The AtwoodZoo recently took a roadtrip to suburban
for The Beautiful Bride’s grandmother’s funeral. As we have spent more than a few nights at hotels over the past few years, there is one thing that happens at every hotel that causes me to take pause…what is it about staying at a hotel that makes us think we need a bucket full of ice.
Because every time we check into a hotel, the minute after we arrive in our room, the girls are hunting down the ice bucket and having a footrace to the ice machine – bucket and protective baggy in hand. They fill up the bucket, bring it back to the room, and it present it to us like Rafiki showing the baby lion to all the others animals in The Lion King. We then take the ice, set it on the counter, wait a few hours, and then dump out a bucket of lukewarm water in the morning.
Why do we get a bucket of ice? We never do that at home. Just decide that “hey…I am not really sure that we’ll need a large amount of ice this evening, but just in case let’s fill up a bucket to be prepared in case someone happens to sprain an ankle or gets attacked by a swarm of killer bees.”
I wonder…is there something imprinted in our DNA that causes us to realize innately that when we are in a small town, hundreds of miles from home, we must fill-up a brown nogahyde bucket with ice? Does it somehow go back to the days of our ancestors as sheepherders? Would they, whenever they settled down under some tree in the wilderness, send out the youngest shepherd to find a Days Inn or a truck stop and fill up on ice?
Or is it simply because, for generations, we have seen our fathers and grandfathers, our mothers and grandmothers, in the very minute they stop at a roadside inn, get checked into a room and plop the bags down on the tremendously festive comforter, they are back at out the door looking for the ice machine. Even before the baby blue with white pebble grain top Mercury Montego has had a chance to cool off from its daylong run across the
plains, there is a bucket of ice sitting on the imitation gold cracked marble bathroom counter. (And remember, this is in the days before hotels included the little “ice bucket baggies.” I just shiver thinking about the germs spread across the country through ice bucket contamination.) .
I think I’ll do an experiment. One day, while the girls are at school, I’ll go up to Mabel’s room, stick an ice bucket on her dresser, and see if the moment she finds it, goes catapulting down the stairs in order to fill it and let it sit over night.
It becomes one of those "nature vs. nurture" exercises. Is it the hotel or is it just the sight of the ice bucket that causes the need for a bucket ‘o ice…
I’ll file a full report when theh reserach is completed.