Sunday, July 26, 2015

Rant:Bed and Breakfasts

A lot of the time the Manimal and I don't see eye to eye. For example, I like watching Antiques Roadshow and crying when someone finds an ancient Navajo blanket worth beaucoups bucks while the Manimal enjoys shows about zombies that (from what I can tell) are just hours of people screaming and grunting. Anyways, all this is to say that there's really only one thing that we both agree upon wholeheartedly and without reservation: our hatred of Bed and Breakfasts.

Things you will never hear us saying:
  • Let's jet up the coast and stay at some quaint B&B this weekend.
  • I so enjoyed talking to that elderly failed actress about her concept rooms while waiting for her to cook me some subpar breakfast food.
  • I love Bed and Breakfasts!
Why on earth would you stay in a B&B when there are a plethora of hotels around? Hotels rule! Here are some things you can do in an anonymous hotel room and not in a Bed and Breakfast:
  • Kill a man
  • Smoke crack with a hooker then get reelected as mayor of Washington D.C.
  • Act like Vivian from Pretty Woman
  • Watch cable
Even better than hotels are motels, especially those murder motels particular to the U!S!A! with their murky swimming pools and doors opening directly onto the outside world. I think I have expounded on my affection for murder motels before, but here are a couple of my faves from a recent trip to the West coast:

The Palms Motor Hotel, Portland, Oregon. 

A neon-lit oasis on the highway beckons one and all for nights of endless pleasure and entertainment.

Favorite Trip Advisor review snippet: 
"The fun came when we rolled back the blankets. A previous guest had written "Please wash" in felt pen with an arrow and a circle around an offending stain."

City Center Motel in Vancouver, BC

Favorite Trip Advisor snippets: 

"At least one of the occupants was taken away by police on an outstanding warrant. He didn't go quietly."

"At 12 am some guy was on his cell phone outside my door making very loud calls on his phone - the first to his dealer looking for him to come down to sell him some coke, and the second to some woman who we was trying to convince to come down to "party". This went on for over an hour."

So why the ire for B&Bs? Well, let's see:

1. I don't like people.
Why am I going to pay money to talk to some lonely innkeeper about shit I don't care about. I already have to hang out with my mum (who, incidentally, wants to run an alpaca themed B and B. ugh). If you're not already praying for the sweet release of death you will be when you have to talk to the other patrons about their lame lives.

2. There is no privacy. 
One time after we went to a hippy outdoor wedding in Woodstock NY, the Manimal got explosive diarrhea after gorging on some shrimp that had been left outdoors too long. He had to spend the night in the toilet which only had fricken french doors!! Every sound was audible. Each gurgle, splat and pained whimper rang out clearly through the country air; the eerie corridors were alive with the sound of Manimal's butt symphony. Why would anyone voluntarily pay money to be subjected to this?

Staying at a B&B also makes me feel like a teenager who has secretly been drinking, or smoking some casual weed, and then gets up to make some midnight chicken nuggets but unexpectedly has to make small talk with an elderly incontinent relative while trying to abscond back upstairs to play Nintendo. In a B&B, one feels as though everyone just knows what you've been up to (even if you haven't done anything at all!) and everything you say makes you look even weirder and more messed up.  Compounding this, the people who run B&Bs are also usually very nosey because they often rely on using you for conversation fodder with their next guests. 

3. There are mf'ing curfews: 
WTF? I need the option of stumbling into my room at whatever goddam hour I please. I might miss out on seeing Sinbad as I once did in a hotel lobby at 2am. He was very nice and smelled like baby powder in case you were wondering. 

*Another bucket list item checked off.

Last time I checked this was America- you can't put a curfew on freedom. If that's not bad enough, in addition to evening curfew there are also breakfast curfews! These sadists mandate you wake up at sparrow's fart to eat breakfast with other strangers - it's like a living nightmare. Often the home cooked breakfast is the jewel in the rusty old crown of these establishments and something you will be reminded of over and over again- "Oh wait until breakfast. We have home made vomit flapjacks and Dave's very own barf waffles. He's been perfecting them for 20 years!" I guess breakfast is part of their name and it would be remiss of them not to provide it, but what really grinds my gears is that they force everyone to wait to eat until all parties are present because they are not a hotel and therefore cannot handle cooking for more than four people at once. Therefore you are held hostage and given hate eyes by the other guests if you leave them hanging while you finish your grasse matinee.

3. The Decor/Themes:
Is it the law that there must be doilies? Are they protecting Big Doily? I don't know why the fuck everything must smell like pot pourri. And is it also the law that every B&B in the world must house some gimpy pet that everyone thinks is adorable but who bites you on the sly under the table? 

Also, what's with all the themes? Surely you could run a respectable B&B that just consists of nicely furnished rooms rather than having to have a Shirley Temple room or, as in one particularly horrific room I stayed in, a porcelain doll theme?

The final nail in the coffin of us ever staying at a B&B again came during our glorious trip to the mighty Pacific North West. After not being able to secure lodgings at any of the area's hotels on account of an antique car show passing through town, we were forced to go to the only available place left: The Rooster Inn. We pulled up the gravel driveway in our obscene silver convertible (which I had somehow secured for no extra cost at Hertz by saying I was a public school teacher), with Manimal yelling, "No! No! Noooooo!" as the realization that it was a B&B dawned on him. After an awkward check in further sullied by Manimal's refusal to participate, we were shown to our room dubbed The Madison Room. 

Why, you ask? Well, it appeared to be dedicated to a small child of the same name. Madison was everywhere - from the scrabble tiles spelling out her name with photographs of her wearing a Blossom hat:

"Hello. I have come to eat your soul."

to her tiny brush and comb set on the dresser. 

*Our melancholy French friend's opinion of 'murica did not improve after staying in The Madison Room

Who was this Madison? Was she a tiny spirit who would commune with us? A child who had experienced some kind of terrifying demise in this very room? Would I awake in the night to find her hovering above me with glowing red eyes? As we explored the room further, we found some more disturbing details that raised more questions than they answered - a tiny locked door hidden within a closet:

and an odd crawl space containing a headless dummy wearing an antique nightgown:


It felt as though we were in a real life episode of NatGeo's The Haunting. So, we did the only thing we could: we packed up the convertible, did a turn and burn on the gravel driveway, and got the hell out of there. Those poor souls we abandoned are probably still waiting for us to come down so they can finally eat their breakfast.

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