Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Cheap Motels

I have played a lot of shows in my life as a Daredevil/Cowslinger. If you figure we have played around an average of 70 shows a year since 1992, you are looking at 1300+ gigs in all sorts of weird circumstances. Someone just asked me last weekend where was the worst place we ever stayed after a show. Now this is a tricky question as we crashed out at all kinds of people's homes in the Early Days of Bitter Struggle in the early and mid 90s. That yielded way to the Later Days of Bitter Struggle where we find ourselves nestled in even now, but at least our experience has made us remember never to stay at a punk rock squat house, or college housing of any kind.

The worst hotel room we ever stayed in was (in my opinion) a twin smoking room at the Cutlips Motor Lodge in Charleston WV. Cutlips was a privately owned cheap motel right off of I-77 within striking distance of a Tudor's Biscuit World and "Coal: Clean Power" billboard. We always referred to it as "Cuntlips" as it was a name a little more reflective of the place's personality. It was inhabited nightly by truckers, adulterers on a budget, the mentally ill, and parolees. This would be my first choice as a location to drink a pint of well whiskey and severely beat my female companion with a belt until the police were called and I was killed in a barrage of gunfire. I'm sure dark shit like that happened all the time. You could smell it in the damp faded wallpaper. Cuntlips Motel had two types of rooms available: Smoking/Heavy Smoking. I remember sleeping with my head wrapped in my jeans, the day old pants being the best I could do for some sort of air filter. The room stunk so bad I couldn't sleep. We may have been in the Black Lung Suite. I don't recall.

However, I think the worst place we ever stayed was in Gainesville Florida. We had played a show at the Covered Dish with the Flat Duo Jets. I remember us playing OK despite the fact that Tony, our bass player at the time, had gotten crushed at a bar called The Brass Monkey on some sort of 2 for 1 Happy Hour downward spiral. I also remember this being maybe the best Flat Duo jets gig I ever saw. Those guys were in a weird place with each other, and I was sitting in the dressing room with them uncomfortably while they hashed out a few things. Then they went out there and ripped. They absolutely crushed. Dex and Crow had some friends in town, and after the gig they invited us to come over to a house for an after party/crash pad. Since we had absolutely no plan or idea of where a reasonably priced hotel was, we jumped at the idea.

The party was really weird. There was a guy that spent a great deal of time explaining how close we were to several of the Danny Rolling "Gainesville Ripper" murder sites. He was one of those guys that was a little too enthusiastic about all the grisly details. It was almost as if he was trying to hide how giddy he was about being so close to a heinous crime scene that included decapitations and mutilations. I remember how he was trying to suppress a grin as he shook his head talking about each individual murder. I also remember noting how eager I was for him to go home and not chop my head off before he left. He really creeped me out. Meanwhile, Dex was walking around soaking wet after taking a shower and not toweling off, roaming from room to room like a caged animal. The house itself was a small beat up Florida student house, probably 4 rooms in all. All I wanted was to go to sleep, but I realized I had no choice but to wait out the party in the main room. Ugh...

Slowly most of the remaining soldiers headed out onto the front porch to continue on their quest to finish the ungodly amount of Natural Light someone had provided. It had to be about 430am or so. I took my chance to claim some space in the only room that looked open for us to sleep in. It became evident I would only be able to sleep by sitting in a chair and extending my legs onto the cheap coffee table. After cramping up a couple times, I spotted some yard furniture cushions on the porch. I created a little bed with two of those on the hard wood floor and tried to get at least 4 hours sleep before we headed off to Jacksonville the next day. It must have been about 15 minutes later that I started to itch. And then itch some more. And then really itch. I looked on my arm and saw little fleas biting away, and realized the cushions were completely infested. I stood up scratching and brushing myself off like crazy, hoping to rid myself of the bugs. This would require more desperate measures. I headed to the bathroom to try and wash the fuckers off.

I was not prepared for what I would find in the bathroom. I was so focused on the bugs and the itching, it took me a second to understand what was going on when I flicked the light on. There must have been 30 or more cockroaches the size of gerbils that scrambled for shelter when I clicked that light on. They were huge, unlike any bugs I had ever seen. It was like the entire wall had skin that was moving. I stood there blinking my eyes trying to come to grips with this horrifying scene. I then turned around, dug the van keys out of somebody's jacket, and climbed into the back of the van. I slept for about an hour at an awkward angle on top of the gear.

It was about that time we adopted the policy of never staying at someone's house unless we knew them really well, or someone we trusted could vouch for them.


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