Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Let It Snow...whether we like it or not!

Today, in subtropical southern Illinois, we woke up to snow flurries, which culminated in about 4 inches so far…and we’re supposed to get snow showers later in the evening/night. I ask you, having been born and reared and live all my life in the South, what in the hell are “snow showers?” Is it a prelude to whiteout conditions? Are they analogous to (rain) sprinkles and downpour? I’m not sure if I should be afraid or not…I’m about 95% sure that I’m not going to like them, no matter what.

It’s still cold--no big surprise there. Although, the small primitive part of my brain keeps hoping that we’ll magically endure a heat wave, it’s probably not going to happen. I remember one of my first trips for the old company was to Great Falls, Montana in November with another co-worker…when we landed, it was snowing quite steadily, and continued to snow about 4 inches or so on top of the 4 or so inches they already had. The customers kept telling us that on Thursday, a chinook would blow through and clear everything off.

We were most disbelieving, because this was the same site that sent us to a Chinese restaurant that shared a building with a strip bar. The walls in the Chinese restaurant were covered in dingy blue and white contoured shag carpeting, and the pictures and ubiquitous hanging lanterns would sway in time to the thump-a-thump-a music coming from next door. (The next day, when the site asked how we enjoyed dinner, we gingerly mentioned the location of the restaurant only to be informed that they meant “the other Chinese restaurant,” which had same name and was 2 blocks up on the same street. Yeah. But, the food wasn’t too bad, and you can’t buy ambience like that!)

We woke up on that Thursday morning and went outside to find that amazingly enough, there was not one speck of snow on the ground. None. Nada. It was if a giant snowblower had hit town and scoured the landscape clean. Wonder if there’s some Montana version of legend like Paul Bunyan and his Big Blue Ox Babe that involves a large guy named Gary and his Giant Snowblower…maybe pulled by Duke, the giant white big horned sheep?

Back here in the present, in sub-tropical Illinois, at the lovely Motel Hell, we had a bountiful continental breakfast this morning…weak coffee, some reconstituted orange juice, and a choice of cereal (Special K, Raisin Bran, or Fruit Loops). There were 3 plastic boxes that contained a loaf of generic white bread and a loaf of generic wheat bread for toast, and a couple of defrosted bagels. A communal tub of cream cheese, a communal tub of margarine, and a squeeze bottle of strawberry jelly rounded out the condiment selection. Not going to be hard to stay on the ol’ diet here.

This evening, as we convened in the lobby for dinner, we noticed it was chock full of old people with cards, poker chips, and money. They were playing some game called “pitch,” whatever the heck that might be. And, we noticed that Room 107’s door was propped open with a folded towel in the top. Why on earth, you might wonder, is that room’s door being propped open with a towel? Because it is chock full of video poker machines and people playing them. Y’all, the hotel is a hotbed of gambling fools, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this is all, shall we say, not above board? I’m seriously wanting to check into the only other motel in town, which is a Super 8, but doesn’t seem to have a foothold in the seamy underworld of geriatric gambling. I’m afraid we’re going to be walking down the other side of the hallway in this hotel and see a door propped open for a room full of stripping septuagenarians. You think I’m kidding.

And, the kicker? We’ve got to come back for 2 more weeks of this. And, I’m not even sure I can last until Friday, much less do it again for another 10 days.

But, the snow makes everything look prettier…even stripper grannies.

Bates Motel? Or, Motel Hell?

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