As I arrived at the Holiday Inn in Runcorn, I felt confused as I only lived up the road at the time. I was staying there for the convenience alone as I had an extremely serious business meeting to attend to, forgetting that I could have stayed at my residence under five minutes away.
I only realised the error of my ways after checking in, but it still haunts me to this very day.
First thoughts of the Runcorn Holiday Inn
Anyway, after telling my driver where to go – yes, I had hired a driver despite living five minutes away – and saying hello to a few old work friends such as J.J. McGrauss, Derek Trailblaze and Gerald ‘Corky’ Wurlaburke, I headed to see how my room was.
Entering my room, I felt that, although I was safe, there was a sense of imminent danger in the air. I hoped that this wasn’t merely the guilt I had accumulated from failing to tip my driver, which I openly refused to do even after he divulged a truly gut-wrenching story of his abysmal personal life.
I’ve felt guilt many a time, but this feeling was far more uncertain, and it came hand-in-hand with a whiff of pure terror. The last time I felt such a strange feeling was when I was stuck in the Isle of Mann. Nothing particularly bad happened. I was just in the Isle of Mann which is a completely awful place.
The window presented a good view of the local area of Runcorn. I could see all the sights: pylons, the Runcorn / Widnes Bridge, the infamous ‘Big Asda’, and that was literally everything to see in Runcorn as any local will know. The bed was well made and cosy. There was a working television with freeview and a lot of channels. The shower and toilet were something to have no complaints with either, even for someone who loves to poo to the extent as I do.
Not what you expect from a budget hotel
It was at this very moment that I heard a peculiar rumbling coming from my eerily large wardrobe. After some contemplation and a long heart-to-heart between myself and the man in the mirror (also me), I opened the wardrobe door, only to see an absolutely gigantic grizzly bear towering over me, staring deep into my soul, ready to rip out as much of it as he could. He was wearing a hat which had, I admit, fazed me for a second, but not as much as the bear itself.
Upon reading the official Holiday Inn terms and conditions after leaving the Runcorn branch, there was talk of a ‘bear minimum’ within the small print. I eventually came to the conclusion that I should have read this in greater detail as, in this instance, the bear minimum for the Runcorn Holiday Inn was at least one.
I wish I could tell you that I was able to heroically stun the bear with a swift chop to the shoulder, but it was more of a case of running around in a continuous circle with the sole intention of avoiding immediate loss of life. I eventually managed to hide in the bathroom for a while, gaining me enough time to think and at least wait until there was an appropriate time to escape.
Finally, it was an opportune moment as the bear was glaring at the Runcorn / Widnes Bridge out the window – or ‘go time’ as I’d prefer to call it – and I was out of there like a shot.
With other visitors standing around confused as to why I was escaping from my room in peril, without trousers I might add, I made my way to the reception, where I was able to tell my story to the Holiday Inn staff, adding various lies about how I singlehandedly defeated said bear.
They understood what had happened and were quite gracious about it. After coming to terms with the reality of my stay, they insisted to pay for everything, and also, even more kindly, remove the bear.
Expected media backlash
I never did see that fashionable bear again, but I did receive an interesting reaction from my fans over at Trip Advisor. The most entertaining message came from a person with palm trees for their profile pictures – clearly due to their expertise on navigating the globe – who wasn’t fazed by my accusations of Runcorn Holiday Inn having a bear in one of their rooms, but did take issue with me claiming to have ever stayed at the Runcorn Holiday Inn.