Ravings of Madmen

More Trouble In Maryland- August 1, 1998. I'm leaving Maryland in 14 days. My frustration at finding such a primitive culture within our nation's boundaries has eased over the past few months. I've seen some interesting things that don't exist in hometown Los Angeles. I'm not liking Md. but I was hating it less. Until this wekend. We visited Assateague Island, and had a party on the beach. It was great. Then the beach closed @ midnight and we had to go. Still no problem, we'll just get a room and crash there, and tackle the 3-hour drive home tomorrow.
Well, it wasn't that easy. We stopped at about a thousand motels, and none had rooms. More maddening was the lack of 'NO VACANCY' signs. Over and over I drove past big neon signs advertising free HBO, pools, etc and parked the car, walked into the office and asked for a room, only to be told there were none available.
I started asking (often pointedly) if it had occurred to the desk clerk to turn on the 'NO VACANCY' sign. Most had no response other than to drool and turn back to the TV show I had interrupted.
One teenager said the motel was being remodeled next year, and they might get a sign like that at that time. Another fifty-ish lady, possibly a retired casino drink-bunny, told me they weren't allowed to use the 'No Vacancy' sign at night, because the night clerk used to turn it on and go to sleep whether the motel was full or not. I'm not exaggerating, only maybe five places had even a little paper sign on the office door saying they were full.
After a while I suspected they were telling ME in particular they were full up. After all, I looked like Hell and smelled like beer and campfire, and it WAS 3 a.m. So I lurked in the parking lot of a couple places, to make sure they weren't screwing with me. Sure enough, they refused rooms to everyone, even clean people who appeared to be sober and gainfully employed. They really were too stupid to use a 'NO VACANCY' sign.

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