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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
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Dinner Ideas

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“This is all we saved?” you will ask no one in particular. “That’s ridiculous!”

Hey,

Is it okay to take things home from the hotel? And if not, why did I bring along this empty suitcase?

Tiny Soaps

Dear Tiny,

Well, according to recent surveys, most hotels are not only okay with people taking things home, they’re actually happy that they do, because it means that:

A. The shampoo is so good that people are going, “I can’t just leave the rest of this here!” (Not that, say, Holiday Inn is making their own shampoo. There’s probably someone in the back with a funnel.)

But the main reason they’re happy is that:

B. Whenever you use that item, you will be reminded of what a nice time you had in their hotel, and you’ll say, “You know? We should really go back there! We’re almost out of shampoo!”

But there’s probably a line between things you can take home and things you probably shouldn’t. For example, most people are pretty sure that if you use part of a bottle of shampoo, you can take the other half home. It’s not like management is going to come into the room and go, “Woo hoo! He left half the bottle! Tell Bernice to combine this with the one from Room 319!”

But if you don’t use a bottle at all, can you take it home anyway? On the one hand, the hotel is putting out the items for you to use while you’re there, so logic says that if you don’t use it, they want it back. If you go to someone’s house for Shabbos, and they say you can take as much cake as you want, would you get up and dump the whole thing into your suitcase? But on the other hand, why should the hotel benefit from your lack of hygiene? And, more importantly, are you specifically not showering because you want to take this shampoo home?

Yes, you definitely won that one.

But some people take things that are clearly not meant to be taken. And people get really creative, because they have all night to lie there and think about it: “The lamp is nailed to the nightstand. But the nightstand isn’t nailed down!”

On the other hand, some people try to rationalize. They say things like, “Oh, the hotel probably writes these things off.”

What does that even mean? I’m a professional writer, and I have no idea how to write anything off. If I did, I would quit writing articles and just devote my days to writing things off.

So my thought is that we can probably take any disposable items that have the hotel’s phone number. Think about it: Why do they put the phone number on the pens, for example? So people can call them from within the hotel? (“Yeah, can you please send up a second one? We’re playing Tic Tac Toe.”)

Either way, it’s a good way to save money if things are tight because you just made a wedding.

Have a Question for “You’re Asking Me?” You’re cordially invited to send it in. If you have nothing else going on that day.

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