It all started when the fire alarm went off...
I'd just gotten myself something to eat, perched on my favorite people-watching chair (with two Big Macs and a cup--just for Lisa) and started shoveling fries in my mouth--when hotel people ran through the building.
"Exit through the side doors and go OUT into the parking lot!" they yelled.
Teresa d'Amario (who'd just sat down) jumped to her feet.
Despite being the second "fire" to hit RWA Nationals--Dallas being the first--how many people expect to drop everything and run like hell? They poured out in a tidal wave of perfumed chintz, and like me--found the nearest shade. Which, of course, happened to be right up against the building.
"Move AWAY from the building! That wall will be the first to go." shouted the Marriot people, chasing us like sheepdogs. The implication being that some horrible raging inferno was tearing the guts out of the once glorious Marriot Wardman and the back wall would collapse in an avalanche of bloody slag.
We oozed like slugs. Out into the desolate, (and unshaded) parking lot.
People in the hotel restaurant rushed for the stairs, servers screaming after them, "You owe us MONEY!!"
One woman told me her roommate flung money on the table and ran downstairs like a Christmas shopper, which made me wonder if the people who knew life takes Visa bothered to wait.
The fire trucks came and discovered it was a false alarm. The hotel said it was a fire drill, but I don't think DC would send two trucks to lend an air of authenticity.
I found my table and sat down, but before I could break out the food, two women shove past me, fling themselves at the firefighters and scream, "Take off your shirts!"
Living their Harlequin Blaze fantasy.