Written by Joe Janes
201 of 365
(Lights up on Horatio behind the front desk of a high-end hotel. Emma approaches in a bathrobe and slippers. She looks pissed. )
(Emma slaps down two pieces of paper onto the counter top. One right after the other. And then folds her arms.)
HORATIO (continuing)Can I help you?
EMMA (pointing to one bill)Last night, I got a hamburger and fries from room service. It was expensive. $22. Okay. It’s a fancy hotel, it’s room service, it’s adorable little glass bottles of ketchup and mustard. It’s 100% Angus beef, which doesn’t score points with me because Angus beef is just one consonant away from being anus beef. Ew. Fine. Whatever. $22. I get it. (Points to other bill) This morning, I ordered a danish and a cup of coffee. $22.
EMMADoesn’t that seem a little off to you, even for a “fancy” hotel like the Hyatt? (Horatio looks confused) Burger and fries, twenty-two dollars. Danish and coffee, one danish, one coffee, also twenty-two dollars.
HORATIOSo, you think you were overcharged for the danish and coffee?
EMMA (biting tongue)Ya’ think?
HORATIOLet me check on something. (He looks something up on a computer.) Ah. I think I know what happened.
EMMAI was overcharged.
HORATIONo. The price is accurate. You did the “hang the breakfast menu on the doorknob before going to bed” thingy, right?
EMMASure. I did the “thingy.”
HORATIOWell, that costs more because you’re not only ordering food; you’re ordering the specific time for the breakfast to be delivered. And it comes with a newspaper and a “pot” of coffee.
EMMAPot of coffee? That “pot” was only slightly bigger than the bottle of ketchup from last night. It was a pot of coffee masquerading as a cup of coffee.
HORATIO (looking at screen)Our pots of coffee are 12 ounces.
EMMAA Grande at Starbucks is 16 ounces. And, yes, I know that.
HORATIORegardless. When you take away the tax and service, your “pot” of coffee was only six dollars.
EMMAWell, (looks at his name tag) Horatio, if that’s your real name, six dollars is outrageous. It’s hot water passed through a bean. It’s not a latte, it’s not a cappuccino, it’s just plain coffee. It hasn’t been anointed in oil, pooped out of the butt of some endangered mountain lion, or brewed with liquid gold. It’s just Maxwell House and tap water.
HORATIOUh, 100% Arabica beans.
EMMAMaxwell House and tap water. For it to be worth six bucks, it would have to be delivered on a white horse ridden by a naked Brad Pitt who rubs my feet while I sip it slowly. And even then, it would need to be 70% Arabica beans, 10% ecstasy, and 20% surefire stock tips.
HORATIOYou know, since this is your first time staying with us, why don’t I go ahead and comp this morning’s breakfast.
HORATIOWould you like the same breakfast for tomorrow?
EMMAFor $22? (Horatio nods) Yes.
(She exits. Horatio puts the order into the computer. She quickly returns.)
EMMAWait. No danish.