Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Misadventures of Getting a Hotel Room for 20 Dollars Less

Greetings folks from Sharon Massachusetts where today’s column is originating from….… Trophy Wife and I arrived here very late the other night to attend a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday Morning. If you ever go to Sharon be careful about the deceptively cheap Econo Lodge. We left Edison Friday night and hit the highway at Old Post Road and Route 1.… and even though the web said it would take 4:20, 5 hours later we arrived at the Econo Lodge in Sharon, MA which is at the intersection of Old Post Road… and Route 1! We arrived at 2am.. and I had told them we would be arriving late in the evening. .. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the man behind the desk who was wearing an eye patch that reminded me of a cross between Moshe Dayan and Mikahel from Lost.

By the way check out the archives from May 2006 about my Lost theories, and you will see how I nailed it on how the whole Dharma/Others relationship parallels the Settlers/American Indians.. although with with a very different ending. It was cool to see how Ben was born - I fully expected his dad to take the newborn and toss him across the highway like a football just like the actor’s other persona - Napoleon Dynamite’s Uncle Rico… “They shoulda put me in… we would have been state champs!” And speaking of dynamite.. Danielle who seems to be a regular pro with TNT,…. Is she also little Annie in the Ben flashbacks? Or maybe the little girl who can track things on Heroes? And is Linderman (Malcolm McDowell) who cured Mrs. Peterelli’s paralysis responsible for Locke’s ability to walk?

And the hour before Lost last Wednesday, while the rest of the universe was watching American Idol… I, along with probably only Mandy Patinkin’s family watched Criminal Minds on CBS. What a disturbing story.. An obsessive cop from Kansas City contacts the FBI when he notices prostitutes and vagrants seemingly disappearing off the streets. It turns out nobody cares about these poor nebbishy people who as it turns out have all been abducted by a wacko. That same day Opie and Anthony had a homeless guy on who talked about wanting to have sex with Condoleeza Rice and now in this post Imus PC era... everybody is blasting O and A for that show, and now they are suspended from their satellite broadcast for a month! The truth is the streets of America are filled with mentally ill homeless people whose crazy utterances are a sign that they have a lot of problems. Why exactly is this O and A’s fault that this one guy’s comment is quite representative of the mental illness that permeates people living on the street… and that we have turned our backs on these people?

So back to Patch at The Econo Lodge.. At first he couldn’t find our reservation.. As the clock ticked closer to 2;30 in the morning…after about several minutes of fumbling around he found my name and gave us a computerized key. Usually motor lodges have parking spots right in front of the room.. But this one didn’t;.. We parked in front of a different building and proceeded to shlep out stuff up a flight of stairs knowing that services at the synagogue were going to start approximately 6 and a half hours later and all we wanted to do was hit the sack and sleep.

At the door, Trophy Wife scanned the key and the little green light went on allowing us to open the door.. Which we did.. Only to realize that the chain was up! Being it was so late and we were so tired I thought I was seeing things.. We looked at the room number and saw it matched the number 420 on the key envelope. Too stunned to believe what I had just seen, I grabbed the key card and swiped it a second time. Again... the chain was blocking us.. “Uh Nate.. “ said Trophy Wife.. “I believe somebody is already in our room”… “How can that be?” I proclaimed loud enough to wake a person up and noticed the room was filled with somebody’s stuff.. Yet that somebody who was in the room very silent.. Asleep… dead… or possibly crouched behind the door with a gun.

As we walked back to the hotel desk Trophy Wife asked if we could just spring an extra few bucks and go to the Holiday Inn across the road… However since this hotel was sold out.. I was sure the much nicer and very tempting Holiday Inn was sold out too and I just didn’t have the energy to shlep stuff back to the car and across the street. We decided to give Patch one more chance hoping he just made a late night boo boo.

Back to Patch we went.. And I could swear he winked at my wife. I explained the dilemma and he was quite stunned.. OK he said.. We have 2 no shows.. So I’ll give you the key to one of those rooms.. As he was getting the key cards ready I asked him the 64,000 dollar question of how this possibly could have happened.. never realizing his answer sealed his fate. “Oh you see” Patch replied…”sometimes after we clean the room we THINK the people check out of the room.. But then they come back later in the day to spend another night here”.

