Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Part Two: "Ford-One-Zeeeeeedooooooooooo"

If you have not read yesterday's post, today's post isn't going to make a lick of sense.  I highly recommend reading yesterday's post first (One Bed Two Bed Red Bed Blue Bed) and then come back to today's post.
While the rest of you wait, here's a picture of the beach at dusk.
 It was gorgeous, and this picture doesn't capture it. 
All caught up now?  Excellent. 
After eating dinner and walking the beach at dusk, then driving back across the cornfields to Chestertown, there was nothing to do.  It was Sunday night at 9PM, everything was closed, there was no way in hell I was leaving Mo-Man by himself in SketchCity Hotel, and the only place open -- the movie theater -- definitely wouldn't let Mo-Man in.  We were stuck.  There was literally nowhere to go.  We had to go back to the hotel.
"It'll be fine," I said.  "I'll sleep with one eye open.  I never sleep anyway.  It'll be fine."
"Yeah," said my sister.  "I mean...what can happen?  It's going to be fine."
What my sister didn't know was that, when she had gone into Subway to buy us subs for dinner and use the bathroom, I had looked up the name of the hotel on my phone, just to see if people had been killed there, and read reviews like the following:

Thankfully, my husband and I did not stay here and we were able to find suitable lodging in a nearby town. We were in town for a triathlon and had booked a room online a few months prior to the race. When we arrived at the motel, the manager hesitated to give me back my credit card and personal identification. He was very hard to understand and he was also very rude. When we got to our room, it smelled badly of smoke, mildew, and there was mold everywhere. We immediately requested another room; which turned out to be just as bad. As we were checking out the second room, two of the tenants near our room began fighting, which required the police and an ambulance. Both tenants were taken to the hospital. At first, the manager said he would give us a partial refund and then he changed his mind, stating that we'd stayed an hour. It is obvious that homeless and other derelict persons occupy parts of this motel. I'm disputing the credit card charge ...This place is not a motel. It's a dump that should be condemned. Sleep in your car instead!
And this one, cleverly titled "Run!":

Honestly, run! When we pulled into the parking lot, we said it's just one night; however, we did not make it the one night. We checked in as housekeeping was "cleaning" our room and once I saw the mattress, I could not sleep there. We ate the cost of the room and continued our ride home. It was so filthy and disgusting. The owners make money because people book rooms on-line and once someone sees the rooms, they walkway without a refund. Then the owners re-rent the room. As we were leaving, we noticed that there was a family with 2 young children living in one of the rooms. The children were knocking on the door to get back into the room; however, there was a male voice on the other side of the door asking for a password before he would let them in. I have no clue what that was about but I'm assuming that they are running drugs out of the room.
(In case you think I'm making this up, read the reviews here: .  I'm very honest.  My perception may be skewed sometimes, but I'm not particularly prone to exaggeration).

I didn't tell her I read this.  What she doesn't know can't hurt her, right?
Once in the room, we mulled around for a bit, trying to get over the mildew smell and the dirty bedclothes. 
"Can we move the desk?" my sister asked.  I looked at the large, marble-topped desk that probably hasn't been moved in 40 years.  I looked at the door.  It was a straight shot.  There were two of us. 

Photographic evidence.  This is all for real, guys.  All for real.
"Let's do it," I said.  I pulled, she pushed, and with a bit of work, we mashed that marble-topped desk right up to the door-without-a-latch.  There was no way anybody would be able to get in now.
"Now you can sleep with both eyes closed!" my sister said, relieved. 
"Let's check the windows first," I suggested.  I moved aside the ugly, stained, plaid, falling apart curtains to check, but when I moved the window latch, it came off in my hands.  "Let's just say they're locked," I suggested.  "I can only take so much anxiety."
"We'll just turn the TV on and find something good to watch," my sister suggested.  "We have a marble desk barricade.  It's fine."  I don't have a TV hooked up, other than to my DVD player, so watching TV is an unusual experience for me.  It would, actually, be intriguing and different for me in a way that it isn't for most people.  I sat down on one bed, my sister sat down on the other, and I picked up the remote and pressed "power."
I stood up, pressed "Power" on the TV and it came on.  A golf tournament filled the screen.  I sat down on the bed again and pressed the channel button.  Nothing.  I pressed a number button.  Nothing.  I looked around, found a second (identical) remote, and pressed a couple buttons.  Nothing.  I took the batteries out and put them back in.  Nothing.  There is no channel button on the TV. 
Just to recap: it is now only 9:30pm.  We are barricaded into a dirty, moldy hotel room (with gang signs in the bathroom) by a marble-topped desk, my anxiety is at a 50 on a scale of 1-10, we're so sketched out by the place that we decide that the water is probably unsafe to drink, and the only thing we can do is watch golf. 
"Oh!" says my sister,  "I have my Kindle Fire.  We can watch a movie on Amazon Prime.  We have wi-fi here, right?"
"AWESOME!" I say, jumping into her bed. 
"What's the password?" she asks.  Hell if I know.  I look on my key card.  Nothing.  We try the room number, the name of the hotel, our last name...nothing.  We look in the desk drawer and find a Gideon Bible, but no wi-fi access instructions.  "How about you just call the desk?" my sister asks. 
"Nope," I say definitively.  "I'm not calling.  I checked in.  I am NOT talking to that man again.  We've already been through how many beds, whether you and I are lesbians, and if I have a boyfriend.  I can't take anymore."
"Fine.   I'll call," she says, picking up the phone.  I stand on the other side of the room, still trying to fumble with the TV.
Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  Ring.  "HELLO?" I hear Mr. Not-Ranjit scream, already clearly pissed.
"Hi!" my sister says, a little too chipper.  "This is All Too Chipper in room 32.  I'm just wondering what the password is for the wi-fi."
"PASSWORD?" he screams.
"Yes...yes...this is All Too Chipper in room 32.  I need the..."
"Um..." my sister starts to giggle.  She giggles when she's nervous.  She also gets this wide-eyed look of "what the fuck," is embarrassed about the fact that she's giggling, and so giggles more.
"PASSWORD.  YOU NEED PASSWORD.  FORD-ONE-ZEDO!!!  YOU HEAR ME?"  I can hear him spitting the words out angrily, and picture them as red hot coals he's attempting to spit through the phone into my sister's ear.  "FORD.  ONE.  ZEDO!"
"Yes," my sister giggles, "what the fuck" look growing exponentially, "um...can you say that again?  This is the..."

