That’s How I Flip
I don’t wear flip-flops for a frothy cornucopia of reasons: mainly because they are a dis.gust.ting. breeding ground for almost every species of bacteria known from scientific Boyz & Girlz to lost ecosystems in the Aztecs. Of course I would LOVE to discuss ALL the reasons I don’t dig on the flops (and who wouldn’t LOVE to read ALL of them), but I’ll keep it somewhat clean. In short, while flip-flops may look cute and inviting, just stop before you spew thinking about all those little icky-pooey bugs and bactericides gettin’ all up in your feets. (Shudder.)
What’s more, I’ll assist in altering your ways with a yarn about the last time I did adorn the floppings of the flips. Inspired by Seeester Anne’s traveling tale of woe last week , I was reminded of my worst ‘Motel’ experience-EVER!-and the little squirmy unsanitariesness who paraded themselves about during my stay.
Several years ago, a Chum and I decided to drive from Michigan to Florida for a holiday. I was born in Sarasota, Fla., and I adore it, despite the strangely coloured flamingos who have consumed far too many shrimps, lack of parking because some snowbird has taken up eight spaces, and the desperately confused tourists who have decided the center lane is a better stopping place, in which to reference their maps, than the parking lots on either side of their vehicle. Yes, kiddies, not only do I love kitsch, let it be known that I love chaos…when I’m not directly involved that is.
After about a week of touring the Mangroved Everglades, Cà d’ Zan (John Ringling’s pad), the parrots at Jungle Gardens, Mote Marine, the Pelican Man, and hanging with my faux Uncle I, the Chum and I were on our last night and scroungin’ for a place to crash. Now, if you’re playing the part of Sara towards the end of a holiday, and you don’t have much cash, sleeping arrangements are sorta based on certain assessments. My assessment, this night, was avoiding the Motel, which featured three police officers, a parking lot of gawky travelers, one woman who was ‘searching for her man’, and the seven hundred children who all called him ‘Daddy’. Obviously, there had to be a better selection farther down the line. Hey, at twelve-thirty in the morning, along the Siesta Key portion of the Tamiami Trail, pickin’s is slim.
The Cadillac Motel (or Cadillac Ranch as I’ve dubbed it for story telling purposes) boasted CLEAN ROOMS & CA(b)LE! Huzzah and little fishies, it’s twelve-thirty in the morning and I’ll pretty much sleep anywhere…I just shouldn’t have slept there. It’s been my experience that, whenever possible, check out your potentially shady room before you commit.
Since locating the first room’s light switch took me a full five minutes (until I found it behind a bed frame opposite the side of the room from the door) ‘go with your gut’ has become my mantra when inspecting Hotels/Motels. In the Cadillac’s defense, had I not found the switch I would have never seen the half eaten bag of potato chips left on the unmade bed and had to pass on the room itself. In my defense, in the second room (and, yes, I did look at a second room…stupid, Stupid, STUPID!), the bed was made! Kinda.
When it’s this late at night, you’ve been driving around all day, and you’re wide-awake, there really is nothing better than a couple of cocktails while reflecting on one’s holiday. This is what my Chum and I should have done first, before daring each other to check out the rest of the room for any hilarious misfortunes to compete with the first room. As I was interviewing a variety of dead moths and centipedes occupying the washroom tile, Chum proclaimed that I ‘had to have a look underneath the bed!’ (Truthfully, does that ever sound good?) So, of course I did have a look, attempting not to touch the last-time-I-was-cleaned-was-when-I-was-laid-in-the-nineteen-seventies carpet, and spotted a non-breeding ground, as it were, of veeery used prophylactics. Better safe than sanitary, eh?
The bugs and the condoms weren’t enough to get us to leave, though. Instead of pouring the cocktails straight away, we continued to dare each other to drudge further into our room’s misgivings. In the small kitchenette (because who wouldn’t feel like cooking and ingesting something in this room?!) we found a half swallowed bottle of Mountain Dew, a package of rice, and quarter bag of Ketchup chips. Aside from this most unsavory diet, snack food in general make me a little ill, but it was taken to a whole new level when I started to ponder the question, ‘Who leaves these stuffings…all these stuffings…behind?!’ And yet, we still stayed.
Finally the good sense to make a cocktail and have a smokey-treat OUTSIDE kicked in. It was sitting on a parking slab, sipping a Vodka Tonic, and attempting to light a match on said slab, which brought my attention down to my flip-flopped feet…and the small graveyard of toenail clippings in front of them. Because I’d inspected everything else, I had to check out the bottoms of my flip-flops and find several shards of clippings thorned into my soles. Painfully and realistically, I began to calculate the amount of bacteria I had accumulated during my quality two-hour stay over to the Cadillac Ranch. Even after the final equation became evident, I STILL pressed on over to Ranch Grossie-oso.
It’s not ‘whatever gets you through the night’, at this point, it’s ‘whatever knocks you into a coma–like state will make you stronger’. Decidedly, the appropriate medications were Vodka and Tonic Water. After proposing my self-medicating methods to my Chum, I returned to our room to refill my plastic cocktail glass. Upon lifting my Vodka bottle, I discovered the one thing that could make me finally abandon this room. Crawling out from underneath my bottle of booze was my worst carrier of anti-sanitation: a cockroach.
There are many situations I can stick out (obviously) but cockroaches are pretty much number one on my list of limitations. In fact, I am so gagged by cockroaches that if my Best Friend, Brother, or Boy turned into one I probably (and by probably, I mean NEXT!) couldn’t be around them. Sure, I would send them cards and care packages and information about certain operations to transform them from their unfortunate Gregor Samsa states, but I would maintain my own heebie-jeebienesses being near them. (Again, shudder.)
That was it, I packed up my stuffings, gathered my Chum, and we was back on the Tamiami. Or rather, we left after spying two blondes donning the word ‘Juicy’ on the bums of their sweatpants headed for the first room. Taking pity on the pair, my Chum and I scribbled our entire Cadillac Ranch experience on the back of a Florida Sanitation Department pamphlet and left it outside their door.
I’m fairly certain that was the last time I wore flip-flops.