Last night we had a moment at the Super 8. We rolled in at 2 am. Darwin and I stumbled up to the lobby, weary and giggly from claustrophobic late night van existence. Cole and Greg lay sleeping.
“How many of you will be staying?” asked the man on the lobby late shift. “Just he and I,” I frugally answered our rehearsed response. “2 of us.” “That’ll be 89.95. Sign here. You’ll be staying in room 226. Take these stairs and walk to the end of the hallway.”
Shit. Darwin and I dragged our feet back to the van. The room was 30 bucks more than our previous Super 8 in the middle-of-nowhere, Nebraska. On top of that, in our sleepiness we had neglected to note that this was not one of those motels lined with outdoor entrances. The sole access point was the lobby, and we were a group of 4, with two contraband musicians to smuggle in.
The Deez band lagged, befuddled, in our vehicle. We mulled about the price, the signed receipt, and the lie we were caught in. A pack of enraged dogs barked from somewhere nearby. We surveyed the parking lot and found the source of the snarling, a trailer with airholes. We weighed our options.
1. Claim a phobia of dogs, get a rebate and find a new motel
2. Confess, get money back, leave
3. Confess, pay the extra money, and stay
4. Walk through the lobby, all four of us, don’t make eye contact with the lobby guys, and hope they leave us alone.
In the midst of our planning, one of the lobby guys exited the building and stood in the frigid night for a minute, staring across the parking lot at our van. He reentered.
Darwin and I sheepishly returned to the lobby with our tails between our legs. “Ummmm…unfortunately… those dogs are kinda freakin’ us out…” Darwin began. “Is there any way we could get our money back and umm…?” “We can give you a room at the other end of the hallway,” the men immediately accommodated. “You shouldn’t be able to hear them. There’s double pane windows.” We shuffled our feet. “Is it the price?” the employees prodded. “Well,” Darwin continued, “we did stay at a Super 8 in Nebraska two nights ago and it was a lot cheaper.” The hotel men pinpointed the hotel on the computer and offered us a new price: $62. Darwin then awkwardly conceded, “Well… the other thing is… we lied that it’s just us. There’s actually four people in our group, so…” The men exchanged glances, but continued to be amiable. “Four? Ok. That’s ok. Yes. $62 is still ok.”
Thus, the small-time fibbing found-out Darwin Deez band, lugging suitcases and backpacks, took the walk of shame through the lobby, past the men at the counter, to our $62 far-from-barking-dogs hotel room. We could hear the Curb Your Enthusiasm playing in our heads.