Mr. Geffel, you are spot on. Of course I’m a corporate shill. Of COURSE I am. I am paid by the Federal Government OHMIGOD MASSIVE CONSPIRACY. No matter that it’s a veteran’s disability that doesn’t cover the bills, for the commitment I made so that morons could make ridiculous unfounded accusations, but hey, whaddya do, it’s America.

OF COURSE I’m a corporate shill, Mr. Geffel. Here’s your proof. Big intake of breath for the big reveal. I worked for a hotel once. Now, mind you, it was in 1972, the Dutch Inn outside Disney World, and I was barely out of my teens before I joined the Army, but of course you know they’ve been paying me under the table to undermine the world’s B and Bs ever since. Of course they have. It’s a massive conspiracy. Of course, the likelihood that the Dutch Inn even exists anymore is highly unlikely but such facts don’t seem to trouble you, sir.

To your extremely effective, impressive sleuth work, Mr. Geffel, my Linked In profile is perhaps ten years old. Probably more. I don’t have a flying fuck idea who that organization is that you listed, although of course just because it’s online that means IT MUST BE REAL, so of course that also must mean that you get most of your news from newspaper tabloids, which of course must mean that for you Elvis still lives on the moon because some astronaut discovered his petrified PBJ shit, from which he died of severe constipation. Of course you do. Because you’re such a potent journalist and of course you did your research on line and that means everything you read MUST be true. Because a fine researcher like you wouldn’t waste time reading my articles about the uselessness of Linked In, which I might visit three times a year at best, and haven’t bothered to update because I am too fucking busy doing adventure travel and writing independently. But facts are inconvenient, aren’t they, Mr. Geffel? If it’s online then by god it must be real. Strikes me this is how Trump got elected, banking on the gullibility of the human mind, so controlled by confirmation bias that the ability to think critically and ask thoughtful questions has in fact completely dissipated.

Since I get my other income from readers, who are for the most part slightly more discerning, and who bother to read my other stuff (GASP there is NO article anywhere on the topic of hotels in the more than three thousand pieces I’ve written, holy fucking SHIT Batman) then I struggle to understand your puerile conspiracy theory. But hey, that’s just me. Maybe someone on Medium works for Marriott, but if so I am unaware of that fact.

It was however good for a laugh, at the inane, asinine, ridiculous, monumentally foolish bullshit a human being will put out on line thinking he is some kind of massive journalistic talent. Mr Geffel, I’m a prize-winning journalist, a prize-winning author. I realize that GASP I actually STOOD inside a few big hotels, even spoke professionally at a few, but since speaking is what I do for a living in part, then that is a little out of my control.The venue that is. But that’s an inconvenient fact, and facts seemed to have gotten in the way of your conspiracy theory.

But here is the final proof that I am of course a paid corporate shill for the hotel industry: I KNOW A GUY who works for Hilton. Can’t remember his last name. Frank. Works in supply chain. But by god, there you go, Big John, proof positive that this disabled veteran, independent journalist, travel writer MUST BE A PAID SHILL for the hotel industry. I know a guy named Frank who works for Hilton. There. Put that in your professional journalistic cap, Mr. Geffel. Since I know a guy who has a job at the Hilton, then that by god proves that I am being paid by the hotel chains to undermine the entire BnB industry.

Right. Okay.

If you are going to make remarkably foolish, unfounded, and completely unsupportable implications and/or claims about someone else’s background, Mr. Geffel, you’d better fucking well be able to back up your bullshit. You’ve made a bit of a fool of yourself. Why? Because even when I was very active in the corporate world, doing speeches and seminars and corporate consulting, I eschewed the major hotels. Every single time. I despise five star resorts, and I hate the bland, white bread modernity of the big chains. I have never worked for nor earned money from a single hotel except, of course, growing up in Central Florida in the 60s and 70s when all of us worked for the tourist industry in one way or another.

As someone who writes a lot about travel, Conti’s article about AirBnB caught my eye. Further research- which included links in the piece, led me to some opinions. That’s all this is. My opinion, based on my observations. Some agree, some don’t and that is the way of the world, Mr. Geffel. None of it makes me right or wrong. But I do notice, as with all things, that those who are the most vitriolic about the piece have a vested interest one way or the other. That is also the way of the world. I have good reasons not to trust AirBnB, others have different experiences, both POVs are perfectly valid. That I have a personal perspective doesn’t make me a paid corporate shill. What a laff riot.

You know NOTHING about me or anything I write about. If you’re going to show your literary face on Medium, sir, may I suggest you be mindful of the claims you make about someone else. You’d have been wise to reach directly out to me, at which point I’d have been quite happy to be polite, respectful, and clarify the points you had questions about. However you chose not to, and you made claims not only about my intent but people you think I work for. You don’t do that in a public forum without retribution, Mr. Geffel. You just don’t. This is what we used to refer to as muckraking, but in this case, it’s just some little man trying to look like he’s done his journalistic homework.

But that’s why I’ve won prizes for my journalism and you haven’t, Mr. Geffel. You haven’t. I do the research. You didn’t. In the future I suggest you actually do some serious homework before you make claims about who and what they are. Beware, I may send Frank after you. If I could just remember his last name. If he hasn’t retired yet. He was old.

Thanks for giving me such lovely entertainment, after a long trip in Ethiopia, where I stayed in tents, tiny hotels and outside under the stars next to tiny wood and mud shacks.

All owned by Hilton. Of course they are. It is, after all, a massive conspiracy.

Silly man. Silly, silly man.

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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