool, aloof, and part of the crowd all too much for me? It was becoming clear from the adrenaline rush of planning my covert, black bag operation, that maybe I was in over my head. But I had to push on.
With the stealth of Catwoman I slipped past the bellhops, stole up the stairs, and with a furtive look around – all the tourists were busy doing their own touristy things – I opened my bag. I wasn’t there to steal anything – quite the opposite. With no time to size-up the shelf for the best placement, I slipped in a few…books.
Dead drop completed, I had to get out – NOW.
Yes, I had made my way back, again, to The Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC. But this time I was on a mission; to make my mark, to be part of something unique, and to give back to the hotel which has given so much to me (the use of its washrooms).
As shown in my story, ‘Random Act of Reading’ (August 26, 2011), I found a reader-inscribed book on a sidewalk bench, and I couldn’t get the concept out of my head. Then when I stumbled up across a bookshelf at The Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, as shown in my story ‘A Book Nook and Tea’ from April 6, 2012, a plan was formed and I had my Catwoman suit drycleaned.
With too many books on my own shelves, it was time to purge. So I picked out four books, and wrote a note inside wishing the next reader a ‘happy read,’ with an encouragement to pass it on. I dated it and inscribed my email address. Heck, with all the tourists passing through the doors of The Empress Hotel, why not encourage international relations - kind of like being an ambassador!
So with my Catwoman suit underneath my clothes, I stole through the doors of The Empress Hotel, and left the four books on the Book Nook bookshelf. Mission accomplished, and with no time for sampling finger sandwiches - nor any time for a picture of my accomplished theatrics - I hightailed it outta there.
But my actions fed my obsessive ways. Would anyone take any books? I wondered about the books all night, and my curiosity got the better of me. I had to return.
With my Catwoman mask in my bag for luck (the suit stayed home – I had dribbled ketchup down the front of it), and a different hairdo and earrings than the day before (I didn’t want any of the bellhops to recognize me), I went back to see if any books had been taken.
And barely 24 hours had passed and two books were gone! Mission accomplished!
I snapped a picture and slipped past the bellhops, promising myself to return with more books. I waltzed past the bellhops as nonchalantly as I could, and headed back to the drycleaners.
With my freshly pressed Catwoman suit slung over my shoulder, the Victoria Harbour front before me bustling with tourists, I vowed to return with more books – and to find a cheaper way of cleaning the darn suit. I wonder if the hotel would pick-up the dry-cleaning tab?