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So Long, Gideon. Hello, An Inconvenient Truth

May 2, 2007

California Hotels Go Green With Low-Flow Toilets, Solar Lights

By Ari Levy and Carole Zimmer

April 27 (Bloomberg) — Visitors to the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa won’t find the Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer. Instead, on the bureau will be a copy of “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s book about global warming.

They’ll also find the Gaia equipped with waterless urinals, solar lighting and recycled paper as it marches toward becoming California’s first hotel certified as “green,” or benevolent to the environment. Similar features are found 35 miles south at San Francisco’s Orchard Garden Hotel, which competes for customers with neighboring luxury hotels like the Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont.

I’ll miss the Gideon bibles. I know Global Warming is also a religion and all, but still. That was always the first thing for which I checked upon entering a hotel room because I’ll be damned if I don’t get everything I paid for. That, and the sad little 3 sheet thick notepad. I’ve lost an easy, stand-by joke as well. The old pull out the bible, point and snicker and wiggle your eyebrows like a lecher while asking “Shall we peruse the passages on fornication?”or “Guess we won’t be needing this tonight, heh heh” or something just as cringe-worthy along those lines. (Please tell me that isn’t just me. If it is, be kind and politely avert your eyes.) Man, I’m so going to hell. Which I now picture as being stuck on a bio-diesel bus in perpetuity with Laurie David, Sheryl Crow, Al Gore and one roll of toilet paper among us.

It’s changes like this that make me feel old and reminiscent for times past. It started with the demotion of Pluto. I started imagining the hurling of insults like “You are so old that in your day Pluto was a planet”. Which led me to start thinking of other things from the good old days. Like celebrities.

Remember when things like Hanoi Jane Fonda were a one-off? A huge deal that was discussed for literally YEARS. Other celebrities would get drunk or stoned and make a fool of themselves on occasion, causing mass snickering and fervor due, in part, to the novelty of it. Now, it is a daily event and I can no longer work up any enthusiasm for it. Sooo last decade.

Like little black books. The discovery of a Madam and a little black book used to be reason for great excitement. Now, who cares? The DC Madam’s book has, so far, uncovered some loser in the State Dept whom no one knows. I had to invent my own version of a page from the DC Madam’s book just to interest myself in the story. The page in my head contains notes of special requests from men who are into paradox. Or irony. I get those two confused. Part of my page looks like this:

Tom Tancredo: standing order for a Mexican “masseuse”.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Likes to role-play as a Republican.
Bill Clinton: NOT a customer.
Ted Kennedy: requests Teetotalers only.
Harry Reid: prefers to dress as a baby……… Wait, that one is true, I think.

Gone also are the days of shock over the discovery of a female teacher having an affair with a young male student. Today, it is a given. And they don’t even have to marry the lads afterwards. (trailblazer Mary Kay Letourneau is kicking herself black and blue for breaking that glass ceiling a few years too soon). No more glorious, self-righteous indignation over a fallen man of the cloth either. Lord how I miss Jimmy Swaggart, tears running streaks through his make-up, hands in the air howling “Forgive me. I have sinned”. Today, it isn’t just a simple tryst in a hotel room with a woman. Far too much information is given now, which makes it a tad bit gross and no longer funny. Or at least not as funny.

Which brings me back, sort of, to the Bible. And hotels.

Thank you for your years of quiet service, Gideon. I’ll remember you fondly. I’m now off to listen to my Walkman (an early ipod, for those born after 1980) and wax melancholy over the loss of music that just was and whose most daring political statement was Like a Virgin. Or else lay outside sunning, imagining life before tanning was deemed not good for you. I can’t decide which.

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