Last month, Ben and I, along with our friend, Phillip, embarked on a roadtrip. We took Ben's car because it had the least # of miles and also had locking doors and airconditioning. Unfortunately, the little 1988 Honda Accord that Ben's family had bought when he was 8 yrs old bit the dust on this roadtrip and we had to leave it in Omaha, Nebraska. But not before it blew out its cooling system not once, but twice. (Here it is losing coolant:)
That's right. We were stuck in Chicago (on our way up to Wisconsin for some sailing with friends) for a night while we had it fixed the first time: had $700 worth of repairs done to it, and it worked just fine all the way up to Wisconsin. That night in Chicago, though, we ended up staying in one of those hotels you see in movies like Trainspotting that you don't really believe exist in real life. Oh, I assure you, they actually do. Here are some highlights/accoutrements afforded to us at The New Jackson Hotel (and Ben's Dismay at the place):
First of all, the only room available was the Honeymoon Suite-- for $50/night. The other rooms were rented by the week. Okay.
1. No wireless internet access (this is a joke, because the idea of that is ludicrous as you shall see).
2. Jizz fiesta (nickname of our bed. EEeeeewwwww.)
3. "original" radio (old timey radio/bedstand combo that hadn't worked in decades)
4. six sockets in bathroom, only 2 light bulbs, and only one that actually worked
5. large, unexplainable nook in bathroom with peg.
6. plastic on windows
7. crappy plastic satellite dish pointed straight to hell (wasn't even plugged in....oh wait, the wire is cut and this is actually just a peice of junk in our room).
8. duct-taped stool (the seat of the stool was held together with duct tape. Yes, in the honeymoon suite.)
9. stank carpet (we were going to sleep on the floor rather than the Jizz Fiesta. And then I took my shoes off and realized that it was nastier than any bar floor I've ever been to. We never took our shoes off after that).
10. particle board dresser/drawers (the fronts of which were all broken or missing)
11. red neon sign directly outside our window
12. frayed swatch of stank carpet in bathroom as bath mat
13. resident hobos and policemen outside the doors at all times, "How was your stay at the New Jackson?"
14. 2 mm of nastiness on the fan blades and walls (grime grime grime)
15. fake-ass fireplace full of green blocks. Ben said, "What ARE those? Are they like, styrofoam to put your used needles in or something? Alyssum, you know medical things, go check them out." So I did. And on closer inspection I was able to confirm that they were not styrofoam, but rat poison. Phew, just rat poison.
16. TV from the 1970's
17. moth-eaten, cratered ottoman that might have used to be pink, but was now a dingy grey.
18. gin glasses in ashtrays (???)
19. toilet paper wadded up and plugging the peephole
20. broken dead bolt
21. no keys (the security man lets you in)
22. stained sheets (of course)
23. spooge bubble floor (it bubbled under your feet in about a 5'square portion of the room
24. when we used the nasty ottoman to hold open the window to get some fresh air, what do we see on the window sill???
(drum roll, please...........) an honest to goodness Crack Pipe. Oh. God.
The three of us slept (lied awake, more like) like sardines--clothes on, no covers, shoes on, scared to death of falling on the floor or being interrupted by druglords--side by side on the full-sized Jizz Fiesta.
(Ben and I are here, pretending to act out what we imagined happened here frequently with prostitutes and abusive clients: Oh, yes, the rates were listed by the week and also by the hour. We were strange in that we were there just overnight. "what? normal guests?")