Hotel Graffiti
July 29, 2013 5:25 PM   Subscribe

If you're reading this it's already too late... Hiding messages in hotels since 2006. By David Bussell. [Via]
posted by homunculus (57 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
I like this one.
posted by homunculus at 5:26 PM on July 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


I knew you would. I saw this earlier today and I was going to post it, but I had to take the chance that you would do the honors. Now if I could just get this lucky with the fucking lotto.
posted by NoMich at 5:34 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, "back in the day", I used to carry glow-in-the-dark chalk with me, and would often decorate hotel room walls (which are nearly ALWAYS white) with drawn-on doors or light rays coming from around the lamps or whatever else came to mind.

I never saw the results of my little escapades, but always imagined they would somehow charm or thrill a subsequent guest in that room.

(Bonus: chalk is non-permanent, so I never felt I was actually creating harm.)
posted by hippybear at 5:36 PM on July 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


Once in my sordid younger days I left a joint in a Gideon's bible in some cheap motel in Minnesota.
I thought this was hilarious at the time. Now I am not so sure.
posted by dougzilla at 5:39 PM on July 29, 2013


...chalk is non-permanent...

Assuming anyone ever wipes hotel room walls.

Great idea, though. Maybe try it in the kids' room. Or on the outside walls. The road would probably be illegal.
posted by DU at 5:42 PM on July 29, 2013


Well, there's a difference between "this is non-permanent" and "this never got cleaned up".
posted by hippybear at 5:48 PM on July 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'd love to find something like this, but then again I would hesitate to get that intimately involved with my motel room during the search.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:49 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


If hidden messages appeared on my motel room walls I would have a different reaction cause I have spent hours and hours of my life watching paranormal proceedurals.
posted by The Whelk at 5:51 PM on July 29, 2013 [12 favorites]




I'd love to find something like this, but then again I would hesitate to get that intimately involved with my motel room during the search.

I rarely flip pictures over or anything, but I do regularly search hotel rooms, especially ones with odd ledges and stuff. I have found a non-miniscule amount of drugs hidden in hotel rooms over the years. Fun times.
posted by hippybear at 5:55 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm now looking forward to working "hot zoo garbage" into a conversation.
posted by davebush at 5:56 PM on July 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's something of a tradition in our family, when we used to travel around the country and stay at motels, to leave our names and dates in the inevitable Good News Bible found in the second drawer of the bedside table. I seem to recall, long ago, that we actually stumbled across one that my father had signed many years before.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:57 PM on July 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm now looking forward to working "hot zoo garbage" into a conversation.

It's very easy if you frequent the right venues.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:11 PM on July 29, 2013




I knew you would. I saw this earlier today and I was going to post it, but I had to take the chance that you would do the honors.

Remind me never to play poker with you. ;)
posted by homunculus at 6:18 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


A favorite hobby of mine while staying in various crappy motels around BC has been to 'modify' the ugly thrift shop artwork on the walls collage-style. I stayed in one room three years apart and was delighted to see that the turkey vulture I'd added in to the edge of a family picnic scene was still there.
posted by mannequito at 6:22 PM on July 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


The ratio of juvenile & obnoxious to clever & funny was unfortunately high. :(
posted by edheil at 6:28 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Still no "Bango Skank was here" to be found... I am dissapoint.
posted by Iosephus at 6:28 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


In college I would roll out yards of toilet paper, leave a funny note on a few squares and then carefully roll it back up.

The best was when I wrote "Jizz on me!" on the tp and rolled it back up. Hours later my neighbor found it and ripped it out to save it. He came walking down the hallway, incapacitated with laughter. He had stopped to wash his hands, so the squares of toilet paper he wanted to show to everybody were soggy. He kept saying, "it says 'Jizz on me!'" and offering to show it to everyone on the hall, but *nobody* wanted to look.
posted by peeedro at 6:29 PM on July 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's very easy if you frequent the right venues.

The Central American Zoological Janitorial Convention?
posted by elsietheeel at 6:30 PM on July 29, 2013


My brain was running with another definition of "zoo", but yeah, that works too.
posted by hippybear at 6:43 PM on July 29, 2013


I'm staying in a hotel room tomorrow night. Perhaps I shall take a Sharpie with me.
posted by slogger at 6:48 PM on July 29, 2013


I am ashamed (and stupid enough) to admit that I laughed at this one.

