Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fiction - The Howard Johnson’s Motel


What follows is a work of fiction.  Any characters, places, or sentiments are purely the product of the blogger’s imagination and any resemblance to any actual character, place, or sentiment is purely coincidental.  The sole exception is the staircase, which is based on an actual staircase of the Penthouse Apartments on Abrego Road in Isla Vista, California, which is used fictitiously.


Congratulations!  You have booked a double-queen-bed double-occupancy doubleplusgood guest room at the spacious and elegant Howard Johnson’s motor hotel in the charming, semi-sunny mini-tropolis of Seaside, California!  While lodging at the Howard Johnson’s (hint:  call it “HoJo” and you’ll sound like a local!), you’ll enjoy fabulous amenities including Rise & Dine™, our copyrighted, patented, totally free heart-healthy GMO-optional organic-ish continental breakfast, just like what is served on The Continent to expatriates who want to feel like repatriates!  Gluten and gluten-free choices available.  Vegan, vegetarian, ovo-lacto, and meat-lovers’ selections also offered (where available). Child-friendly pastries?  Check!  Fair-, non-fair, and unfair trade coffee and tea products on tap?  Yours to discover.  Fresh milk, that pours out of an old-school pitcher?  Got that.  Weird simulation milk/creamer/kreamer based on corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglycerides?  Got that too, in an array of stunning flavors!  Plastic coffee stirring sticks that might mess up your hormones?  Check, please!  (But there’s no check—like we said, it’s totally free!)

In-room, you’ll also enjoy free wireless Internet access using the very latest 802.11ac standards, brought to you by Howard Johnson’s and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE (hint:  say it “eye triple-E” and you’ll sound like a local!).  This totally free connection will support data rates far in excess of what you ever believed possible, so you can surf like a modern-day Kahanamoku on your favorite websites, from Facebook to Gracebook to Disgracebook!  All without dipping into your precious 4G LTE data plan! 

And did somebody ask about carpet?  This guest room has it—from wall to wall, in breathtaking reddish colors and with the kind of luxurious and yet versatile foot-feel you can only get from real simulated-wool nylon!  Comfortable chair in-room?  You betcha (where available).  Hot running water?  Got that too—with HoJo’s special MildChildSafeSelect™  water temperature regulator so your little ones—who stay free at HoJo, by the way—won’t blanch the flesh off their hands like at that last place!  In-room coffee?  Yes, in a snap, with that big funky teabag-cartridge type thing that James Bond would use if he weren’t an Englishman who drinks tea instead (and yes, you also can choose from in-room fresh brewed tea selections!). 

As would-be valued members of Wyndham Rewards (would-be members, not would-be valued, since you’re already valued!), you could be earning up to 1,390 points, valid toward toilet and toilet paper upgrades, Real™ in-room dairy creamer upgrades, welcome mat monogram upgrades (allow six weeks for delivery), and priority ice machine access.  But since you’re not Wyndham Rewards members, at least not that you know of since you may have lost track (hey, we understand, we’ve been there), you’ll instead be receiving daily e-mail updates providing detailed information about how to join the élite cadre of travelling professionals (and retirees!) who enjoy the full benefits, and prestige, of Rewards membership.

Terms, conditions, caveats, and qualifications

Wyndham Rewards void where prohibited (e.g., competing motels).  Check-in is at 2p.m. sharp, but guests are invited to use the parking lot—complete with free wireless Internet access—from 1 p.m. onward except during holiday Blacktop Blackout™ periods, which are reserved for Family Fun Time™.  Hopscotch and Four-Square encouraged.  Blacktop-based ball games are BYOB (Bring Your Own Ball) and BYOC (Bring Your Own Chalk).  Pets are allowed near all guest rooms (no pets in-room, please). 

Howard Johnson’s is not responsible for Internet backbone congestion, WiFi radio interference, mobile device battery life, websites you wish you’d never visited featuring images you wish you could un-see, or poor quality television programming. 

Howard Johnson’s makes every effort to provide a clean, comfortable room, but our housekeeping associates are only human.  We cannot guarantee you won’t find a pair of a previous guest’s underwear briefs hanging from the inside doorknob of the bathroom, or an old earplug under the bed.

HoJo offers in-room ClimateControlSelect™ heating/cooling/ventilation systems (hint:  call it “HVAC” and you’ll sound like a local!) which should assure your comfort regardless of weather conditions.  In certain situations you may discover that the ClimateControlSelect™ unit cycles loudly on and off all night no matter what you do with the controls, and we recommend turning up the in-room refrigerator to mitigate HVAC-based sound pollution.  HoJo is not responsible for lost sleep.  Be careful driving or operating heavy machinery after any night disrupted by ClimateControlSelect™. 

Urban myth has it that a HoJo guest once found mushrooms growing in the bathtub.  That simply never happened, at least at a HoJo property.  However, HoJo cannot guarantee that this will never happen at a HoJo Motel (hint:  call it “HoJoMo” and you’ll sound like a local!).  In the event you discover mushrooms in a HoJoMo bathtub, please note that they are almost certainly not mushrooms but toadstools, and consuming them could lead to illness or even death.

The HoJo Company (hint:  call it “HoJoCo” and you’ll sound like a local!) acknowledges that, despite what we said earlier about James Bond drinking tea, he actually does not drink tea, and once said to his secretary, “I don’t drink tea.  I hate it.  It’s mud ... be a good girl and make me some coffee.”  This does not mean you may address a HoJo guest services associate as “good girl” (hint:  call her “HoJoHo” and you’ll sound like an asshole, so don’t do that either).

There may be a full-size posterboard picture of our strange bearded mascot in the lobby, which may scare small children, nearsighted seniors, or tripping teenagers.  HoJoCo is not responsible for cardiac events, swooning, or freaking out associated with this corporate branding. 

HoJoCo is also not responsible for explaining what has happened to society such that weird bearded dudes who scare children and seniors have replaced what by any measure would be reckoned a much more pleasant image.

HoJo has made significant progress in property design since the early days when an orange roof was considered clever and avant-garde.  Our HoJoMos feature award-winning architectural features combining the best of scalable, repeatable designs that look great while keeping our properties affordable.  Note that the following photo may or may not accurately depict a HoJoMo interior:

It is possible that the HoJoMo property you visit will have a lobby more closely resembling a structure your kids made out of Lego back when Lego was just simple bricks, before they got all fancy.  HoJoCo reserves the right to substitute, for the backlit, indoor staircase shown above, an outdoor staircase with no risers, only treads, made of extruded concrete and studded with little smooth pebbles (like so many staircases in the ‘70s) that become incredibly slick when wet, so you might slip while descending and find your foot slipping beneath the railing, which may peel the skin off your shin like the curls of wood off a carpenter’s rasp, leaving a permanent scar.  By reserving this room you agree to release HoJoCo from all liability stemming from this or any injury, real or imagined.

Maximum occupancy of each room is limited to four persons.  In the event that you exceed this by packing 8 or 10 bicycle racers in the room, along with 8 or 10 bicycles, HoJoCo is not responsible for your brother’s girlfriend claiming you were hitting on her during the night when all you were doing was trying to pull more of the blankets over to your side.


Loved this place!
««««« Reviewed 2 days ago

I’m crazy about HoJoMo’s!  Call me HoJoLoCo and you’ll sound like a local, LOL!  The manager opened up the Rise & Dine™ continental breakfast half an hour early so my daughter could fuel up for her bike race and still get on the road on time.  As a famous cyborg once said, I’ll be back!

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