THE BLOG
11/04/2010 12:20 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Kind Bellman Who Said Naughty Words

I arrived at an ancient inn in the heart of England, near Warwickshire. That morning I had visited the cathedral in Warwick, and I spent an afternoon at a cricket match, leaving more confused about the game than ever. I was ready to rest far from sticky wickets and cotton sweaters.

After I checked in at the inn's antique desk, I heard a whooping sound, then a shout, and a tall, pale man walked toward me, sneering. "Fuck you turd face! Can I help you miss?"

I wasn't sure I was hearing right.

"You have a nice rack there, miss. Let me take that bag for you."

A chin-challenged, dark-haired chap, smiling a toothy grin and twitching a bit, grabbed my suitcase and walked me down the hall. Then he opened the door to my guestroom and shouted at the top of his lungs, "I want your pussy!"

I realized by now that this hard-working man had Tourette's Syndrome, but in-between the hollering, tics and obscenities, he was kind and soft-spoken.

He explained, as he must have many times, that he wasn't able to get hired for another job, but that the owner of the hotel was his relative, willing to hire him. The bellman had gratefully worked at the elegant inn for years, and said that he never took the morning or night shifts so that he wouldn't disturb sleeping guests.

According to him most visitors were polite, curious, sympathetic and understanding about his condition, and chalked the whole thing up to English eccentricity. Plus, like me, they talked about the experience for years, which certainly didn't hurt business.

After the bellman pointed out the attributes of the room in both practical and pornographic turns, I tipped him heavily, as most folks probably did.

"Thank you kindly miss," he smiled and twitched as he closed the door. "Up your ass!"