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November 3, 2015 / hbrowne4

FADED GLORY by Cathie Hogan


They never prepared me for this in Hotel Management Training. I’m a people person.

Ask anyone and they’ll say, “John’s a people person”.

My staff love me, they tell me so.

John, we love you.We love your ideas”.

When I heard that we were expecting an anonymous Hotel Inspector, I told the staff,

“We must raise our game, rise to the occasion, think outside the box”.

All the mantras committed to memory from my Hotel Management training.

Our hotel overlooks the Indian Ocean, a faded gem with brocade covered couches in the lounge, the finest of crystal chandeliers, although dust covered and once plush carpets, a faded quality of long ago elegance. We once entertained Presidents and Kings, before we were subsumed by the ‘dollar cheap hotel multi chain’. The  inspector coming could be the chance to re-establish the hotels’ greatness and a plan was needed. Entertainment,I thought and everyone loves a magician!

Mr. Quarto answered the advert in ‘Magicians Weekly’ and arrived at the hotel with several large boxes. The boxes contained a rabbit, ropes, saws, glitter balls and a banana sandwich.

I was to find out later, that Mr. Quarto was very partial to a banana sandwich.

Tickets for the night of the performance sold out and I hoped that the Hotel Inspector would be in the audience. Mr. Quarto mesmerised the audience with slight of hand, rope tricks and the most terrifying, sawing a rabbit in half. Anyone can saw a man or women in half, only a magician of Mr. Quartos’ experience would dare to saw a rabbit in half.

That was to be my undoing. The Hotel Inspector was also the local chairperson of the SPCA. Mr. Quarto did indeed saw the rabbit in half and it wasn’t magic at all. It was the act of a crazy man. After cleaning up the blood, attending to the crying children and their fainting mothers, I told Mr. Quarto to leave the hotel immediately and not to expect payment. I would be writing to the Magicians Council to have him disbarred or whatever is done to crazy magicians.

Mr. Quarto left shouting, “Wait till you see my last trick”.

I went up to his room at the top of the building.The door wouldn’t open, putting the key card in my mouth, I tugged at the door,…


The explosion sent me flying and I found myself some hours later, naked, clinging to the hotel door with the key card still in my mouth floating in The Indian Ocean.

Moral of the story; a rabbits’ foot doesn’t always bring good luck.


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