Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We'll Leave the Meth Out For Ya

Tom Bodette does the friendly and folksy Motel Six commericals -- the ones that end with "We'll leave the light on for you."  On my recent foray into Michigan to make the world safe for marketing, I decided to stay at one of those places.  No, really, I did.  You should have seen the looks I got from everyone else who stayed at the Marriott.

I've stayed in some pretty swank spots in my time. Resort hotels with entire tropical jungles transported to the lobby. With four star restaurants that have swans swimming up to the table. And people trained to do nothing but fold your napkin whenever you leave your seat.

But, except for the posh room service, Turkish terrry cloth robes, mirrors on the ceilings, hot tubs at the end of the beds, and phones in the marble bathrooms, hotel rooms are pretty much the same. Especially when you are traveling for work. It's just that some places charge an arm and a leg more because they fold a point on the teepee. Or provide you with mango flavored shampoo.

Most of the time I'm only in the room to shower, sleep, and use the toilet, so the candy on the pillow and the sexy bathroom with a glass wall that allows people watching TV in the living room to observe you as you bathe, brush your teeth, and perform any other normally private maneuvers, are lost on me.

I'm working, not playing. Or performing.

All this is leading up to my rationale for saving a ton of money and staying at the No Tel Six.  I did save a ton.  What I paid for three days wouldn't cover the tips at most places.

However, I told the desk clerk that I would give the place one night and if I didn't like it I would leave. I asked for a room with a view of the lawn in front of McDonald's and they obliged. So far, so good. There was no one else on that side of the motel, so I asked them to keep it that way if possible. I assumed when they said okay, that meant okay.

I walked into the room. After long hours on the road, it was refreshing to be hit with an arctic blast of non stop air conditioning.  Plus the hum of the retro machine that pumped out the icy air kept down the noise of the tractor trailers pullling in for the night.

Luckily there was an extra parking space next to me outside my room, so that the Dodge Hemi steroid pick up truck that pulled in could have room to stretch out and not trade paint with my rental car. Surprise. Apparently I was going to have next door neighbors despite my request, even though there were dozens of other empty rooms. Everywhere. The thump thump of that engine on that monster actually shook my room. But I was already unpacked so I didn't leave.

The tiny white towels were clean. But there were enough to cover my body and my hair. The soap was so small there was barely enough for one night.  But there were two at least -- one for the shower and one for the sink. I assumed correctly that I would get more each day. The beds were made. And except for the cigarette sized holes in the blanket, you didn't notice any unexplained stains or smells.  I didn't bring my black light with me however.

There was cable. Including HBO. The water in the one piece fiberglas shower unit was wet, hot and hard. Like my men. It's a JOKE. There were hangers.  There were drawers for clothes.  There were friendly strangers with no teeth who yelled across the lot and offered to help me unload my car. Or get me some ice. Only with a police escort, thank you.

I wasn't going to be there for more than sleeping time, so I was not missing all the fancy perks. Even though the family next door to me sounded like they were bouncing their kid off the wall.  Luckily the noise of the ice age air conditioner drowned out most of the noise.

I wasn't suffering too much and decided not to leave, until I realized the next day, when I got back from hours of work, that I wasn't going to get new towels. The ones I used were just folded up again.  EEEEWWWW.

I may be willing to sacrifice a lot of things to save money on a room -- low thread count sheets and foam rubber pillows, but when it comes to towels, don't go folding up the ones I've used and serving them up for the next day. Somebody has used them.  EWWWW.  Okay the somebody was me.  But EWWW nonetheless.  

Now that I think about it, some mango shampoo would have been nice too. 

I sure did save a boatload o' dough.

But, never again.


mosie1944 said...

We stay at cheap motels, and I never heard of one that doesn't give you clean towels, or all the soap you need.  I always have to ask the clerk at the motels with coffee in the room for more coffee than they give me, and they always oblige.  I would have demanded clean towels!

screaminremo303 said...

Motel Six is the aerosol-cheese can of motels. At least you didn't stay in an "extended stay" place with a stove and fridge. Those places are the prime spots for cooking up a batch of tweak. Did you look under the mattress? Whever we stay in a motel I won't let the kids go barefoot. The filth on their socks is proof enough.

Americans are the only people who use a towel once. Other countries usually just hang them up to dry and use them again.

jevanslink said...

