I know room service has specific menus, but from time to time I remember that at many finer hotels you can ask for more or less anything.

‘Would you happen to have a grapefruit in the refrigerator?’ I asked.

It was past midnight, and I figured I’d be good for a change. How wrong can you go with a whole grapefruit as a late night snack?

‘You want a whole grapefruit? Anything else?’

‘Just a knife. A whole grapefruit and a knife to cut it with.’

I am staying at a 4-star Beverly Hills hotel, with an amazing down comforter on the bed, a two-line line with modem, tasteful art on the walls, balcony with a view ($84 plus tax and the $5.95 Priceline fee) – so in less than half an hour there was a knock at my door.

A whole grapefruit. A knife. A salt shaker (huh?). And a bill for $17.54.

I plan to ask about this when I check out in the morning.

‘How can you afford to rent me a beautiful room like that for less than the cost of five grapefruits?’ I will ask.


Item 29: Know The Downside

Stock recommendations should include all the bad stuff that can happen, as well as the good. Only then will there be no surprises. But a complete list of the major negatives is rarely included in a recommendation. The only place you can get full disclosure of all the risks is in the prospectus that accompanies a new offering – and then only because it’s required by the S.E.C., and no one reads prospectuses. Think about it. If you’re buying a stock, someone is selling it to you. Why? It’s only by your knowing all the possible reasons for the sale that you can make a truly informed decision. Always seek out the downside; it may take some doing.

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