Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy Together

Let's see where to start?

Spent the weekend in Jackson, Tennessee for a soccer tournament...Cruel and unusual to make a 17 year old boy run for an hour and a half in 94 degree swamp heat. The parents couldn't take it and we lost a couple of referrees but the boys did fine. Memphis and the entire state of Arkansas went down to the wire in the contest for the mouthiest coach, although Knoxville had one in the running until the very end. Little Rock took the title.

We stay at lots of hotels during soccer season and take all sorts of desk clerk behavior in stride. My vote for the worst type behind a counter is the fat-fifty-white-smoker-night manager guy, who hates life and it's your fault. Just waiting for him to turn around from his tv and get to the desk is painful enough, but when he looks at you in that tone of voice and says they can't replace the stained sheets or give you new towels for your room because the cleaning crew quit this morning after Immigration came by, the urge to strangle is difficult to restrain.

Then there's the big famous four star hotel in downtown Little Rock that charged everybody $15 for a parking pass even though we rode on a charter bus that they wouldn't allow to park on the hotel's property. The Ducks marching through the lobby were cute the first time you saw them but when you realized that only two of the four elevators were working and they had one of them locked out for the ducks, Maybe the Little Rock soccer coach was just normal for the town. The Clinton Museum was nice.

This weekend was different, and I don't know if it was the Quality Inn Motel in Jackson or Jackson itself. Town's have personalities sometimes.

They treated us extrememely well, almost like fellow human beings all in this ride together. We checked in...the desk people were friendly. We asked for things...they got it done. We told them the boys had a game at 8 am the next morning and could we work something out with the continental breakfast which wasn't supposed to start until 7:30..."We'll have it out at 6," they said. When I went down to the lobby at 5:30 am the next morning, the night manager said, "I thought somebody would be up early. The coffee's ready." When it came time to check out and we had a crowd at the desk, every staff person got back there and helped get us taken care of. One lady with a tag that said "Housekeeping Manager" fired up the idle desk computer and processed receipts until we everyone was served. I said something about it and she pointed at the desk managers and said, "They'll make beds if we get behind," and laughed.

"You guys have been great," I told the girl helping me, "And you all seem to be so happy."

"It's more fun to be happy," the girl told me.



1 comment:

  1. If you're talking Jackson, TN, then I've had the same experience there, but with some problems. I was travelling with a Maine Coon cat for the second time in my middle-aged Subaru station wagon. The first time was several years before, driving from the E. Coast to San Antonio. In Mayfield, KY, she decided life on the bum in Mayfield was better than another damn day in a Subaru, so she left via the motel window. I stayed in Mayfield for a couple of days until she decided to return, triumphant and mussy.

    This time I was driving just ahead of a moving truck, in August, from New Jersey to new house in Austin. Same Subaru, now two cats. We fetched up at, I do believe, the same Quality Inn in Jackson early enough that there was time before dark to search out a city park to let the cats have a little green grass time. Again the Coon took off into the woods -- real TN woods, not parkified. It took a lot of scratchy-leg walking but I finally got her back. Truth be told, I almost left her that time.

    Jackson has good vibes. Nice people, nice town. But I usually like wherever I stop in TN, not excluding one night sleeping at the edge of the interstate because there wasn't a single motel room in Memphis. I'm told that's a dangerous thing to do but I slept like a log. Beats motel rooms. Whose windows don't open. Which drives me crazy.