I'm becoming an old fart.
Or is it fartess?
We had planned a mini-getaway in Atlantic City.
Four and a half days, two of which were predicted to be beach perfect and on one night, a concert by Little Anthony and the Imperials, whose voices, dance moves and humorous interaction proved to be great fun.
Our host set us up with a beautiful suite in one of the quieter towers in the hotel.
We were set for a happy time.
We woke on Friday to a slam-bam thunderstorm.
Grey, foggy skies, oppressively humid.
So we had a late breakfast, late lunch and late dinner, filling in the spaces between with video poker, our pastime du jour while at our favorite casino.
We met friends we've known for years at the casino and wandered about from section to section in a place at which we've been at home since the mid-80s. It was a good night.
Then came the waking nightmare.
Although we always have a suite that doesn't adjoin another, there apparently is nothing that can be done about having a wall that adjoins the room around the corner.
We discovered, at about 10:30 p.m., that those walls do not filter out the sound of screaming children.
Not unhappy, like screaming baby children.
No, these were probably 6 to 10 years of age, jumping off the bed, slamming into the wall and shrieking at the tops of their little lungs.
I was really tired and tried hard to ignore the noise and get some shuteye.
There would be a lull in the racket and then a child would shout something, the wall-banging would resume and sleep was denied again.
At 11, I padded down the hallway... an old, grey-haired lady in her nightgown... to locate the source of the noise and suddenly confronted a little girl, maybe 11, who was obviously the sole supervisor of the noise-makers.
I reminded her that some people were trying to sleep and asked that she quiet down those in the room who weren't aware of the hour.
She said she was so sorry and ducked back into the room.
The screaming didn't abate.
Finally, at 11 I called security.
Enough was enough.
I heard the guard's radio as he passed our room on his way to call on the offenders.
For about five minutes it grew quiet and I settled down into my pillows to finally catch those zees.
I'll bet he wasn't on the elevator back down before the screeching began in earnest.
This time, louder and with more gusto.
At about 1:15 a.m., it sounded as though an adult had gone in. The door slammed and suddenly all was quiet.
Naturally, I lay awake, waiting for the expected yelling to resume, but finally, after seeing 2 a.m. on the clock, fell asleep.
Needless to say, I wasn't a happy person when I staggered down to breakfast at 10 a.m.
The hotel clerk to whom we appealed knew exactly what we were up against, she said, since she'd noted the unchecked, unruly behavior of the kids when they and their mom checked in.
Sympathetically, she assigned us a new room.
Saturday was sunny but very windy. It wasn't a good beach day.
I was tired and ready not to be there anymore.
So, without even testing the relative quietness of our new room, we took our bags (still packed), called for our car and went home.
Ah, the glorious quiet of our own four walls, not one of which abutted another.
Even the prospect of laundry, meal planning and a workday Monday didn't dim our relief at being home.
Like I said, I am becoming an old fartess.
There's really no place like home.