For my friends who are fans of science fiction, this is in no way an attack on Star Trek or any other space themed show. Rather, it is a warning that not all things are what they seem, and sometimes our childhood heroes are full of it!
Having said that, I understand that all good things eventually come to an end. Designing Women went off the air. Crayola got rid of ‘maize’ and ‘raw umber.’ And apparently, all of the cast of ‘The Waltons’ are in some kind of witness protection program, because no one has seen any of them since 1981. But it’s nice to think back on these simpler days and the things and characters we held dear, because they represent, at least for me, a certain continuity and integrity that have stayed with me through the years. Which brings me to that ass-monkey, Captain Kirk.
Bearing in mind that everything has a beginning and an end, I can understand that James T. Kirk had to find another gig to pay the bills after he got booted off the Enterprise. I admired his stint on Rescue 911, really, not so much because of the positive impact the show had, but because he looked so uncomfortable so obviously encased in that full body girdle and I could identify with that. (Okay, I still can!) Of course, this show, too, ended, so Capt. Kirk, being a famewhore and food addict (I totally get that, too!) decided to take whatever job he could get. So he ended up with Pricelie, er, PriceliNe. And that is where the trouble really begins.
Captain Jerk now makes a living convincing Middle America that cheap hotel rooms are simply amazing. In fact, he encourages reasonably mild-mannered people to go online and show their asses anonymously to get cheap hotel rooms even more cheaply. It seems like a good thing, until you remember that you get what you pay for, and even our childhood television heroes will do what it takes to make a buck. Here is a case in point.
My father came to North Carolina recently to visit us and to take our daughter Jenda back to Florida for a visit. Since we already had a full house and he knew that Princess Jenda travels with more baggage than the Astors and Vanderbilts combined, he decided to venture into Kernersville and stay in a hotel for the night before driving back to Florida with Princess Jenda. My father can never be accused of being tech-savvy, but apparently he was feeling his oats, or he was smoking them, because he decided to book his hotel room on Priceline. The hotel that was recommended was rated five stars. Unfortunately, that must have been on a scale of 200.
Priceline suggested the 5 star rated Dudley Inn. After having seen it, I realize that the name was a misnomer, as it should actually be called Deadly Inn. I say having seen it, but that’s not entirely accurate. From the outside, it looks rather normal. It’s not the Trump Towers, but the outside is okay. So far, Captain Kirk is okay. Step inside and he moves from zeitgeist to shit list. See, when you walk into a hotel lobby and realize that all of the potted plants are fake, and THEY’RE dead, it dawns on you that there is a serious problem, and that creepy tingling up and down your spine is not the Vulcan Nerve Pinch. Which brings me back to my poor Dad.
He went to the front desk to check in and was told that they should have a room ready by now. Being that he had booked the room, he couldn’t understand why the room might not be ready, but he was still under the assumption that the hotel was a five star rated inn, so he went along with it, dead silk plants aside. What can I say, after a twelve hour drive, he was tired and decided that the lobby simply needed cleaning. So he paid for one night and got a key to a room on the third floor.
Naturally, there were no working elevators, so he schlepped upstairs with his overnight bag and opened the door. The first thing he noticed was the smell. Being a Viet Nam era veteran, he immediately recognized the smell of decomposing flesh. Now, Daddy doesn’t scare easily, but peering cautiously into the room, he saw unidentifiable stains on the carpet, so he backed out, went back downstairs, and asked for another room.
“What’s wrong with the one we gave you?”
Well, I think the last guy never checked out and rigor mortis is still setting in. What else do you have?
The night manager sent one of the desk clerks with Daddy to try another room. They went to another room that was occupied by a number of people that Daddy hoped were just here illegally. Then on to the third room. This one had a headboard that had fallen down from where it had once been nailed to the wall. They finally found a fourth room that had no towels. This wasn’t a huge problem since there was no running water and there was something growing all over the toilet that Daddy could only describe as MRSA on crack.
By this time, Daddy realized the sun was coming up and he decided that it would be better to just come on over, crash on the loveseat and deal with a house full of people rather than a motel full of as yet undiscovered dead bodies and unclassified diseases. He showed up on our doorstep at the butt-crack of dawn asking for a hot shower, a place to sleep, and massive doses of antibiotics. I was able to oblige on all counts, after putting him through a decontamination process similar to those at Chernobyl. After a few hours of sleep, he and Jenda got on the road. I loaded them up with Lysol spray and Clorox wipes, so I know they left all the public restrooms between North Carolina and Florida much cleaner than they found them, which isn’t saying much.
After a fun-filled vacation, wherein Jenda cleaned out Dad’s bank account, she came back home to us, and Dad decided to stay with us instead of taking his chances with another Bates Motel knock off. Of course my house isn’t nearly as nice as the Bates Motel, or as neat and clean, but that’s another story. The fact of the matter is that I would sooner believe Norman Bates than Captain Kirk. But Kirk gets away with it. And no wonder….
As Norman Bates once said, “I think [he] must have one of those faces you can’t help believing.”