I don't on principle, unless I've stayed several nights or left a dead body in the room. Even then, it depends on the size of the body. I also don't leave a tip for the guy who put batteries in the TV remote, the hotel buyer who chose the nice soaps, or the interior decorator who designed the room. That's what I'm buying: a clean, functional room for one night.
Also fantastic is Gross' conspiracy theory on why no one in Alaska will talk to him about Palin.
In part, this is the typical, head-up-the-butt, New York reporter's view of Alaska. Gross assumes everyone in the state personally knows Sarah Palin and if they don't talk to him ... they must be afraid!
Thus, according to Gross, "(t)hey don't want her to find out they have talked with a reporter, because of a suspicion that bad things will happen to them if she does."
Why else wouldn't people talk to him? It's me -- Michael Gross from Manhattan! Everyone in Alaska should want to hang with me! The fact that they don't, he believes, is indisputable evidence of a conspiracy.
Another explanation is that not everyone in Alaska, not even everyone in Wasilla, personally knows Sarah Palin. Nor are they in awe of Manhattan or Vanity Fair. In other words, maybe Alaska is remarkably like other places.
Most psychotically insane is Gross' rumination on why the Palins would leave their home on, I quote, "the anniversary of Sarah's resignation."
This is the kind of "anniversary" celebrated only by Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and other Palin obsessives. It is not yet, as we go to press, an anniversary celebrated by Hallmark.
The fact that Michael Gross imagines the date Palin resigned is an "anniversary" anyone else in the world would notice proves only that he is a head case.
He discusses the Palins' absence on this momentous day (in his own mind) with his fellow obsessive, Joe McGinniss -- the man who moved into the house next door to the Palins for more convenient stalking.
On and on the two nutcases speculate about why the Palins are gone -- because, you see, THERE MUST BE AN EXPLANATION!
Perhaps "the Palins would want assurance that no curiosity seekers would trespass," Gross offers. But why, he asks himself, "make such a long flight"?
In the climactic scene of the article, Gross asks McGinniss, "Wouldn't it be easier to hire a guard?"
Before giving the reply, Gross notes that McGinniss has put himself "in the frame of mind of his subject -- where everything is fungible, and everyone is suspect." So McGinniss speaks with authority. And he says: "A guard would have a story he could sell."
Yeah, like the Midwestern bellboy. But the reader is supposed to be gasping at the strangeness of the Palins, not the strangeness of the two reporters, standing alone, staring at the Palins' empty house on an imaginary "anniversary," postulating theories on why the Palins aren't there.
It turns out the Palins had simply flown to Todd's parents' house for the weekend. No "curiosity seekers" showed up at the house to gawk -- other than the two reporters, who are utterly oblivious to the fact that the only paranoid psychotics in this story are themselves.