In hotelier circles, there must be a concept that every person who stays in a hotel room will drift off to sleep, a bedside-table-bible perched across the chest open to a page alternating between red and black type on tissue-thin paper; the sleeper dreaming of man finding or denying faith in a bronze-age-world. How else would one explain the abundance of bibles – sometimes more than one per room – available in motels, inns, lodges and hotels; from pay-by-the-hour to weekly to nightly; in all regions of the country from the deep south to the liberal northwest?
For the past several years, I have engaged in the practice of hiding the bibles left in hotel room bedside tables sometime during my stay in the room. The practice was inspired by Jeff Dee from the Atheist Community of Austin as documented in his commentary “Hide the Bible“. This minor finger-in-the-eye to the religious has grown into a Tumblr site where anyone can post pictures as evidence of their bible-hiding escapades. There are rules around this activity as defined on the site:
- You can’t take the Bible from the room.
- You can’t damage the Bible.
- Be creative.
- If there is another Bible in your hiding spot, find somewhere else.
On my most recent trip, I stayed at a Residence Inn in Oregon where I was treated to both a Gideons and a Book of Mormon, which I hid in the kitchen area between the end of a drawer and the cabinet wall. There was just enough room for the fatter of the two books to stand up at the end and have the drawer slide along its rails as it did before.