IMG_4854In my quest to “get out there were the readers are” and sell my mystery books, I’ve gone to several bazaars which required an overnight stay. Being on the frugal side (you can call it cheap if you want to), and actually trying to end the year in the black (maybe someday…), I have stayed in some pretty, uh, “questionable” places.IMG_4850

Normally, my only requirement is clean sheets and hot water, but after pushing a couch in front of the door for two nights for “security,” I might add a few things to my basic necessities list.

IMG_4849For starters, I’d like there to be someone in the office when I want to check in. At this place, there was a locked door, despite the “Open” sign, and no less than three separate numbered buzzers and/or bells to ring prior to the final directive to “see the assistant manager” in a specified unit out back.

The “assistant manager” is a whole ‘nother Twilight Zone story in himself, but suffice to say, I kept my distance and didn’t even ask his name, less he would think I was being friendly and repeat his offer of a year ago to take me out for a beer, but I’d have to drive.IMG_4843

Not to be picky, but I really need a handrail to climb stairs. And a real lock on the door, not just the push-button doorknob security that even I could kick in without too much difficulty, and hence my decision to push the couch in front of the door at night.

IMG_4848I can’t count the number of times I tripped over the one-inch high metal “lip” of the bathroom, as I changed rooms. You’d think I’d bruised my foot sufficiently the first time I nearly tumbled, but no… I’m rather forgetful during a middle of the night visit to the toilet.

I never did figure out why they didn’t just remove the refrigerator that didn’t work when they put one that froze my soda on top of it. The lower one smelled of… I’m not sure… does freon smell like moldy smoked fish?IMG_4845

There was a coffee pot, but no coffee, and an ancient microwave that I didn’t dare open. The heat came from a single 5 x 10 inch grilled vent in the wall, partially obscured by the bed. The television was the only appliance or fixture not decades old, but… wouldn’t you know it? The remote did not work at all, and the battery compartment was taped shut, so I couldn’t even try to revive it!!

IMG_4847But hey! The sheets WERE clean, and the water WAS hot, so what the heck!

To be fair, I obviously survived the night, and I spent exactly half of what I would have spent in the only other motel in town (and the next town/motel was a commute I didn’t want to make on potentially icy roads). So I’m not complaining too loudly, as I’ll probably end up there next year, too!