Airbnb is human | Marcel Strigberger

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Marcel Strigberger

Whoops. Who are you? It’s not an Airbnb?

Paul Drecksler mistakenly spent a night at a private house in Miami thinking it was his Airbnb rental. The correct house was actually the neighboring property. The affair came to light when the landlord arrived in the morning, knocked on the door and found Goldilocks asleep in his bed. Fortunately, said owner accepted Drecksler’s explanation that he arrived at 2am after a long flight from Ecuador and that there must have been a technical problem directing him to this house (of the three bad bears ).

The owner could have called the police and they could have charged the intruder with breaking and entering. Then again, most cops are reasonable, and after listening to Drecksler’s pleas, they probably would have turned off their tasers.

This scenario would be a good day. Florida stands as your base state. The owner could have easily shot Drecksler with no problem. Instant access to justice. These states take the adage “a man’s house is his castle” seriously. He had enough reason to do it even if Drecskler didn’t break his child’s chair or eat his porridge.

On the other hand, in law, did Drecksler have reason to hold out? He could have been bold and gone on the offensive and asserted the iconic legal maxim, “possession is nine tenths of the law”. After all, the owner left the place unlocked and had the bed made with clean towels nearby. He did not object all night to the presence of his guest. It’s a clear case of tolerance if I’ve ever seen one. He might as well give the guy the deed to the house.

I have to say, this incident further validates my technophobic suspicions. I’m proudly old school luddite and don’t do Airbnb. Neither Uber, which for me is Airbnb without the bed. I would feel safer spending a night at the Bates Motel.

I note that Airbnb offers a variety of properties, such as moored yachts, caves, and even castles. I have certainly never spent a night in a castle. Would I consider giving it a shot?

The first thought that comes to mind when I think of castles is an invasion. I visualize thousands of Romans, Vikings or Huns besieging and eventually scaling the ramparts and doing nasty things to the defenders and locals. I wouldn’t appreciate a 200 kilo Attila grabbing me by the lapels, brandishing a battle ax and wondering why I hadn’t surrendered at the start. While I’m usually not at a loss for words, I don’t think he would listen too kindly to a plausible response, such as “Sir, that’s not really me.” I booked this place through Airbnb. Here is my confirmation. (Printed on paper of course.)

When I go on vacation, I don’t mind a bit of adventure, but I don’t want to find myself in the middle of a real episode of game of thrones.

I really don’t know if I would stay in a castle. I don’t mind some tech, like those coded cards to open a hotel room door, but I don’t think I’d have the patience to insert one into a castle and wait for the bridge- levis lowers.

What makes me proud is Drecksler’s closing comment that since the landlord was so nice to him after finding out he had broken into his house and slept in his bed, “you would think it happened in Canada”.

I guess most Canadians would probably have been similarly accommodating after first asking the wandering intruder if he was fully vaccinated against COVID. (Just good Canadians who follow the rules). Then they would have apologized for having disturbed the gentleman’s right to quiet enjoyment. Of course they would have offered him breakfast.

O Canada!

Marcel Strigberger has retired from his litigation practice in the Greater Toronto Area and pursues his more serious business as a writer and humorous speaker. His book Boomers, Zoomers, and Other Oomers: An Irreverent Boomer-Biased Perspective on Aging is now available in paper and e-book versions where the books are sold. To visit follow him @MarcelsHumour.

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