Huh? Obviously I wasn’t thinking clearly because that should have set off the warning sirens.. And hopefully it will for anyone who wanders here after they google Econolodge in Sharon MA… Too tired to even think straight we trudged back up the stairs to room number 2. Trophy was begging me to just forget it and go to the Holiday Inn and if I had thought about the ludicrous logic of a motel not knowing who is staying in which room I would have bolted momentarily.. Especially since anyone could come into our room if we didn’t leave the chain up. We arrived at room no, 2 with our stuff… swiped the key card and…. Nothing,…. Did it again.. Nothing. It was almost like a buzzer went off like when 4 people overbid on The Price is Right. Again we checked to see that the room and key card matched.. And it did..

So it was off to the Holiday Inn… where we had a very short sleep after we finally got into our room after 3 oclock in the morning… and after all this craziness I didn’t fall asleep until 4:20. I did go back to the EconoLodge at around 245, and in the nicest possibly way told Norman Bates Jr. that he failed his test and I would not be staying at his establishment, He was nice about it and apologized profusely but all I wanted was a reassurance that my credit card wouldn’t be billed.. I stupidly billed it on a credit/debit card and so far no charges are there! If they try to charge me.. I’m posting links to today’s column on every hotel review/Massachusetts tourism website!

Hours later we attended the bar mitzvah. The kid did a nice job, and the neat thing about going to services across the country is its like a Broadway Musical.. They always sing the same songs except for services for Reform and the ultra ultra Orthodox who don’t sing the same tunes. At this service, it was the same comforting familiar songs… including the usual tune for the last song of the service.. Adon Olam. As they got to the last line of the song… I bolted out of my chair with joyful enthusiasm that services had concluded at the manageable hour of 11:15... But before I could do my traditional end of service Porky Pig Ibbidy Ibbidy Ibbidy…. Th Th That’s All Folks!…. there was silence… everybody but me was still seated… and then I realized that the Rabbi was about to make his speech… Oops…

Interestingly enough, at the buffet line I introduced myself to a woman in line in front of me who I had heard lives in Edison. The woman mentioned something about belonging to the same national women’s organization that Trophy Wife is very involved in. As I mentioned to this woman that my wife belongs to that group, she saw out of the corner of my eye that Trophy Wife had just gotten on line. With sheer jubilation she yelled out to a familiar face.. my wife..… “Trophy Trophy! How are you?” A hearing impaired gentleman in line looked at me, as I sneakily cut in front of the Edison woman's reunion, and asked me “Kosher?”… “No” I replied.. “She said Trophy…. Not traify!”

I really liked the synagogue and one of the highlights of the Rabbi’s speech was when he started talking about Marshall McLuhan! As soon as he mentioned M Mc.. (not to be confused with Malcolm McDowell or Melanie McGuire) I looked to my left and looked to my right in sheer terror and noticed with amazement how gutsy this Rabbi was to quote and analyze the writings of Marshall McLuhan… without any concern of who might rise from the woodwork to rebut his views on Marshall McLuhan. If you saw the movie Annie Hall. (it aired this Wed on TMC opposite Criminal Minds and The Price is Right Prime Time Adios Bob Barker Special) Woody Allen is in line at a movie theater and a know it all in line tries to impress his movie date by analyzing something Marshall McLuhan had said. Just then from out of the woodwork, stepped out - Marshall McLuhan right into the movie line… and he goes right up to the know it all and starts to berate the poor shlub in front of his chickie by telling him he knows nothing about Marshall McLuhan! (A hearing impaired gentleman in line asked.. "Mr. Jew Fan?" "No" replied a moviegoer "He said McLuhan!"

The Rabbi bravely continued with his Marshall McLuhan comments despite the historical potential repercussions.. But thankfully…. nobody said anything.. You could hear crickets the room was so silent….. And as I scanned the room it occurred to me that if Marshall McLuhan happened to be in Sharon, MA at that very moment… he was not at that synagogue!!

Perhaps he was still sleeping at a room at the Econo Lodge?


Now time for the Clip of the Week.. This week we begin our salute to game show legend Bob Barker who is retiring next month after a 50 year career. Here is a goofball who has an obsession with …..the number 420! Reread the column and yours truly may have peppered a few here too!

And PS - Mr. McLuhan died on Dec, 31, 1980.

1 comment:

Happy Pumpday to me! said...

And PS - Mr. McLuhan died on Dec, 31, 1980.

I bet Saint Peter, or whoever's in charge of guarding the pearly gates in all those silly heaven jokes, was waiting for that day. "Oh really, is that so?" he tells someone standing in line, "well, I happen to have Marshall McLuhan right here..."