Don't hate on me. I've had a hard day. Tequila makes things inappropriately funny.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:49 PM on July 29, 2013


I left a glow in the dark chalk greeting for my brother, over his bed. It was so faint that he thought he was seeing things. It was only when I reached up and wiped it off the ceiling that he realized he'd been pranked - about 15 years before.
posted by wotsac at 7:09 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Story of Easter is the most unforgettable bit in here for my money.
posted by graymouser at 7:10 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]




I once read a story that Jack White, when he worked as a furniture upholsterer, used to write poems on the frames of couches and lounge chairs and such - poems he assumed only other upholsterers would ever read - even going so far as to put record albums in the furniture. I sorta wish he never told anybody, to preserve the mystery of such an act, and also because can you imagine how many second-hand living room sets all over the greater Midwest area were subsequently torn apart after this got out?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:28 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I really want to pull this iphone prank.
posted by orme at 7:35 PM on July 29, 2013


The handwriting looks the same in all of those. I think the photographer is doing the vandalism.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:36 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I ran into a much gentler version of this once...

I once stayed in Deetjen's, a little inn/b-n-b/lodging/little magic cottage thing in Big Sur. I was going up the coast, mostly staying in youth hostels, but splurged on one night here - in the cheapest room they had, which was just a twin bed in a tiny little room that had only room for the bed and a set of cupboards and that was it. None of the rooms had TVs - but all of the rooms had blank books in which people were encouraged to write notes.

It was a foggy night, so after dinner I curled up in the room to read other people's writings - and was already getting blown away by what I was reading (solo travelers often travel for heartbreaking/introspective reasons). But I noticed after a while that several of the entries were saying either "look in the teapot" or "look behind the little girl's smile". I had no clue what they were talking about - until I happened to glance up at the rafters, and saw that a small brass teapot was perched up there. I pulled it down and opened it - and found it stuffed full of fortune cookie fortunes, quotes written on scraps of paper, gumball machine prizes, and other tiny trinkets. After a gleeful few minutes' sorting through it all, I wondered "okay, what about 'the little girl's smile'?" - and then noticed, hanging over the bed, was a framed antique photo of a little girl holding flowers. I took it off the wall - and still more quotes from more people were written all over the back.

And that sent me on a completely delightful ten-minute Easter Egg hunt all through that little room - I was opening every cupboard, looking inside every vase or under every sculpture, jumping up on the bed to check all the other rafters, looking under the covers and between the mattresses, to see what other treats other people may have left for me. But that was it - so I wrote my own quote on the back of the photo and wrote something on a scrap of napkin for the teapot before settling back into the book.

More hotels should have fun messages from other travelers before you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:41 PM on July 29, 2013 [38 favorites]


It's something of a tradition in our family, when we used to travel around the country and stay at motels, to leave our names and dates in the inevitable Good News Bible found in the second drawer of the bedside table.

I like to write "Thomas Jefferson slept here" on the inside cover and then take a pair of scissors and excise all the supernatural bullshit, leaving only the good stuff about loving your neighbor and giving alms to the poor and whatnot.

Then I steal all the towels, because if God doesn't exist, all things are permitted.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:07 PM on July 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


I like to write "Thomas Jefferson slept here" on the inside cover and then take a pair of scissors and excise all the supernatural bullshit, leaving only the good stuff about loving your neighbor and giving alms to the poor and whatnot.

Poor form. The Bible has double-sided pages, so in excising the part about stoning your wife to death because she once looked at a vase, you've also left somebody without the critical closing lines required to make the Ten Commandments useful. "'Thou shalt not' what? What? Oh God I need a tiny drink."

And that's how Leaving Las Vegas started.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:25 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


My wife told me that when they were on a band trip in high school, they put reflector tape on the back of the curtains before they left, saying something like "Need sex now. Call [room #'s extension]"
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 8:25 PM on July 29, 2013


I've drawn monsters and naked women in the bibles, but that's pretty much the extent of my shenanigans.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:30 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Once in my sordid younger days I left a joint in a Gideon's bible in some cheap motel in Minnesota.
I thought this was hilarious at the time. Now I am not so sure



Thanks, man.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:32 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


louche smoked it and started drawing monsters and naked women.
posted by hippybear at 8:34 PM on July 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


In the bedside table drawer of some motel, somewhere in the world, is a half-excised Bible containing drawings of boobs and dragons, secret mystery puzzle messages about a cookie cache somewhere in the room, a forgotten fifty used as a bookmark, with a joint somewhere in the Thessalonians (which is a bit of a drag) and a number to call for sex. It is the fabled Panglossian Bible, or "best of all possible Bibles".

Dad's name is in the front though, so if you find it, this Bible is technically part of my inheritance.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:43 PM on July 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Related: Secret Wall Tattoos from an old post I remember - Just when you thought it was safe in your hotel room...
posted by unliteral at 9:03 PM on July 29, 2013


When I was in Guam on business a few years ago, I spotted the bible in a drawer. It was the first time in many years that I'd been in a hotel, so I decided to have fun while I ate my pizza bites.
Guam, being a popular tourist destination for the Japanese, inspired me to write, in Japanese, "everything in this book is a lie, but if you read it, you'll at least get to learn a bunch of relatively useless but interesting vocabulary."

