Thursday, May 04, 2017

Vacancy Behind The Locked Door

                                      COMPOSITE PHOTO/EDITS BY RUTH RADER

Money. That five-letter word will either get you a private room or a park bench. Tonight I almost ended up sleeping with the squirrels. Not because I didn't have money. I had over $200 cash in my pocket. But I probably didn't look like it.

This is because I boarded a shuttle bus out of California this morning. And I was dropped off in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

The act of getting up too early coupled with walking into a noisy trailer trash factory otherwise
known as Walmart put my mind on a ragged edge. So I sat down in the attached Mickey D's and
powered-up my phone.

And I called...

"Good morning, this is Snoots Hotel...how may I pucker up my tight ass and help you?"

And I called...

"Welcome to the Snob Chalet. Are you from the immediate area? Because if
you are, the Snob Chalet has a strict 'no locals' policy."

And I called...

"This is the Nose Higher Than Our Rates Hotel. Don't even think of using cash. Currency is
dirty and is used by (ahem) persons that our guests are not comfortable associating with. If you
(chuckle) insist upon using cash, you will be expected to post a $350 deposit at check-in and we
we will
also put a ten-day hold on your credit card."

Years ago, a few lines of information on a piece of paper
and a reasonable amount of  CASH  would buy a tired
traveler a bath and a bed for the night. That doesn't happen very often, anymore.

Every lodging facility that I contacted today (with the exception of one, obviously) began the
conversation by asking for my banking information and a question about where I otherwise
resided. None
of the hotels (and motels) that I called (I contacted ten different ones) focused on my needs or
comfort as a paying guest.

Finally, I got lucky when I called number eleven on the list. A woman (representing a National
chain and no, it isn't Motel 6) got an earful from me when she answered the phone. After I
finished my frustrated rant there was a silent pause and then the woman said: "I think we can
work with you."

"You mean that I'll have to mop the lobby and then you'll consider giving me a room?"
I asked, salting my words with sarcasm.

The woman sighed. It wasn't an angry sigh, but more like a sad affirmation of the obvious.

"We are becoming more and more disconnected in this Country" I finally said.

"Well, let's get you a room for tonight" said the woman.

And what she did had nothing to do with plastic or wrinkled bills or my residency or socio-
economic status. Nope.

One day I rode down a side road with a friend of mine and stopped at little motel. It was
beautiful there and I can still smell the lilacs and see the woman's gracious smile. There was
no one hiding behind a fortress-like, wraparound desk. No bay of cameras that rivaled an urban sheriff's office. No sharp-eyed glance of suspicion.

The woman simply wanted to open the door of her B & B and make a new friend.

Now, I ask you...after reading this...where are our "United" States really going?

In conclusion I would like to share this well-known song because I believe it belongs here:



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