The word “lunatic” derives from the Latin lunaticus, meaning “of the moon.”
While no strong scientific evidence suggests a link between a full moon and human behavior, strong anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise. Google “full moon night shift,” and here’s a sample of the results:
My job is light years away from that of a nurse, but I understand the reputation surrounding that particular lunar phase. In a way, my job as night watchman of the motel also requires me to take care of the infirm, albeit with inebriation the nearly-singular cause of illness. The similarities end there, for while nurses wish their patients well, I merely wish our guests well-behaved stays.
Not all of my full moon nights contain stories of lunacy and unusual mayhem, but my first left a lasting impression. Now, I can’t help but feel a wave of dread each time I see that luminous silver in full diameter, craterous and charged.
I only had a month of experience as the night watchman at that point, and it had been relatively without incident. As luck would have it, my manager dropped by to lessen what could have been much, much worse.
What follows is my first night report of any substance. The only edits are to provide any previously-lacking context.
March 5 2015 – Night Report – Josh – 9pm to 5 am
Tonight’s full moon brought some strangeness. The guests in 116 could not get their phone to work, but worse, they were stuck in their room. Neither the guests inside, nor Mitch and I outside, could get the door open. The knob would turn, but it didn’t seem to engage/retract the plunger. I called Dwayne, who was in the area, and he arrived in about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, I checked with the guests, and they were in for the night and surprisingly understanding of the situation. Dwayne double-checked the door but realized we would need to remove the knob with a hammer.
Once removed, he tried needle-nose pliers, a screwdriver, and even deftly-targeted curse words to turn the latch and plunger, but to no avail. Eventually, we consulted Dean (the owner) and decided to use a crowbar as the last resort. The door opened to reveal the guest standing in his pajamas, calmly sipping a beer. Unfortunately, the door and door frame sustained damage. We changed the locks and made sure the door was working, and the guest was nice and patient throughout the process.
I spent the rest of the night managing the guests in 138, 140, and 145. At 12:30, I had to ask 140 to quiet down as they were drinking and talking loudly outside the room. 138 was relatively quieter, but there may have been some crossover partying between the rooms. Around 1:45 I reminded three of the women from 140 to not be loud as they guided one of their too-drunk friends to 145. At 2:20, another woman from 140 was escorted by friends to 145, but took a break outside 151 to vomit. Fortunately, she was quiet, and a light eater.
Around this time I also retrieved the broom and dustpan from outside 138, which Wilson informed me had been requested earlier in the night. They claimed popcorn had been spilled, but I would not be surprised if popcorn = lamp, and spilled = broken.
No other problems to report.
Addendum: Upon leaving this morning, I saw 138’s trash can sitting outside the door. It contained a grocery bag full of vomit, which I threw away.
As I read over that now, many months removed, it doesn’t sound all that strange or awful. Having since wrangled a gang of guitar-wielding hootenanny dipshits, unclogged a bathtub for a giant Norwegian man in a poorly-tied silk robe, and been at the receiving end of a coked-up birthday boy’s threats, I don’t see much lunacy in a few trapped guests and a party of wine-drunk, middle-aged women.