I was working in London for several weeks one August and they tried that USE YOUR TOWELS MORE THAN ONCE trick on me. The whole notion of environmental pollution didn't cut it when it came to my personal needs.  I lasted one day and requested new towels.  Maybe I wouldn't have had such a big problem IF the air conditioning didn't make the room feel like a damp basement, if the hired cars actually had air conditioning.  And if room service had provdied edible food.  Life's a bitch, gimme fresh towels.

Mrs. L

onmiownnow2 said...

I agree... EEWWW!  Most people who use their bath towels more than once justify it by saying their bodies were 'clean' when they used them after showering.  But the human body is never really clean... just washed down.  We transfer the germs to the wet towels, where they multiply in the dark, moist bathroom enviornment all night long.  Believe me, no one should use them again the next morning.  Re-using towels is a good way to get styes and boiles.  ESPECIALLY if someone ELSE uses the towel!  I've read that motels/hotels almost never wash the bedpreads.  Never lie on top of them.  Push it onto the floor when you get into the bed to go to sleep.

This comment is a Public Service Announcement!  LOL!  Lisa

meforevermore said...

THEY WHAT????? I have NEVER had any hotel refold my towels, ew ew ew ew.... And that is really saying something considering I stayed in a hotel where I found blood on the carpet... and walls... and stained on the sheets... ::shiver:: Only hotel in the town though, so we just changed rooms. Ugh. Will never forget that, I slept with all my clothes on.

If I had the money, and I had to pick between a bunch of things I wouldn't use or enjoy or a Super 8... I'd spend the extra money lol


mombzbe said...

We once stayed in a Motel Six in San Diego, and it was truly scary.  There were people that looked like they were living there permanently, and I was certain that at any moment, I was going to witness the crew from "Cops" come rolling up to raid the place.  We should've left.  I think the truckstop 10 miles back would've felt safer...
When I'm on staying in a hotel, one of the perks is that I'm not doing the laundry.  Get me some clean towels, or else.  lol

ladeeoftheworld said...

Reminds me of the Passport Inn, late one summer night, in Podunk Kentucky, too sleepy to drive another mile.  The toilet which was "Sanitized for your Safety" had a cigarette butt floating in the water, and a beer can tab (it was years ago) on the floor hehind it.  Bobby pins (do you know what those are?) littered the shag carpet
next to the bed.  Our son, who was 7 at the time, refused to lie down because he sobbed, "There's a dead animal under the bed......it stinks", so I yelled at him to go to sleep NOW or suffer the sonsequences.  When he wouldn't stop crying, and I felt guilty for shouting, I leaned over to kiss him, and realized, the feather pillows had apparently rotted, or more accurately, decomposed.  It was disgusting.

We slept in the car that night, and awakened the next morning to a town which resembled something out of one of those post nuclear holocaust B movies.  You know?

Happy family vacation memories.

swibirun said...

Speaking of sheets and blankets....didja see the Ann Landers (or whoever it was) bit today about the 24 year old married woman who still has a security blanket (literal, not figurative) and the advice columnist said it was ok?  

Was that the sound of strapping on boots?


suzypwr said...

I always throw dirty towels on the floor under the sink in hotel rooms - that is my way of saying, "I expect clean towels when I get back." I can't imagine them picking them up off the floor and putting them back, but who knows?

And - what were you doing in MI that you didn't call me???


bluwave9 said...

We stayed at a Travelodge in downtown San Francisco once.  We were almost too busy patting ourselves on the backs for saving all that dough to notice the big metal bars on the hotel windows.  Or all the people in the lobby who were paying cash for their rooms.  I felt like I was staying at a pawn shop.

Never again.

kaydeejay5449 said...

I'm with you on the towels.  I don't know what it is but I have to use a clean towel every morning.  I do the laundry so it's my right to dirty as many towels as I want, right?

bosoxblue6993w said...

i've heard Tom Bodette .... but what exactly does he do?

mlrhjeh said...

I have stayed in motel 6 and always feel people think the wrong thing is going on in my room! Ha.

In other words...You get what you pay for!

Great journal!

Mary Louise

sgeorge952 said...

We stayed on property once at Disney and they had a card in the room asking to conserve resources by reusing your towels.  Good God, for the price of the rooms they could have purchased new towels for me every day!

swibirun said...

one more comment.....in this weekend's paper, there was an article about a meth lab that was busted.  Guess what other business the couple ran from this location.....A FREAKIN' DAYCARE.  Nice.....so nice.  I'm so friggin' (see two colloquial spellings) glad I live in Tennessee, the Land of 10,000 Meth Labs.  That's our new license tag.


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