Worlds & Time

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I'm having one of those days. Someone just got stabbed at my hotel, in the ballroom. There's a New Age conference going on, and someone ran up to the guy on stage speaking and stabbed him.

I was standing at the front desk, having just done something with a group contract, and a woman ran down the the desk and said "We need an ambulance, it's an emergency!"

Now, I was once in an auditorium when Janet Reno collapsed on stage. People get tired and overheat, and they faint. No big deal. I've seen it happen before to other speakers. B., at the front desk, calls 911 and hands it over to the woman and as another guy runs up, I ask him where the problem is. He says in the ballroom.

So I go up the stairs, not quite running but moving pretty quick. There's a crowd of people up at the front of the room, gathered around the stage. I definitely think that the speaker just fainted. So I go up, and I ask people to stand back. No one listens to me. I could yell loud enough to make them listen to me but whatever.

I was looking at the guy on stage, and I notice that there are red spots on his long white robes. Not neat little dots, but what look like blood stains.

This is the first clue that I have that maybe this guy had a better reason for collapsing that being hot and tired. Still, I think that he's maybe started coughing up blood, so I think he was sick, hot, and tired.

And then I look around, and there's five people in front of the stage holding down another person. And when it becomes clear that I work there, a woman comes up and shows me the knife that stabbed the guy. There's only a little blood on the tip, but it took me about a minute to realize that hey, that might be an important part of evidence, and maybe I should keep track of it. Unfortunately she'd wandered off by then.

So, when it became clear that I wasn't really helping because no one was listening to me, and when I realized that I didn't feel like shouting any longer, I just vacated the room.

I headed back to the office, and J. has locked the door. Apparently someone from the front desk called and told her that there was someone running around the hotel stabbing people. They were half right.

An online friend asked me why I thought this situation was funny, and the reason is that I don't think that he was seriously hurt (as there wasn't that much blood on the knife) and this group is crazy. Instead of vacating the room, like several people (including me) were asking them to do, they just stood around in the back like fundamentalists at a Christian Rock concert with their arms raised channeling healing energy toward their stricken leader.

At least they were rational enough to hold the guy down and call the paramedics. Oh, and the police. Lots and lots of police.

Anyway, so apparently the guy was stabbed in the leg, which confirms my suspicion that the guy isn't seriously hurt. Also, the guy that did the stabbing is apparently Filipino, because he had his passport on him, and was hearing voices immediately before all of this happened.

It's days like this that make it worthwhile to come into work. Every once in a while something exciting happens that breaks everyone out of the boredom.

Update: I did get some of the details wrong. The attacker was Japanese, not Filipino, for example. Oddly, this made BoingBoing, so if you want to know more about it, you can go check it out there.

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