Where’s Chevy Chase?

The plan for this morning was simple. Some time in the gym on the treadmill (half-marathon training doesn’t stop just cos I’m on my holidays – you have sponsored me, haven’t you?) followed by a few hours by the pool, enjoying the sunshine. I had my kindle to read and a ton of geeky podcasts to catch up on.

While on the treadmill, I looked out onto the pool area and watched hotel employees reorganise the poolside furniture. It was…worrying. They dragged everything into two distinct areas of the pool deck, separating the two spaces with coloured ropes. They then set up an outside bar and erected some classy “Coors Lite” flags.

As our hotel is right next to a major convention centre, I thought they were setting up a corporate event. Predictably, my first thought was: will I manage to get a lounger in the sun? Followed by the equally predictable: will there be a BBQ?

After a shower and spruce-up in our room, we came back down to the pool to find a kind of poolside apartheid system had been put in place. Some people had coloured rubber bands on their wrists, some didn’t. I quickly grabbed a couple of loungers in the sun and started getting comfortable. Just as I had figured out that only those with the coloured bands could be on the “other side” of the ropes, it started. The worst, loudest “party” music in the history of pool parties.

For that is what it was. The Hilton Hotel said so, in fact. They just neglected to tell any hotel guests that they had opened the pool deck to any Jersey Shore style resident of Quebec willing to pay $20 entrance and $10 per cocktail.

It was jaw-dropping.

It was like an anthropological field trip. I’ve never seen so many bad fake tans and tattoos in my life. And I live in London. Every girl enjoying hooker chic and every guy with an over-developed six pack and interestingly shaped facial hair in the whole of Quebec appears to have been there.

In short, the music and cocktails were acting like Canada’s largest douche-magnet.

It was like something out of an 80s movie. I half expected to see Chevy Chase or Rodney Dangerfield jumping into the pool at any moment.

We managed just over two hours of it, all the time the music getting louder. It got to the stage where I was re-reading whole paragraphs of my book due to the intrusive thumping base and distraction of bleached teeth and misspelled tattoos.

With a mutually understood nod of the head, we packed up and left the deck. White trash descended on our loungers like vultures. Back in our room, three floors up, we could still hear the music so we opted for a walk in the park. On the way out, I mentioned to one of the receptionists that we felt we had to leave due to “the pool party?” she finished my sentence, raising her eyes to heaven.

I got the feeling we weren’t the first to mention it this morning. She promised to pass on our feedback (suitably toned down, obviously… I promise you I didn’t mention the word douchebag once) and then promised us some free drinks by way of an apology for the annoyance.

Yes, it’s just that easy to buy my agreement and placate me. I’m enjoying one of the drinks right now. The douches are filing out of the building (it ends at 6pm) and the sun is still shining. So it’s not all bad.

Except for the fact that I now realise I am officially an old fart. That and the fact that everyone else there had better abs than me.

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