Motel hell for a baby boomer who wants better

Motel hell. You probably didn’t care much about it when you were younger. Today, as a “mature” baby boomer? Well, the Olympic Peninsula’s Linda Myers, author of Fun House Chronicles, just lived through it. Barely.

We boomers hate to think of ourselves as old. But I have noticed one thing that has made the fact obvious! As a college kid, sleeping accommodations meant nothing. A beach, a VW bus, a sofa with no springs. Today, that has changed big time. I realized it on a recent trip to Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale beach.

Fort Lauderdale beach.

It was spring break. Due to the anticipation of wet T-shirt contests and shoe puking, our Delta flight is packed. Sis and I arrive at midnight along with a jillion college kids. We’re to spend the night at a resort hotel, then escape via ship the next day.

Midnight at the airport, right? The hotel has lost our reservation. There are ten cruise ships leaving the next day. There are no available hotels. Sleeping on the beach is out (see the above-referenced jillion college kids).

Writer Linda Myers

Writer Linda Myers

I become a pile of spinelessness, akin to The Blob. Sis tackles the one cruise employee she can find; his job is merely to welcome customers, or so he thought. But now his job is to “find us a fucking room or your Floridian chads will be dangling from the air traffic control tower.”

Turns out he has a list of no-name hotels. Honest to God. We find one hovel that actually has a vacancy. I know it won’t be a pretty sight, but it’s just one night.

How many 1940s detective books have you read? Or noir films have you seen? This is the prototype motel for them all. The neon sign buzzing, the ice machine humming, the slowly circulating fan, the fat lady at the desk. We’re in our blingy cruise garb. “Want that Manny helps wid da luggage? I’ll go unleash him.” Jesus God no! Not Manny! Not at 1 am! Wouldn’t want to be a bother. We’ll haul our own bags, thank you kindly.

As we are unlocking our room door, our next-door neighbor steps out clad only in baggy plaid shorts and blows his nose. Snot right there on the sidewalk. Sis and I trample each other to get inside.

Where do we put stuff? Neither of us wants to set anything on that carpet. The room has no glasses, no ice bucket, no toilet paper, not even a toilet paper holder. There’s no Kleenex (see nose blower above). At least there are plenty of toenail clippings lying about.


We strip the beds of anything likely touched by the hourly trade. We lie down on towels, stiff as stiffs, trying to breathe in that wet Florida air. For the next five hours neither of us actually moves, hoping not to disturb anything that might be living in the room other than ourselves.

Before sun up, we haul ass to the oceanfront Big Name Hotel and pretend to be guests. We hang out in the restaurant, lobby, business center until it is time to board our ship. While using their internet, I see a roach crawl away from my tote bag and scuttle down the hall.

I believe I have just delivered another Bates Motel guest intent on movin’ on up. Just like us.

Linda is online … click here.


  1. Linda, yikes! That was an assault to my senses…
    …but I read it twice more to experience it all again!

  2. Linda, I’m laughing out loud – Great story. It reminds me of the time I spent a night in a roach motel in San Francisco. Thankfully, I was still young enough to hack it.

  3. Linda, Mine was in New Orleans after hitch hiking from Sarasota, FL. I was only 21 and scared out of my mind! What was I thinking???? Glad you made it out alive! 😉

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