A couple of years ago, I was staying at a posh hotel in Oslo. I returned to my room after a hard day’s work, looking forward to a very expensive glass of beer.

I swiped my card and entered room 216. To my surprise, I found a strange man in there. He was emerging from the bathroom but thankfully, he was fully clothed and alone.

My immediate reaction was to rapidly withdraw, apologising profusely. ‘Oh I am awfully sorry. I appear to have the wrong room’. As the layout and decor of the hotel was identical on each floor, I just assumed that I had mistakenly entered room 316 (instead of 216).

I checked my key (room 216) and I checked the little wallet holder (room 216). I then stared blankly at the number on the door of the room I had just entered - 216 - when the door opened and the gentleman appeared again. I managed a quick peek into theroom and saw my book on the desk and my alarm clock by the bed.

The American stranger smiled and said: ‘Hey, you know. I think it might be me who has the wrong room’ and we agreed to go downstairs to reception.

American: ‘There is a problem. I appear to have been given this gentleman’s room.’

Receptionist: ‘Room number, please ?’

American: ‘Room 216.’

Receptionist: ‘Name ?’

American: ‘Costner’

Receptionist: ‘There is no problem. You are in room 216 and have the key for room 216.’

American: ‘But this gentleman is already staying in room 216’ (gestures towards me).

I step forward to the desk amazed at what I have heard thus far.

Receptionist: ‘Name ?’

Me: ‘Brightside’

Receptionist: ‘Room number ?’

Me: ‘216.’

Receptionist: ‘Mr Brightside. You checked out of room 216 at 08.45 this morning.’

Me: ‘No I didn’t. I am booked to stay here until tomorrow morning.’

Receptionist: ‘No. Mr Brightside. You checked out of room 216 at 08.45 this morning and paid in full with a credit card.’

Me: ‘No I didn’t.’

Receptionist: ‘Yes you did.’

[ To avoid an English pantomime exchange developing and as I was getting increasingly annoyed…]

Me: ‘OK then. If I checked out of room 216 this morning, you must have a copy of my bill and the the credit card slip with my signature on it ?’

Receptionist: ‘Yes, Sir. We do.’

Me: ‘Please can I see it then.’

Receptionist: ‘Yes.’

[ Walks off into office, obviously disgruntled ]

Receptionist: ‘I’m awfully sorry, Mr Brightside. There has been a terrible mistake.’