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Friday, January 22, 2010

Now That's a Warm Bed!

The Telegraph is reporting that Holiday Inn hotels in London and Manchester, England will soon be trying out "human bed warmers."*

The first time I read that, I thought the line was "human bed wetters." Technically, I suppose they would be bed warmers, too.

Apparently, the principle behind the new policy is using human body warmth to pre-heat the beds for residents. It's eerily similar to NBC's policy of using Conan O'Brien to keep Jay Leno's seat toasty.

According to the director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, Dr. Chris Idzikowski (pronounced "I-doze-off-ski"), a warm bed can help start the process of sleep, whereas a cold bed inhibits sleep. This explains why Holiday Inn's earlier "A bucket of ice in every bed" promotional only led to surly, damp insomniacs.

As sound as the basic reasoning behind this program goes,** I think I may have detected a snag or two.

How about disease, for starters. After all, in the age of panic over bird flu, H1N1, cooties, and various other potential pandemic people poisoners, nothing says hospitality like having a total stranger sprawled and sweating all over your mattress for the evening. You can't just shrug off this kind of concern by having the concierge observe, "Hey, he's OK. It's not like he's got a hacking cough or anything...not today, anyway."

No one wants their resting place to become their final one.

The second problem is having complete strangers in your bedroom moments before you retire for the evening. Not everyone sleeps in the Ozzie and Harriet brand full-body pajamas with the optional Ricky Nelson monogrammed robe and slippers. Many people only sleep in the slippers.

That's bound to cause to unpleasant moments, and I mean for the bed-warmers. Supermodels and other celebrities don't exactly frequent the Holiday Inn nearly so much as hairy Teamsters and sedentary, mid-level sales reps.

"Well, your bed's heated now, sir. (long pause) If you like, I can send someone up from room service to shave that back for you."

Also, in a position where your job is to lay around in a bed for five minutes at a time in full-body suits, employees are liable to doze off from time to time. The last thing I want at the end of a long day of traveling or vacationing is to walk into my room like one of the three bears and find a Holiday Inn-themed Goldilocks snoring in my bed.

Finally, if something like this takes off there's a very real danger that hotel owners will be falling all over themselves for the next big human-themed service.

"Mr. Fando, welcome back to your room. Whenever you're ready, I've got that toilet all warmed up for you."

"Uh, no thanks. I kinda like the one at the 7-11 down the street."

h/t Jonah Goldberg

* I suppose this is better than the canine version some other hotels seem to be using. Of course, I'm just going by the smell.
** What do I know though. I'm sitting here typing this at midnight with a warm computer in my lap.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a terribly significant article about bed warming. I will be more cautious henceforth. Mostly I worry about other people's dead skin cells on my pillow. It makes me sick.

--Billy B.

1/22/2010 10:13 am  

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