I think I then chose a page at random and drew a penis with a smiley face on it.
Good times.
posted by GoingToShopping at 9:07 PM on July 29, 2013


I spent a year at Berry College ca. 1981. One afternoon one of the guys in our dorm (Dana, if anyone who has spent time there is around) was lying in his bed under the window and looked up to see "Why are you reading this?" carefully written on the underside of the windowsill. Shortly thereafter one of the administrators did something that pissed us off (I don't even recall what it was now, but it seemed like a big deal at the time). Inspired by the recent discovery of that mysterious graffito, we retaliated by writing crude insults in all sorts of hidden places, such as the bottoms of dresser drawers and the tops of doors. I sometimes wonder if it is still there. If anyone out there has seen it, let me know.
posted by TedW at 9:30 PM on July 29, 2013


louche smoked it and started continued drawing monsters and naked women.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:35 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


At any given point in time, it is safe to assume that's what I am doing.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:36 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Way back, when I ran an offset press and had too much free time on my hands, I printed several hundred sheets of tiny labels with fortune-cookie size type that read:

Someone is watching you.

and distributed them amongst my friends to apply inside matchbooks, public telephones, etc...

It seemed hilariously subversive at the time.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:01 PM on July 29, 2013


I thought this was gonna be a gallery of when people fog up the mirror and/or window and write "Help Me" or some such thing on it so when you come in as the next guest and take a hot shower you emerge to see something creepy written in your room.

I've heard about that a bunch of times and it still kinda freaked out when it happened to me.
posted by dogwalker at 11:21 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I'm flipping through these, and barely half a dozen in, I get a rape joke. Sometimes I think I should stop ready comedy on the internet altogether. Jesus.
posted by ShawnStruck at 2:56 AM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


David Bussell strikes me as annoying. I like the Empress's version better.

He came walking down the hallway, incapacitated with laughter.

Was it on Metafilter I read about someone transitioning F to M, halfway through the process they suddenly 'got' poop jokes?
posted by glasseyes at 4:00 AM on July 30, 2013


I spent some time working as a chambermaid in Banff, Alberta (among many other kids in their teens and early twenties-- kind of a Canadian rite of passage) and I can tell you that some of this stuff would have either gotten me fired or would have made my morning a lot longer and harder while I tried to clean it up. Anyone who writes on a hotel mirror or toilet with a sharpie has just ruined somebody else's day, no matter who clever the joke you want to share with the world; and the stuff written on the backs of furniture, pictures, etc. will never be seen by anyone.
posted by jokeefe at 5:46 AM on July 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh, and yes the photographer is the person who has done the writing in nearly all cases.
posted by jokeefe at 5:48 AM on July 30, 2013


The first few times I stayed in hotels without my parents I drew cartoons on the back of the framed pictures and in the margins of the phone book. Then when I started traveling for work all of the frames were mounted to the walls so I stopped doing it. I really wished I bothered to take pictures, because 25 years later I don't even remember what exactly the cartoons were of.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:04 AM on July 30, 2013


(in Don Pardo's voice)

With musical guest Hot Zoo Garbage.
posted by stormpooper at 6:32 AM on July 30, 2013


stormpooper: "With musical guest Hot Zoo Garbage."

Hello U2 Cover Band Name.
posted by boo_radley at 7:40 AM on July 30, 2013


Chris Yates leaves secret motel art.
posted by ckape at 10:00 AM on July 30, 2013


I once wrote, "It's so nice to have a man around the house!" on the underside of a single female friend's toilet seat. Several guys exited laughing before she found out.
posted by ITravelMontana at 4:22 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are great. Reminds me of comedian Bert Kreischer's brilliant hotel room pranks.
posted by averageamateur at 5:45 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Transitioning F to M, halfway through the process suddenly 'getting' poop jokes.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:43 PM on July 30, 2013


mannequito: A favorite hobby of mine while staying in various crappy motels around BC has been to 'modify' the ugly thrift shop artwork on the walls collage-style. I stayed in one room three years apart and was delighted to see that the turkey vulture I'd added in to the edge of a family picnic scene was still there.
How would you have felt if he had left the painting?
posted by IAmBroom at 6:10 PM on August 6, 2013


Supposedly Rod Stewart had the penthouse digs rented at a hotel, and found out he was to be followed by HRM the Queen. He unrolled a fresh roll of TP a few layers, and wrote, "Shouldn't you be signing laws or something?".
posted by IAmBroom at 6:15 PM on August 6, 2013


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