This week, my work took me to
I must be getting old because there was a time this experience would have thrilled me in a romantic Kerouac-like hop-off-a-train kind of On the Road sort of way. Maybe I’m just too tired. Or maybe that mystique is gone for me because the lifestyle doesn’t include golf, my new obsession.
My recent travel schedule has had me scrambling with little time at home to do anything but golf. Because of that, I neglected to replenish some consumable items that had been depleted from my toiletry bag. Normally, that wouldn’t be such a big deal. Wherever I travel, if the hotel can’t provide a complimentary replacement, they usually carry something acceptable in their gift shop. Worst case scenario, I can make an end-run to the local drug store in my rental car. If they had a store here in Middleofnowhere, it certainly wouldn’t be open at this hour.
After a day of travel and incurring a three hour time change, I arrived at my destination airport after local time with close to 100 miles still to drive. Flying in, I somehow must have missed the big sign covering the state that said “closed.” It was dark and cold and the route I drove was densely packed with nothing. The closer I got to my destination, the less I saw, which really had me wondering whether I was being set up because it sure didn’t seem like there was enough population to support enough businesses to be buying what we’re selling. Finally, a town appeared out of nowhere.
Here's a photo I took about 5 miles before I reached my destination. If you click on the picture and look really, really close, you can see nothing.
When I arrived, the hotel had “lost” my reservation and was booked to capacity which again had me wondering if the clerk was in on punking me. He gave me someone else’s reservation and we both crossed our fingers that it was late enough the person wouldn’t arrive. I got to my room and it looked like I just missed the party. Beer bottles full and empty were scattered around the room as well as some snacks and soft drinks. The rest of the room was tidy, but who knows when the three bears would be arriving back to claim their chairs. I called down to the desk, and they sent security up to escort me to my new room. They also sent apologies and a coupon for a complimentary breakfast. Screw breakfast. By the time I got settled in, unwound and asleep, it was 3:00 A.M., and I had to be up in about four hours, which would be 4:00 A.M my time. I’ll be hitting the coffee and going in to deliver a product launch in front of a room full of people running on fumes. I don’t have time for your stinking breakfast. But when I unpacked and was getting ready for bed, I realized there was something I needed. Dental floss.
I called back down to my newest friend, the clerk at the front desk. After all, they did have a placard in the bathroom that said if I forgot any standard toiletry item they would be happy to provide a replacement.
“Hi, it’s me again, from room… what room am I in now?”
“Oh yes, hello Miss Williams. What can I do for you?”
“I seem to be out of floss. Would you happen to have any at the desk or would I have to call housekeeping in the morning?”
“What was it you needed?”
“Floss. Dental floss.”
“Oh, I thought you said ‘noss’ and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what that could be.”
“Do you have some?”
“I don’t believe in floss.”
(How does someone not believe in floss? It’s almost and I just want to go to bed. It’s dawning on me that this guy works the graveyard shift and I am in what is commonly considered the meth capital of the
“O…okay. Do you have any?”
“Well, I don’t, but the hotel might.”
“Could you check?”
“Oh, well I thought you were reconsidering and you might not actually want it if you thought for a moment about what it really is and the society that has made you think you needed it in the first place.”
“Right then. So I’ll just skip it for now and check with housekeeping in the morning.”
“Yeah, cause you know flossing doesn’t make you a good person and in fact all the things that so called good people value are pretty weak. I mean, how do we even know anything that we supposedly know when things are only there because we created them but our own selves might just be created in thought in the first place.”
“Do you sell Tylenol in the gift shop?”
Heavy, dramatic sigh… “Yesss.”
“Thanks, I’ll be right down.”
And thus began my floccinaucinihilipilification of small town