My name is Nick. And I’m angry.

I’m fed up.

And I’m not going to take it anymore.

I had the distinct pleasure of spending my Saturday evening at a Holiday Inn Express, the location of which is unimportant.

And yesterday, everyone kept looking at me funny. One lady was gazing at me like I was a piece of meat. Not that I’m not. But that’s beside the point.

Another gentleman got a weird grin on his face every time I walked by.

Yet someone else actually leaned in and “whiffed” when she got the chance.

I knew instantly what had happened. And I blame it all on Holiday Inn Express and some marketing nerd sitting in an office at InterContinental Hotels Group in Salt Lake City, UT. I bet he doesn’t smell like a damn Cinnamon Roll!

That’s right– I forgot my own soap. So I had to use one of those little mini bars that are particularly… slick. And the shampoo. And the conditioner. If you’ve never been to a Holiday Inn Express, good for you. But those that have— you know exactly what I’m talking about. Their bodily cleaning products smell like CINNAMON ROLLS.

Again, little smarmy Sally Cinnamon sitting in Salt Lake probably took one look at Holiday Inn Express’s Breakfast Menu, which features Cinnamon Rolls, and thought, “why wouldn’t low-scale traveling business professionals LOVE to wake up and smell like a Cinnamon Roll even BEFORE they leave the room and get the chance to eat one of our frozen, dried-out creations that we serve in the breakfast room from 6 to 10 AM?”

Let’s do some research. Go get a bottle of cinnamon. Rub it all over your body. Now work a 14-hour day.

Doesn’t that cinnamon scent mix well with deodorant? Your sweat? Your cologne? Yeah, by the end of the day, you’ll end up smelling like a 4-day old Cinnamon Roll that fell out of Richard Simmons’ dirty gym bag when he was off the wagon. And you and I both know what Richard Simmons gets up to in his spare time. Picture that smell. I wish this blog had scratch-and-sniff.

When did soap stop smelling like… soap?!?! Walk into any store– from Dollar Tree to Bath and Body Works– and you’ll be as confused as Mitt Romney trying to eat a fried chicken wing. They’re all lined up like flowery soldiers— Dark Kiss, Aqua Blossom, Frosted Cupcake, Sunrise Lagoon, Poppy Sunshine.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m quite fond of the Dark Kiss. It’s a tempting blend of black raspberry, Mirabelle plum, amber, dark vanilla bean and sensual balsam. Who writes this crap? Some marketing nerd sitting at a desk at Bath and Body Works Corporate Headquarters in New Albany, Ohio!

Smelling like a flower roasted in vanilla isn’t too bad. Smelling like a rotten breakfast pastry after it’s been digested? Not too pleasant.

The next time you’re spending a lovely evening at a Holiday Inn Express, don’t forget your own soap.


The author, Nick Rokicki, is releasing his first Children’s Book on on February 29th, 2012. Pete the Popcorn promises to be less angry than this column. Learn more about Pete the Popcorn at or via Facebook at





3 comments on “My name is Nick. And I’m angry.

  1. After just reading the title of this post, I had the overwhelming urge to say “Hi Nick” at the computer! Thanks 12 step programs! After reading this post in it’s entirety, I’m now craving a cinnamon roll. Fresh, please. Delivered to my porch. Thanks!

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