As some of you may remember, years ago and once upon reaching maximum boredom during a flight, I decided to start a list of all hotel/motels that I had ever stayed in. The list, mind you, now has 700 plus entries of discrete stays and discrete hotels. Multiple stays of multiple nights were not included. And scanning back through them provide a wonderful memory stimulus.
This one was in the late '80's. I left Denver on Sunday, flew to Raleigh for a Monday meeting and flew to Seattle Tuesday PM. Both connections were through Chicago and both went unreasonably well. In fact, I got upgraded to FC all the way through, so when I arrived in Seattle around 9PM I wasn't in bad shape. I rented a car and drove directly to the downtown Sheraton, one of the best hotels in the world based on its ability to provide super room service, rapid valet park and reservations and/or tickets to almost any restaurant/event in Seattle. Yes Virginia, people and service always make the difference. By 10PM I was in my room, and outside of the 21 hour day, in excellent shape.
Then, as I unpacked I discovered that my London Fog tan topcoat was not mine. Somehow I had swapped coats with someone else. My 42 had become a 46.
Now some of you may find such a thing an indication that I had helped myself to more than my share of the Adult Beverages served between Chicago and Seattle. I assure you that might have been true, but even I could have noticed a coat with two inch longer sleeves and wrapping halfway around my waist. I had carried it rather than worn it. The problem was the coat. At that time the London Fog top coat was the accepted standard for Road Runner wear. Able to shed rain and snow it only attracted dirt and smut which cleaning three times a winter made more or less presentable.
I immediately called UAL and was connected to their Lost and Found at SeaTac. And upon explaining my problem the voice at the other end said:
"Yes. Another passenger has called with the same problem and left this number."
The number was the Sheraton.
I called the front desk, gave the guest's name, was connected and discovered that my coat was three doors down.
So we swapped coats. All's well that end's well, eh??
About three days later I found a pack of Salem cigarettes in one of the pockets. I smoked at that time, but not Salem. I have always wondered if the third person ever figured out he had someone elses' coat.