Last week I stayed at a Marriott in Pleasanton, CA. Yes, there is a town named Pleasanton, about 25 miles east of Oakland. Pleasanton provides quick access to Lathrop, where, as a board member, I was evaluating developing a 750,000 square foot distribution center. I am paid generously for board work but resent the lack of esteem and praise that I receive as a job creator. I console myself with thoughts of happy employees finding fulfilling careers at a regional distribution center.
At the Marriott my bedding complement began with three "Euro Shams." A Euro Sham is not a pretentious French intellectual. A Euro Sham is a superfluous pillow that is placed on the headboard in back of the pillow you might sleep on. A Euro Sham has a flange, which is the few inches of fabric that extends beyond the pillow on the outer edges. I know all this because I just looked it up.
You could label the Euro Sham either decorative or insidious. I prefer the later since I throw them on the floor and trip on them when getting up in the middle of the night.
Three King Size pillows supplemented the Euro Shams. Until researching this story, I did not understand that pillows came in King and Queen sizes. I learned that I have spent most of my life a few steps down in peerage, sleeping on Viscount- or Marquis-sized pillows. At the Marriott, I threw two King pillows on the floor to cushion the fall caused by the Euro Shams or vice-versa.
Marriott also provided a tubular bolster pillow that looked like something to use in an exercise routine. Tossed on the floor, the bolster pillow's rolling action can produce leg strains, dislocations, and fractures when tripped on.
At the end the bed was something I now know to be a "bed scarf." Perhaps it keeps the bed's neck warm. Checking the internet, I found that a bed scarf has no use other than possibly doubling as an Oriental throw, whatever that is. This will relieve my future guilt when I throw the bed scarf on the floor.
So far the score for Marriott accessorizing my bed is: Useful items (one): Pillow. Useless and dangerous items (seven): Three Euro Shams, two King pillows, one bolster pillow, one bed scarf.
Finally we have the duvet enclosing a down comforter. This would be essential for Arctic expeditions, altitudes above 20,000 feet, or anywhere temperatures range from 0° to -40° F. Unless your hotel air conditioning can produce these temperatures, the duvet will roast you at 325°. You will be ready to serve in four hours.
The options are: Remove the down comforter from the duvet. Stuff the duvet with damp towels, dirty laundry and the Bed Scarf to achieve an acceptable temperature. (After half a bottle of wine and stiff cognac, I find this an impossible task. ) Cover part of your body with the duvet. For example, let the top half freeze while bottom sweats. Though in constant pain, your temperature, on average, is fine.
Travel with your own blankets. Marriott is not unique. Virtually every hotel I visit provides the same bedding complement. How can free market completion result in such abysmal and costly accommodations? Mencken has the answer. "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."
Apparently, there even Euro Shamists who want to replicate the Marriott décor in their own homes. At shopmarriott.com you can buy for $2,925 the complete Marriott bed set including: 1 Mattress & Boxspring Set, 1 Synthetic Mattress Topper, 1 Down Comforter, 1 JW Duvet Cover, 2 Feather & Down Pillows, 1 Pillowcase Pair (300 thread-count, 60/40 cotton/poly), 3 Euro Pillows (3 for King, 2 for Queen), 3 JW Euro Shams (3 for King, 2 for Queen), 1 Flat Sheet (300 thread-count, 60/40 cotton/poly blend), 1 Fitted Sheet (300 thread-count, 60/40 cotton/poly blend), 1 JW Accent Pillow, and 1 Bedazzle Bed Skirt.
Perhaps I will start a business selling and stocking honor minibars for those who want to experience full Euro Shametry in their own bedroom.
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