As we speak, I am staying in room 228 of the Baymont Inn & Suites, a motel that smells like an elephant.
I can’t say this particularly bothers me, because I like elephants and the bed is quite comfortable. But the hallways definitely have a uniquely animalistic scent that makes one long for the return of Ringling Bros. Or clogged toilets.
Anyhow, all this is fine. For me, a motel is a motel is a motel. You put your stuff in a room, you leave, you come back at night, you sleep.
Last night, however, I experienced something truly unique. I returned to my room at, oh, midnight-ish. But I couldn’t find my keycard. So I went back downstairs to the main desk to ask for a new one. I was greeted by a sign that said the clerk was busy helping a customer and that I should wait a few moments.
So I waited.
Then I heard a noise from behind. It was the clerk, as well as the two other motel employees on duty, smoking their cigarettes outside the front door. Just, smoking.
I wasn’t even remotely mad, or even agitated. Working the midnight shift at a motel can’t be overwhelmingly fun. I mean, late hours, rude customers.
But I couldn’t help but think, “No wonder it smells.”
Like an elephant.