"Ford one zedo?" my sister asks.
"Okay," my sister says, no longer giggling.  "Umm...thank you."
And with that, he slams down the phone.
There was silence for a moment, until we both started giggling.  "It sounded like a phone number," I suggested.  "Maybe a four-one-zero number?"
"Ooooooohhhhh," she says. 
I look at the phone, which has the main number for the hotel.  "Try this," I say.  "410-362-3200."
It works. 
Amazingly, we were able to log on, and we laid on dirty sheets watching "Kissing Jessica Stein" with the dog between us.  When the movie finished, we watched an episode of "Parks and Recreation," pushed the table up against the door once more, just to make sure it was really secure, told the dog he was going to have to hold it, and went to bed.
Although, to be honest, how that conversation actually went was, "Mo-Man, you don't have to go out, do you?  You don't, right?  Okay, good.  If you do, just pee on the carpet.  Nobody will know.  It'll blend in.  It's fine.  Sorry, bud."
(For the record, after the one bed/two bed issue, although we ended up with two beds, we ended up all 3 sleeping in one bed.  It wasn't that I was scared, you know...I just wanted to make sure that my sister wasn' Kurt checking on Fraulein Maria in "Sound of Music."  ).  
(We totally should have done this...if we had thought of it, we would have.  Re-enacting scenes from musicals is totally something we do).   
At any rate, we made it through the night.  Barely.  I slept with one eye open all night, and absolutely nothing shady went down. 
The next morning, we packed everything up as quickly as possible and were ready to go.  We took the dog for a walk, walked by a waterless pool with the sides crumbling and a plastic chair sitting in the middle, surrounded by trash, and loaded up the car. 
"I'll check out," I grumbled.  I walked into the office that still smelled like old shoes.  The first door into the vestibule opened, but the second door into the actual office was locked.  It was 9AM.  I knocked on the door, but no one answered.  Then, I noticed a phone on a little table with a sign that said "for ck-in/ck-out questions, pick up phone."  There was also a glass window with a little dish through to the other side, like you see at the ticket booth in movie theaters, with a sign that said "Put card here."  There was a third sign that said "We assist you shorty." I'm pretty sure it was supposed to say "We will assist you shortly..." but you know, whatever.  Close enough.
After careful deliberation, I decided to pick up the phone.  There was no dial tone.  It did not connect to anything.  I spoke into it anyway, feeling like a complete asshole talking into a dead phone while alone in a vestibule, while waiting for the "FORD-ONE-ZEDO" man to appear (and possibly murder me).  I was right.  On the appearing front I was right, anyway.  Not on the murder.  
"WHAT YOU WANT?" he asked, temper flaring in his eyes.  He was in his boxers and the same stained undershirt.  His hair was a mess.  He looked drunk.  "WHY YOU NOT READ A SIGN?"  He pointed to the "Put card here" sign.
I decided to ignore him.  "Good morning," I said cheerfully, "I need to check out."
"READ A SIGN!" he exclaimed. 
"Oh!" I said, feigning surprise.  "Okay then.  It says 'Put card here.'"  I placed my card there.  He didn't take it.  He didn't do anything.  He just stood there.
"Is there anything else I need to do?" I asked.  He flicked his wrist.  I turned around and left.  I didn't say thank you or goodbye.  I guess I just didn't think our relationship was the sort that required those types of pleasantries. 
"HELLO?" he screamed.
I jumped and turned around.  He was on the phone.  He gave me another wrist flick, and I left.  We jumped into the car, tore out of the parking lot, turned on Michael Franti's "I'm Alive," and blared it loud as we drove through the cornfields towards the beach.


  1. OH. My. Word. Seriously, I would not have stayed there. got a good story out of it!