After a long, tiring trip, you arrive at a hotel. The desk clerk says you have no room, no reservation, though you know it was made weeks ago and was confirmed. But be assured the hotel will do all it can to find you space elsewhere.

This happened to a woman of 82 the other day when she arrived for a convention at one of Washington's foremost hotels (name known to me, but withheld to shield the guilty).

The woman was accompanied by her fifty-ish traveling companion, who had reserved a separate room.

The feisty 82-year-old would have none of the hotel's guff. She said she would sleep in the lobby.

And with that, she plopped down on a sofa.

By the account Metro Scene heard, the room clerk scurried back and forth to the management office and, after nearly two hours, announced: No rooms are available, but there's a suite that two can share, if willing, and be charged at the promised $70-a-night convention price.

Fine. But no bellhops were available.

The younger companion took a key, went to the suite and found that, with its fine Washington view, it included a living room, a writing room, a dining room, kitchen and pantry, one bedroom with an imperial-sized bed and a marble bathroom and a second bedroom with two queen-sized beds and a full bathroom.

The companion squinted incredulously at the price posted on the back of the door. The suite usually rented for $800 a night.

For $70 each, it turned out not to be half bad. But after the elderly woman's first bath, someone took away all the soap. Unbuckled

Cabdrivers, based on casual observation, seem largely to be ignoring the new D.C. law that requires both them and their front-seat passengers (like all front-seat motorists) to buckle their safety belts.

On Sunday, I traveled in one cab in which the driver wasn't fastened and he didn't say a word to me as I sat next to him. Frankly, I feared that the rolling bucket of bolts would fall apart long before we might hit somebody. (The deteriorating condition of many D.C. cabs is another story for another day.)

Later that day, I got into the front seat of another cab. The first thing that the driver -- himself buckled up -- told me politely but firmly was: "You've got to fasten your seat belt." A salute to Felton M. Fleetwood, who said he's been driving here for 34 years. Benefit Set

Upcoming: A golf tournament July 28 to raise money for Prince George's General Hospital. It will be held at Lake Arbor (formerly Newbridge) Country Club near the Capital Centre.

Professional sports figures scheduled to participate include Dave Christian of the Washington Capitals, Dudley Bradley and Dan Roundfield of the Washington Bullets, former Redskins Chris Hanburger and Larry Brown, former Green Bay Packer Willie Wood, former Washington Senators baseball player Chuck Hinton, former Bullet Greg Gallard and former Capitals Mike Patrick and Darren Vietch. Broadcast media figures also will participate.

It isn't cheap. Donations are $1,000 per twosome including lunch, golf, carts, an after-the-golf cocktail party and gifts. For information, call Regina Schewe at 556-0844.