It was a strange bathroom. I groped my way inside the extremely tiny space and found the toilet. I made the mistake of sitting down before I reached over and turned on the light switch. And found a bug….no two bugs…no three bugs on the floor. Of course, the third bug might not count because he was dead.
It doesn’t happen very often because Roy and I are both paranoid about making sure we have good motel rooms when we travel, but occasionally, we get stymied. We decided on the spur of the moment to take a little trip over the weekend. Except, it was Labor Day weekend and we soon discovered that EVERYBODY books rooms over the long Labor Day weekend and we were just a little late. Like Mary and Joseph, we discovered there was no room at the inn…at least, any of the inns we normally frequent.
At last, however, in a small town outside of the immediate area of our destination, we were able to book a room at one of those non-chain, smaller venues. It was alright, though, because when we got to the motel, there was a long line of people also checking in. Must be a great place, right? Except we soon discovered in talking to people in line that we were about the only ones who had made any kind of reservation. The rest of them were traveling impromptu as well and were stopping here as a last resort, hoping for an open room. We were all standing in line praying for a good experience.
The girl at the counter spoke so softly that even those of us not hearing impaired had to hang over the counter to hear her. The fellow working with her made up for that however. He indicated that he was ready for the next customer by pounding on the counter and bellowing, “Next!” We all jumped and flinched like frightened recruits on Army induction day.
It was finally our turn and when we had filled out the necessary paperwork with the soft-spoken girl, the loud drill sergeant reached into a box behind him and handed Roy an unusual, metal-looking object.
“What is that?” I asked Roy as we left the office.
“It’s a key,” he answered, wonder in his voice.
“That didn’t look like a key card to me,” I said skeptically.
“It’s not a key card; it’s an actual KEY,” he said and held it up, glinting in the late afternoon sun. Now, it’s not that I like those key cards; it’s just that they suggest a little bit more up-to-date facilities than the old-fashioned keys. However, beggars quite definitely can’t be choosers.
As we walked down the hall, we passed a table containing a coffee pot and some individually packaged, dry-looking granola bars. I indicated the table with a jerk of my head as I told Roy, “If that’s the continental breakfast, we’re going to need to find a Perkins somewhere instead, tomorrow morning.” It was and we did.
We unlocked the door of our room with the actual KEY and were cautiously surprised to find a fairly modern looking room before us. Of course, it packed two beds, a night table and a luggage rack in a mighty small space, but by using the sink as a desk for our computer, phone and camera to recharge on, it worked pretty well. I was feeling pretty good about it until I went into the bathroom and encountered the refuge from Raid convention.
“There’s a bug in here,” I called to Roy, “in fact, there’s several.”
“Well, kill them,” he returned, “I’m busy with a couple of wall crawlers out here.” His shoe hit the wall for emphasis and I knew we were one cricket less.
I returned to the main room when I had finished the bug stomping party in the bathroom. “I’d like to sit on these extremely hard beds and watch some television, but I see there isn’t a television.”
“Look up,” he replied and sure enough, there was a nice, not flat-screened television, hanging from a holder on the wall. “Which of the three stations it gets would you like to watch?”
We made it through the night and we reminded ourselves a number of times that we had been lucky to get the room at this place, or we would have been forced to spend the night in our car, so when we thought about it that way, it didn’t seem so bad. However, the next time this Mary and Joseph go traveling, they are going to be sure they have booked their accommodations far in advance!
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