The Torture of It All

The Torture of It All

A Russian prisoner makes up beds inside a high-security prison camp in Siberia in 2013.

Photo: Reuters.

Cars & Bars is a storytelling series compiling specific moments, mundane and exotic, from my work as a valet and bartender.


It was my high school English teacher, Mrs. Barber, who first introduced me to the term hyperbole. Hyperbole is, as you may know, the use of exaggeration as a figure of speech or rhetorical device.

In fact, what I'm gonna say right now may sound like an exaggeration. But, believe me: it's not. I literally love hyperbole.

Of course, occasionally, or more than occasionally, words get a little lost in between language and meaning. Reality gets distorted. We begin to lose sight of where we are in any given moment.

Take, for instance, the verbatim comments of actual guests at the mid-luxury hotel where I fetch cars. Below, I've juxtaposed a few of these comments against, well, more literal news.


Guest #1 says:

The bed backed up to the elevator shafts so it sounded like the wind was tearing off the side of the building.

In other news:

A lady wearing a pink shirt is calling from Minnesota. She has a property she'd like to show you.

Also, her overnight bed-and-breakfast rates have dropped considerably, if you're interested in a Midwest destination experience. 

Locals begin to pick up the pieces in Wadena, Minnesota, in 2010, after a tornado swept through.

Photo: AP/Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey.


Guest #2 says:

Bed was extremely uncomfortable...it felt like the bed of a prisoner.

In other news:

I can't get a legally definitive word from most Western governments or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), but I don't think hotel accommodations fall under the Geneva Conventions.

However, Boris says there are at least a few available bedsbeside himin Siberia.

He advises to pack light, bring a first-aid kit for minor scrapes and bruises, and start following and re-tweeting Vladimir Putin on Twitter. Or else.

A Russian prisoner makes up beds inside a high-security prison camp in Siberia in 2013.

Photo: Reuters.


Guest #3 says:

The shower pressure is too hard. It really beats you to death.

In other news:

In Afghanistan, on March 19, 2015, a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda, a volunteer teacher and student of Islamic law, dared to challenge the caretaker of a local shrine in Kabul. She said it was un-Islamic for him to sell "good luck" charms and contribute to the people's ongoing superstition.

The caretaker proceeded to falsely accuse Farkhunda, saying, "She has burned the Quran!" Within minutes, she was pulled out of the shrine by an angry mob, kicked, beaten with sticks, eventually run over by a car and dragged along the road, then stoned and finally burned to finish things off.

But about that shower pressure...

Afghan activists re-enact the killing of Farkhunda in a demonstration in Kabul in April 2015.

Photo: Reuters.


Improving Guest Performance through Hidden Chemicals

Improving Guest Performance through Hidden Chemicals

The Moral of the Story...

The Moral of the Story...