Assault on the Minibar
October 26, 2011 6:43 PM   Subscribe

"Assault on the Minibar" - an essay in The Paris Review by Dubravka Ugresic
posted by Trurl (22 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You know, I have thoroughly enjoyed some of Dubravka Ugresic's books, and I found this piece enjoyable and lightly informative until I got to this:

The minibar is also a kind of temple, a place where we come face-to-face with the metaphysical.

And then:

In my native language the word “minibar” contains a number of other words. Two of them are critical here: rab or rob, which means “slave,” and mina, which means “mine”—as in “land mine.”

I'm pretty well indoctrinated into the world of letters and all of its goofy conceits, but sometimes these intellectual gymnastics go face-first into the mat.
posted by mykescipark at 7:14 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

I have no doubt that locking the minibar is a clever psychological trick to condition hotel guests to open a damn hotel account in the future but most of this is plate of bean analysis.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:19 PM on October 26, 2011

Then there's this assault on a minibar.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 PM on October 26, 2011

i agree but when i attack a minibar that shit gets emptied

no half steppin son
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:07 PM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]

At the hotel I'm currently staying at, they helpfully gave me a $10 coupon to the minibar when I checked in. But, less kindly, they failed to supply a price list of what the stuff in the minibar actually costs, despite multiple requests for it. I'm pretty confident now that the reason is because nothing in there is less than ten bucks.

Sneaky buggers. If I want a drink I'll do it like God intended: in a dark corner of the hotel bar.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:09 PM on October 26, 2011

As a perpetual student, I just bring my own alcohol, place the dainty bottles and microscopic bags of chips on the desk next to the tv, and pop my own stuff into the fridge to cool. I'm quite particular about my alocohol in any event.
posted by flippant at 8:28 PM on October 26, 2011

This reminded me of that old Jack Handy quip: "Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Basically, it's made up of two separate words — "mank" and "ind." What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind."
posted by GilloD at 8:28 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Drinking in a hotel bar is all well and good so long as you're on an expense account that can absorb $12 well drinks without a bunch of shrieking, but once you become the kind of person that does that regularly, there is no corner of one dark enough that some fucker will not corner you for an hour and talk your ear off about why his sales territory is drawn unfairly or the partner on his project is an asshole.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:32 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

Even if you didn't care for this piece--and it's not the best thing she's written, for sure--I would still recommend you check out The Culture of Lies. It's one of the most lucid books about the collapse of Yugoslavia that I've read.
posted by Rangeboy at 9:39 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I, too, am particular about my alocohol
posted by mannequito at 10:25 PM on October 26, 2011

I haven't read such a terrible piece by such a terrific writer in quite a while. Guess I won't be picking up the new book this sad little squib is excerpted from.
posted by RogerB at 10:28 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

This guy is suffering from a serious case of Too Much Money. I think the medical term is hyperpera
posted by delmoi at 10:40 PM on October 26, 2011

What a dreadfully self-important article about nothing.
posted by LarryC at 11:57 PM on October 26, 2011

Doesn't everyone just buy beer at a local store for a fraction of the price, and use the minibar to cool it?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:32 AM on October 27, 2011

So, getting back to the hotel I mentioned at the start, this is my confession: I launched the assault on the minibar in room 513. I wrestled it into the bathroom. I defaced it with the hotel key, scratching Death to the Minibar! into its smooth surface. I threw it in the bath tub, and I turned on the tap.

So locked-up minibars are an offense against humanity, but willful destruction of property is a-okay. All righty, then.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:37 AM on October 27, 2011

I was hoping it'd be about a different minibar.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:26 AM on October 27, 2011

Back in the 70s, during sci-fi conventions, the minibar was a hotel bathtub full of ice. Things got rowdy fast. Do you know what a comic bag full of water hitting the pavement dropped from the 25th floor of the Commodore Hotel looks like?

I didn't think so.
posted by Splunge at 5:40 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Huh. I stay in hotels regularly for work, but I haven't seen a minibar in years. Maybe they don't have them in Canada.
posted by fimbulvetr at 5:58 AM on October 27, 2011

Slightly disappointed. My fault; thought it was an article about Babylon 5.

And in answer to Splunge, yes, I do know what a bag full of water tossed from an upper floor during a con looks like AND sounds like.

A bunch of them at once looks like fireworks!

I also know what toaster pastries pressed between two pieces of aluminum foil and warmed by an iron taste like; ditto with ramen cooked in the room's coffee pot.
posted by Bindyree at 6:09 AM on October 27, 2011

Good times. ;0
posted by Splunge at 6:59 AM on October 27, 2011

Any hotel I've ever stayed in was swank enough that it was near an actual liquor store, or as mentioned above a decent bar. To me a minibar seems like the ultimate in immediate and unreasoning gratification - i.e. if you need a tiny bottle of booze or smidgen of crappy junk food so RIGHT NOW that you can't go out and find it yourself to avoid paying an arm and a leg for it, then it's time for some sort of intervention.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:59 AM on October 27, 2011

Any hotel with a minibar, I meant... I should know better than to post pre-coffee by now...
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:00 AM on October 27, 2011

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