Monday, May 15, 2006

A brush with royalty

It really is good to be the king.

Here at our hotel in North Carolina, where we continue to reside while conducting important business, the king of Qatar paid a visit for a couple days.

On Saturday morning, the place was crawling with men in dark suits who had tiny wires positioned near their ear holes.

Right off, I knew something was up.

"Is somebody important staying here," I asked one of the guys in dark suits.

"I really can't say," he replied, hurrying into the hotel's back door, which was propped open with a door stop.

That door is never propped open.

Aha, I concluded. So somebody important is staying here.

Upon further investigation, I found out who.

The king of Qatar. He even was staying on our floor.

Turns out his daughter was graduating from Duke last weekend. He was there as the proud papa.

According to information on the Internets, the king himself is a Dukie, and so are a couple of his other children.

I always had heard it was good to be the king, and it turns out that being a member of the king's entourage also is a good thing, though there could conceivably be a lot of pressure associated with the job.

At one point this weekend, a member of the king's entourage made a simple request of a hotel staff member. The task was done in a matter of seconds and required very little expenditure of energy or anything remotely close to what any of us would consider "trouble."

The king's lackey then forked over a $50 bill as a tip.

The hotel employee was so shocked at the size of the gratuity that the tip was declined with a wave of the hand.

Now that was a mistake, if you ask me.

Qatar has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. And we're all paying around 3 bucks for a gallon of gas. Take the money. Say thank-you, but take the money, is my advice.

Fifty bucks would fill your vehicle's tank completely full of gasoline. It might not fill our tank if you drive a pickup and buy premium fuel, but it'd come close to filling it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe the young doll behind the desk accepted the $50 tip, but she still felt guilty. After hearing the bellmen complain about breaking a sweat over all the kings luggage and not getting tipped she split it with them!