26 March 2006

Chapter 2. Motel No-tell

Finding a hotel that would accept us proved more difficult than we had anticipated. For some reason, the night staff seemed reluctant to give us a room. “Besides,” they said, “we're full. There is a Hare Krishna convention in town.”

“Aw, shucks! We don’t care about sharing a hotel with Hare Krishnas!”

“No rooms!” they insisted. “We don’t want you Mormons duking it out with them! Now, Git! And take Don Ho with you!”

Outside of the lobby, A.J. reasoned that we might have better luck if we could borrow a hose and get cleaned up before attempting to check in. We stole around the back of the hotel by the pool and found a faucet.

Now, I’m not the type of fellow that enjoys spending an evening in cold, wet Mormon missionary type garb going from hotel to hotel, so I hung my semi-clean clothes across my bike and snuck into the hot tub with a bottle of wine. This was a purely a survival tactic and had nothing to do with the young ladies that were already present. Franklin and A.J., being well aware of my superior wilderness skills soon followed suit.

You’re probably wondering how we could get away with jumping into a hot tub already occupied by young ladies that did not know us from Adam, without a good deal of screaming, slapping, and/or calling of the police. What you have to understand is that thanks to two events of that decade we were quite safe.

First, Miami Vice had pretty much killed boxers as a skivvies option. The second serendipitous event was an Exxon promotion gone horribly awry. Our local filling station had ordered a few hundred tee-shirts emblazoned with the logo “Put a Tiger in your Tank!”

And that would have been just fine and dandy, had not the Chinese underwear company gotten confused and delivered a few hundred briefs instead. It seemed that very few motorists wanted “Put a Tiger in your Tank!” emblazoned across their arse, so as poor college students, we were able to buy them cheap and dye them navy blue to obscure the lettering. In the dim lights, they looked just like Speedos, so there was very little screaming, slapping, or police summoning.

In fact, there was quite a bit of drinking and teen-agerly bravado. We told the young ladies of our wealth and sophistication. We were on a bicycle trip across wine country, rather than going in a limo, we said. “You see, it’s a rather more authentic experience that way!” We posited earnestly. The young ladies did not discourage us, so with each refill of the wine glasses, we avowed our eternal love and gave up offerings of increasingly lavish terms.

“I would grow you the most exquisite and rare Orchids, should you deign to sleep with me this night!” A.J. whispered to one his very best Barry White voice.

“And I shall buy you a forest green silk camisole and a string of pearls two yards in length to match your auburn hair!” I remarked to another while filling her glass.

Not to be outdone, Franklin, who had been drinking straight out of his bottle, belched and said “And I’ll tattoo your name on my penis!”

We looked at him aghast, sure that he had spoilt our chances, but the young lady simply remarked “My name is Loretta-Marie Jonston-Smythe-MacKinesson.”

Franklin seemed crestfallen, but then brightened.

“Hey!” He said. “How about if just I do your initials?”

The young ladies whispered amongst themselves and got out of the hot tub. “Stay here!” They commanded. “We’ll be right back!”

And so we waited.

And waited.

Pretty soon a group of Hare Krishnas stalked by, glaring at us on their way to the sauna. Now, these weren't your normal "Would you like a flower?" tambourine-beating, happy-dancing Hare Krishnas. No, these were the "What are you looking at, tit-face?", gut-slashing, head-stomping, Provisional Wing of the Hare Krishnas; mean bastards that would as soon glass you as look at you.

“Fucking Mormons!” one of them muttered.

We decided not to make them pay for their insolence. After all, the ladies would be back soon and we didn't want the place splattered with blood. So we settled back to wait some more.

After a while, it became clear that our young ladies were not coming back. Reluctantly, we climbed out of the hot tub and dried off, only to find that the dye had run, turning our skin a lovely Prussian blue (accept for A.J., who looked like a slightly bilious smurf) from head to foot, except in the bits covered by the lettering. Furthermore, no amount of scrubbing seemed to remove the dye.

Well, no matter. We ditched our wet skivvies and went to retrieve our clothes.

Unfortunately, all of our clothing, our bicycles and packs were gone.

The only thing left was A.J.’s shirt, the cheese and a note from the young ladies stating “You may keep these.”

We stood about shivering, six blue-dyed cheeks proclaiming "Put a Tiger in your Tank!" in pasty white, yet quite legible, lettering.

We were trespassing, under-aged and drunk, naked and now penniless. There was only one thing to do.

We stole the Hare Krishnas' robes and ran like hell into the night.

And that's the way I likes it.