the big gay honeymoon – days seven and eight – that BITCH next door

Day 7 and 8 – that BITCH next door

I am joining day seven and eight together as they were down-days, where we did surprisingly little due to Paul being unwell – poor love had come down with tonsillitis. We woke at the Polynesian fairly late, and after wiping away our tears and trying to scuff off some of the more unusual marks we had left on the room (that blue sunscreen), we climbed into the taxi that would take us to our next hotel – the Wyndham Resort on International Drive, conveniently located next to McDonalds, Walgreens and only a stone’s throw away from Titanic: The Experience. Sadly, despite throwing many stones, it still remains in business. WORST OIRISH ACCENT EVER.

Continuing the Titanic theme, the first thing I said when we flounced into the lobby of the Wyndham was that ‘It doesn’t look any bigger than the Polynesian’. Carmen Miranda behind the desk was a proper miserable cow and imbued the check-in process with as much class as a hurried crap in a service station toilet. Our room wouldn’t be ready until 4pm, but we could leave our suitcases with the Chuckle Brothers who would ‘take care of things’. Only they didn’t, as they refused to take our rucksack in case it had a laptop in it. Despite reassuring them that it didn’t, they didn’t seem to understand, and sent us on our way, meaning we had five hours to kill on International Drive with a heavy, uncomfortable rucksack. Not a good start.

We killed the time by wobbling into McDonalds and sitting their ‘How to order fast-food in eighty-seven simple steps’ exam. Paul passed with flying colours, but blimey, how complicated can you make it? There’s three counters involved now. After lunch, we decided to go upstairs and try our luck with the arcade. We were very lucky, in that we didn’t have a cap popped in our collective asses. It’s all a bit ghetto up there, and unless you’re desperate for some out-of-date gaming action, I’d stay away.

With a plan to walk down to the IMAX and catch a movie, we happened to just see if our room was ready early. Turns out it was. Carmen delighted us in giving us a key and saying we had been upgraded – score! But, let me put it this way, if the room was an ‘upgrade’, I can only imagine we were originally down as sleeping in the housekeeping cupboard, because not only was it as far as possible away from the main desk (the Wyndham grounds are huge), but the air-conditioning was extremely noisy AND our room wasn’t even contained in the building itself, but stuck on the side next to the vending machines. Then the final cherry on the cake? Having christened the room, we were lying on the bed when a garish pair of shorts became visible in the window. Opening the tatty curtain revealed an extremely hairy, very loud Mexican gentleman, with his full fat-apron on show, bellowing into his teléfono móvil at a volume you would use standing on a pier to shout instructions to someone on a departing hovercraft. That loud. Yep, our room looked out over the main traffic concourse for every Tom, Dick and José who wished to enjoy the sun. Wasn’t having that. Called for an immediate room change, and was moved to building seven.

Much better. Billed as an ‘Junior Suite’, the room was decorated exactly the same except for the fact the table-lamp had power sockets for plugging in a laptop. Nevertheless, it was a better location and very clean, so we were happy. Paul was beginning to feel unwell, having complained about having sore tonsils for a while (I don’t help matters), so we had an afternoon nap. Only to be woken by what sounded like a dog whining. Except, super-loud. And high-pitched. Eyes rolling, we looked for the source of the sound, and discovered that the room next door had left their dog in the room all day, and the poor thing was obviously scared because it was whining like something not right. Called reception and asked them to have a word – they never did. They offered a room change but we had unpacked everything, and asked that instead they moved the guy next door.

They didn’t. Despite him breaking the rule of not leaving animals in the room, they did absolutely búgger all (by the way: I use accents on swearwords so they don’t get hashed out by the filters. I hope this isn’t too offensive but we’re all adults and I figure not many kids are going to be reading my written diarrhoea) and it stayed this way for five days. In the end, we tuned it out, like you do with a faulty smoke alarm or a distressed child. So that was the day, pretty much – we just stayed in and watched TV. There was a Walgreens over the road so, of course, I made a swift dash – I bloody love Walgreens. So much choice at excellent value – I was mesmerised by the choice of sodas, and ice-cream, and fags…amazing.

Now, both Paul and I gave up smoking a few months ago, but still have the odd one. For whatever reason – perhaps my honeymoon urges – I bought a pack of Camel Crush. To be honest, they’re such a novelty that I had to do it. They’re menthol cigarettes but you squeeze the filter and it clicks a little capsule to make them even more minty. I know smoking is terrible and all that, but the odd one on my honeymoon isn’t crime of the century. Anyway, we’re going to Universal at the end of the holiday and they’ve got a shisha bar in the Hard Rock Hotel, so I need to work my lungs up for that! I got Paul some Ben and Jerry’s and throat spray. See? I can be a sensitive boyfriend! He’s so brave mind, choking down ice-cream with his sore throat. After Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Minute to Win It, the day was closed.

Day Eight commenced with Paul saying he felt terrible but didn’t want to stay in the hotel all day, so after dosing himself up and bravely trooping out of bed, we decided to head to Premium Outlets at the top of I-Drive. Now, to confuse matters, Prime Outlets has now become a Premium Outlets, and we had senior moments trying to figure it all out. We just wanted shoes! We shuffled our way around the mall, bought er…a few shoes (see below) and got a taxi back, as Paul was feeling so bad. Decided that as we had Discovery Cove booked for the day after, it was best to get him back into bed to sleep it out.

