just as they had many times before, p and her husband s, hit the road and made the journey from detroit to chicago to visit their grown children. they decided to take their time and spend the night along the way, as they were taking their older beloved dog with them, and wanted to make it an easy trip for him.
it was the long easter weekend, and they booked the only ‘dog-friendly lodging’ available, a chain motel, at their target stopping point – michigan city, indiana. this town, once known as ‘the coho capital of the world,‘ is now best known for its outlet malls, casino, and state prison. nyc it is not, but it happened to be located in just the right spot, the halfway point of the trip. they were fine with all this as it was just for a night, and in the morning they’d be off and on the road once again, headed for the windy city.
upon arriving at the motel, they checked in at the little front office, and made their way around the back to find their room and settle for the night. once in back, the first thing they noticed was the location of their room, and the second thing they noticed were the police officers, guns drawn, in defensive stance, aiming their weapons towards the room right next to theirs, involved in a standoff with the current resident. as p’s blood pressure quickly began to rise, s calmly put down his window to ask one of the officers if there was a problem, and if could they come through to get into their room. the dog now had his head out the window too, checking out the action and trying to figure out what was going on. while the officer was dumbfounded, by this request, p’s reaction was swift and strong -‘are you &^%$#@ kidding me?!?! put those windows up and let’s get the %$*& out of here and back to that office!’
s and the dog knew better than to mess with p when she started using symbols in her sentences, and they quickly backed out and returned to the office. when they asked the desk clerk what was going on, he looked at them calmly, saying,’i can’t tell you that.’ knowing there was nothing else available, they had no choice but to take a room, ‘as far away from the guns as possible.’ they didn’t sleep real well that night, but they never heard shots, and there is always something to be said for that. the next morning, they awoke early and headed out towards chicago, happy to be away from whatever had been going on.
chicago was great, the family visit was a good one, and all worries were behind them, as they headed for home. it was late afternoon when a light on their dash suddenly lit up, signaling a problem with the tire pressure. they pulled into the closest gas station and as they checked the tire that looked a bit low, it quickly went completely flat. a guy at the station replaced it with the donut tire and advised them not to drive more than 20 miles on it. it was easter sunday and nothing was open, so once again they ended up at their favorite motel, and requested their ‘usual room’ from the other night. the clerk seemed as surprised to see them as they were to see him.
they got the key and drove to their room, happy no standoffs were in play, and no swat vehicles were parked in the lot next to them. once inside, p went to take a shower, and noticed the shower curtain was missing. now, they’d been in this same room just 2 nights before, and the curtain had been in its place on the rod, so they wondered what possibly could have happened to it, as it was not the usual thing that someone would steal from a hotel room to take home with them.
s and the dog returned to the office, explained the situation to the clerk, who responded in his usual stoic manner, ‘hmm, i can’t say where it might be, but just take the one from the room next to you, the door’s unlocked.’ he truly is a corporate policy man and problem solver who can think on his toes. they trudged back to the room next to theirs, took down the curtain and installed it in their room’s shower. p was at her limit at this point, took her shower and they didn’t discuss it after that. later that night, when all were about to drift off into another restless sleep, they had to wonder if the missing shower curtain was somehow connected to the standoff, and perhaps even wondered what could have been wrapped in it? as for me, i wonder if they’ll return for their anniversary each year, though i think not.
This is an elegant hotel! Room service has an unlisted number.