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Dead Hotel
by Stephen Philip Druce

I was booked to do a reading at The New York Poetry Festival, and just happened to be staying in the same New York Hotel as some of the world's most accomplished and revered poets.

The prospect of rubbing shoulders with these literary giants was intoxicating.

I arrived at the hotel reception desk and I noticed there was a huge dead rhinoceros lying in front of the reception desk. This was puzzling - why was it there?. Surely the animal hadn't intended to book a room for the night before collapsing in the reception area. I just couldn't imagine a rhinoceros in a hotel room - leaping about on the bed, breaking all the mattress springs,
head butting the television because there was a wildlife programme on about zebras, eating all the curtains, shagging the lamp shade, calling room service -

"greeeallumprangerzzzgrrr!" (rhino)

"Good evening sir, can I help you?" (room service)

"greeeallumprangerzzzgrr!" (rhino)

"can you repeat that sir?" (room service)

"greeeallumprangerzzzgrr!" (rhino)

"I'm not understanding all of what you are saying sir, if you require an eight o'clock call go - "gggrrroolaeeemm" (room service)

"gggrrrool" (rhino)

"half of that noise?, oh i see - half past eight?" (room service)

""gggrrroolaeemmm" (rhino)

"oh sorry sir - you have a stutter ok, eight o'clock it is". (room service)

The rhinoceros was so big the only way I could get my room key from the receptionist was by climbing through the middle of the beast.

My agenda that evening was to mingle in the hotel bar with some of the world's finest poets - exchanging ideas, discussing our mutual passion for literature over a cocktail or two into the early hours. Instead the New York Fire Brigade had to pull me through the rhino's asshole with a rope.

The commotion attracted every poet in the hotel. They guffawed and mocked my excrutiating ordeal as I tried to retain some dignity by making an announcement combined with an impromptu poem - "ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately I have lost a shoe in the emergency rescue but it's so lovely to meet you. I've got myself into a mess, and as I stand here in a state of undress, I hope you will understand, that I had planned on reciting some poetry for you, but as you can see I am underwear free. They vanished like my dreams - so you know what that means. My writing career has finally trickled away like water under a bridge, especially as there's rhinoceros intestines all over my love sausage".