The billboards for the motel featured smiling faces and the tagline “We are the most hospitable folks in Florida!” Never ones to question roadside advertising we pulled off the exit ramp. My wife’s eyes grew large.


“It’s the damnedest thing I ever saw – check out the moat!” she said.

Tires rumbled as I drove over the rusty bridge that crossed the algae-filled ditch surrounding the motel. The walls of the lobby building were plain cement blocks covered with a patchwork layer of pale-green paint.

“Brings back memories of my trauma-unit days,” I said.

The expressions of the couple behind the counter were as vacant as their rooms, and the check-in small-talk as banal as their lobby. As I retrieved my credit card the woman commented, “I don’t remember seeing you folks at Doc Crawford’s.”

What does one say to that? I don’t even know who that is.

“Should we get our money back?” I asked my wife, back by the car.

“Too late now,” she said. “They’ve got your Visa, plus they seem to be total morons.”

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