It's been a pretty busy week, so I don't have much for you in the way of good stories or pictures. I've been driving, doing events, and trying to stay caught up on boring admin work. My back is getting much better, but I'm still pissed about it. The weather all week was perfect for sleeping in the car and I could have easily made arrangements for taking showers. I could have spent very little money on hotels this week. However, I decided to do the responsible thing and get a room each night so I could sleep in an actual bed and (hopefully) return to my normal spry self soon. So on one hand my back feels much better, but on the other hand, that's a lot less money going into my IRA ... or to the bar.
Anyway, I've been heading back west this week and now I'm in St. Louis for my last event before wrapping up this trip and hightailin' it toward the house. By mere coincidence, my parents also happen to be in St. Louis for a funeral. I don't see my parents very often, so I was pretty pumped about getting to meet up with them. They got here yesterday. I had originally planned on getting here today after driving in from Nashville, but last night I got all excited and I wasn't tired, so I just drove straight through and got here around 2am. When I got out of the car at the hotel, I suddenly realized that I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was check into a room, find out which room my parents were in, and go to bed.
Before I paid for a room, I wanted to make sure my parents were indeed at that hotel. I was pretty sure they were, but you never know. So I asked the front desk guy if there were any guests checked in with the last name Rushin. He gave me a momentary blank stare and asked if I was a guest there. I told him, "Not yet. I want to make sure I'm in the right place." He replied with, "I can't release that information. Do you want a room?" I resisted rolling my eyes at him and proceeded to state my case. I said, "Look, my parents are here and I was supposed to meet up with them tomorrow afternoon in town. I've found myself here a bit early and I want to let them know I'm here. If they're at this hotel like I think they are, I'd like to have a room here too."
At this point, most of you are probably thinking the same thing this guy was. He looked at me like I was stupid and asked, "Can't you call them or something? Don't they have a cell phone?" Now, I'll give him that. I would have asked the same thing. So I calmly replied, "Well, here's the thing, they're deaf. They don't have cell phones because ... well ... it wouldn't really do them much good So no, I can't call them."
Then he sighed and asked me for my ID. I gave it to him. Then he typed on the keyboard a little and then said, "Alright, yeah, this must be them. Last name Rushin and there's a note for housekeeping that they're hearing impaired." Sweet. I felt like I was getting somewhere. So then I told him I'd take a room. He got all that going and then told me that since the parking lot was full, I'd have to park my trailer in the back. I walked back and checked out where he wanted me to park. It was fine except there was no way my parents were going to see it when they came outside in the morning. I had been planning to leave a note on my car letting them know what room I was in. I told him this and he just kinda stared at me. So then I asked him if he would give me their room number so I could just slip a note under their door. He replied with, "Oh, no, I can't do that. Security reasons."
Okay, let's get one thing straight right now. I'm not a difficult person. I understand things like this. But I already explained my situation to this guy. It was late. I was tired. I was not in a good mood. So I said, "Alright, I understand that, but I've already told you I can't get ahold of them and I need to let them know I'm here." So he offers this helpful solution, "I tell ya what, call this number on your cell phone and I'll just put you directly through to their room."
Seriously. That's what he said. I gave him my best "you're-an-idiot" look and said, "That's awfully nice of you, but like I told you before, they can't hear. How do you expect them to know the phone is ringing, let alone pick it up and talk to me on it?" Then he started to get a little huffy with me and irritatedly said, "Well, if you'll just leave them a voicemail, the light on the phone will blink until they check it."
I wish I could come up with an effective way to convey the heavy silence that accompanies pure paralyzing displeasure as a result of another person's phenomenal incompetence. Throughout this whole ordeal, my anger had been slowly soaring at about the rate that a feather would fall to the ground. Except instead of gently landing on the floor, my rage hit the roof. On the inside, I completely lost my shit. I was this close to just letting that moron have it. But just as I opened my mouth to let out a wicked stream of profanity, I somehow collected myself. I closed my mouth, took a deep breath, and and proceeded to speak to him in a calm and clear manner.
"Sir. I don't think a voicemail is going to work either. I've already told you this. They ... can't ... hear. Yes, they will see the light blinking, but they won't be able to do anything about it. They can't hear the phone ring, they can't hear the voicemail, THEY ... CAN'T ... HEAR. I am not making this up. You saw the note that was left for housekeeping. You saw my ID. I have the same last name. They are my parents. I need to leave them a note. I know you're just doing your job, but this is not a typical situation. Would you PLEASE help me out here?"
He gave me a resigned look and said, "You're not going to let this go, are you?" I shook my head and said, "I need to let my parents know where I am, otherwise I might not get to see them." So he sighed and typed some more and said, "Can you do this for me? Verify some of their information?" I replied with, "Sure. If that'll make you feel better." And I rattled off their address. He sighed again and said, "Alright, I'm not supposed to do this, but they're in room 150, right down the hall from you."
Finally! Was that so hard? I bid the poor idiot adieu, collected my things, left my parents a note, and hit the sack. At nearly 3am. Only to be woken at 8am by my mother who would not stop pounding on the door. I crawled out of bed, put on some clothes, and hugged my mom. She had no idea what I had gone through to see her this morning and I didn't have the heart to tell her that knocking two or three times would have sufficed. I was just stoked to see her. A little while later, as I was checking out of my room, the front desk lady asked if everything had been alright with my stay. "It was just fine," I told her. "Just fine."