Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Econolodge

We all have nice little photo albums on us at all times now since the advent of the smart phone.  It’s nice to be able to call up photos to illustrate a point, bring back a memory, or just make you smile.  Seeing some pictures on my phone can help me get through the day.  Then there are other photos.  Photos that make you shudder.  Today I stumbled into a photo I had forgotten about (see above).  Let me tell you about this photo. 

The Whiskey Daredevils had been driving from Kansas City MO to San Antonio TX.  How can I put this delicately?  That’s a motherfucker of a drive.  It just never ends, and there is nothing to look at out the window.  Oklahoma is a godforsaken wasteland not fit for humans.  It’s flat with fucked up looking people at the few exits on the interstate.  Mutants drive pickups with OK Sooner bumper stickers looking for female mutants to plant their diseased seed into and make more mutants.  I should point out, that Oklahoma is an upgrade over Kansas, but you have to drive through both of them before you even start Texas.

San Antonio is located so far south in Texas that everyone spoke Spanish but us.  Surprisingly I have had better Mexican food in Cincinnati than anywhere I went in San Antonio, but let’s be honest, I probably went to the wrong joints.   The Riverwalk is really nice, but a little touristy.  It’s probably a great place for twenty-year-old dudes in backward baseball hats to meet twenty-year-old girls with breast implants.  San Antonio has much to offer.  For example, Leo took a shit at the Alamo, but that’s not really important.  Let’s talk about the picture…

We were pre-booked at the Econolodge outside of town.  When I think of “Econolodge”, I think “What a great place to kill a prostitute”, don’t you?  They are America’s worst chain of hotels, always bleak and low on amenities.  Guys that escape from prison won’t even stay at Econolodge due to the low thread count on the sheets and sour smell of the towels.  Regardless, the Whiskey Daredevils were going to have to stay at a San Antonio Econolodge for one night.  We had spent the entire day driving, and would be arriving around 1:30am eager to do anything else but be in the goddamn van.

We pull into the parking lot, which like most of Texas is conveniently located about seven feet from the four lane highway.  Texas is nothing but large spaces, yet everything is always placed so close to the highway you can smell if someone passing by is farting out bar-b-que Fritos.  It must be a cultural thing I don’t understand.  You can see facial expressions of drivers this motel is so close to the highway, and I am not bullshitting you.  Texans civic planners must be concerned they will eventually run out of space like they are in Hong Kong.

So we pull in to this horrific concrete two-story bunker motel.  I get the key from the Indian clerk.  You show me a shitty motel off the highway, and I will show you an Indian family running it.  There must be seminars in New Delhi focused on the financial windfall of owning terrible American motel chain locations.  It’s always the same routine.  The clerk is rousted out of the back via buzzer by bulletproof glass.  The unmistakable smell of curry and body sweat wafts through the glass as you get your key.  You know it’s going to be horrible, and you walk away to confront whatever this family has constructed as acceptable accommodations off an American highway.

As we walk to the room, a bunch of scary vaguely military deserter looking guys are standing around the second floor hallway.  The door to their room is open, and dark haired girls wander out from the room to stare at us and smoke cigarettes.  They are all drinking Busch Light in cans.  They lean on the railway and look down at the saddest pool in Texas, a concrete basin filled with murky water.  This whole scene has the whiff of a low budget porno shoot.  I walk by with a grunt, and hope they stay quiet so we can sleep.  I climb onto a thin mattress, and reflexively itch myself, certain I am infested with bed bugs.

At daylight the motel looks even worse.  The facility is utterly charmless.  It is all cement squatting on an access road.  Traffic roars by without any break.  There is nothing within walking distance but failing businesses and decaying little houses with rusting cars in the driveways.  Some have men in undershirts and sideways baseball caps sitting on plastic chairs staring expressionlessly straight ahead. 

Gary had slept on the pullout.  It was dark when we came in, and we threw a threadbare sheet over the thin pad and went to sleep within minutes of arriving.  We started getting ready to go, and Gary pulled the sheet off his mattress when his shoe caught just right.  That’s when we noticed this horrific blood stain on the mattress.  Yes, I believe we were in the “prostitute death suite”.  We all got freaked out, and left as soon as possible.  We did not look for a corpse under any of the box springs.  We just got the hell out.

The picture up top?  That’s the mattress… 


At July 24, 2012 at 1:02:00 AM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

Livin the dream fellas.


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