A small selection of modest purchases.

This left me on my own to scratch about. As I only spent the day reading Alan Sugar and sitting by the pool, there’s not a terrific amount to say, save for the fact that I must have a big ‘MINCER’ sign above me as no sooner had I sat down in what I thought was the empty pool-side, then another gay couple (‘bears’) came over and asked me where the steam room was, with an extremely subtle leer. They had no chance. Frankly, even when his voice sounds like Joan Rivers and he is swollen around the neck, Paul’s still the royal flush when it comes to gay-poker. They were sent on their way. But here’s a bit of information for you, as I always like to teach.

I mentioned bears before to describe the two gay men who approached me. For whatever reason, some members of the gay community like to ‘tag’ themselves as animals to describe their body types. They break down like this. A ‘bear’ is a hairy, fat bloke, normally ‘masculine’ but not adverse to putting on a Kate Bush album every now and then. In my experience, despite being masculine, they know too much about drapes to get away with it. I would be described as a bear as I’m fat and hairy. Now Paul, he would be called a ‘cub’, because although he’s fat, he’s not especially hairy, like you would expect a small bear to be. It gets odder – you also have an otter – a thin, hairy bloke, normally quite camp by my experience, and there again, you have a wolf, either an older gay guy or a more ‘rugged’ bear. The best bit? If any ladies out there ever wanted to be a fag-hag to Paul and I, you would become a ‘Goldilocks’ – i.e. the girl who terrorised the bears! If you prefer a Disney theme, feel free to call yourself a Fairy Godmother. The whole animal name thing has always annoyed me, as it tends to promote odd cliques amongst gay men, especially snobbery from bear types towards the camp, mincing type, and I’ve never set much stock by it. Frankly, I don’t see how growing a handlebar moustache makes you any better than any other bloke, and the only reason most overweight / overactive gay men grow a goatee is to hide the stretchmarks. Think about it…

See had I bought this wonderful thing I found at the Mall, I would have been downgraded from a ‘Bear’ to an ‘Otter’. Christ knows what the box next to the girdle does, but apparently it’ll give any woman a FAJA REDUCTORIA. I’ll get one sent to Katie Price ASAP.

Gay Names 101 over, a little about the Wyndham. If you TripAdvisor it, it tends to get quite poor reviews, and despite the cow on reception never sorting out the dog next door, I don’t see why. The grounds are absolutely immaculate, full of flowers and pruned hedges. So the rooms look a little shabby on the outside, it’s to be expected – it’s a massive, budget hotel with what I imagine a very high turnover of guests. The rooms were always spotlessly cleaned, the staff around the place helpful, and, thank heavens for small mercies, it actually had a deep pool – 11ft!

It’s laid out like a Butlins, with 16 blocks of rooms, and the further back you are the worse the deal you received, because it really is a trek. But, if you ask, they’ll shuttle you about on a golf-cart. We never took advantage of this, but we did see an extremely obese woman being shepherded from the on-site ice-cream parlour (which stocks Hag and Daz ice-cream, according to the in-room literature) to the pool bar mere moments away. There’s several pool tables dotted about, plus some fun table-tennis, and all in all, I’d stay here again. If you’re looking for a cheap base on International Drive, you could do a lot worse – trust me, I’ve stayed at the Metropolitan Express, where the only relief from my surroundings came from the bountiful amount of marijuana smoke drifting into the room from the gangs in the next room. The hotel would be exceptional if you have a family – close enough so that everything on International Drive is within walking distance. The grounds never felt unsafe, either. Oh!

There was a small problem. I went to tumble-dry some clothes at about 7pm, not unreasonable. I stuck my clothes in, set it away and went back to the room. After checking twenty minutes later, I found the door had popped open. So I set it away again, and watched it for a few minutes – door didn’t come open. I had an inkling from the way that some hairy-chinned old bugger had been watching me from his room that he had come out and opened the door deliberately to stop the noise of a few t-shirts cascading around. And sure enough, once I was out of sight, he came out and opened the door, leaving my clothes open to any passing fancy.

My revenge? Simple. I went back to the room, got two pairs of my new shoes, and stuck them in the tumble-drier with the rest of the clothes. It was a cool dry setting, so it didn’t matter. Then I sat on top of the tumble drier for the full forty minutes whilst they banged, clattered and bounced around in the drum. He opened his curtains a few times, but each time he would see me simply sitting on top of the dryer with a beatific smile, reading Paul’s Alan Sugar book (it’s actually pretty good!). I win that round, old timer.

Final thought? American quiz shows are just the best. I’m hooked on Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Minute to Win It, which is like The Cube only without Philip Schofield and his nuclear-winter-white hair. They need to bring over the American way of doing quiz shows, which is just getting through the show extremely quickly, instead of the British way. Take Deal or no Deal. When I get on that show, I’m going to pick the boxes in sequential order from 1 to 22. When Noel Sex-Pest Edmonds asks me for my sob story, I’m going to deny having any emotion and sit there mute. They’ll still make wring 65 minutes from it, though.

That’s it. Apologies for the lack of photos and funnies but it’s hard to write when nothing was done!

Oh, one final sign-off. I know I’m going to hell, and I’m sorry, but…really? What’s wrong with Bold, or Lenor? Hee…

A cheap laugh, I know.

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