I had arrived very late in the evening at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino to set up a convention exhibit the next day. Fearing that my hotel room had been reassigned, I was delighted when the desk clerk told me that I had "scored a high-roller suite." I was going to be there for a week and, not being a gambler, was happy to have a refuge from the glitz.
The bellman showed me to the suite. The lights and TV were on, but I figured that was how they made the giant hotel seem homey.
After the bellman left, I immediately shed my clothes -- all of them -- and jumped into the king-size bed, exhausted. A headboard panel allowed me to turn out the lights and TV. As soon as the TV went off, I heard the sound of water running in a bathtub. I was too tired to move, thinking to myself, This place has very thin walls.
Suddenly, I heard footsteps in the room and an angry male voice crying out, "What the [expletive]!" I looked up and saw a figure in the shadows near the bed. In panic, I reached for the phone on the night table and called the front desk for help. Then I turned on the lights. Standing in front of me was a strange man wearing only a towel. We stared at each other, speechless, me still under the covers. A couple of security guards arrived.
I then learned that the room had been double-booked and was already occupied!
All ended well. I dressed in privacy and then was shown to an even more luxurious high-roller suite -- as the sole occupant this time. In the best tradition of Las Vegas, I was compensated with a free night's lodging and dinner the next evening.
I had avoided the glitz, but I sure got a show.
Jackie Z. Nicholson, Gaithersburg