A couple of weeks ago, I had been driving all day and felt as whipped as a crew of galley slaves. I searched through the deepening night gloom for any motel with a vacancy.
Just when I thought I was going to have to pull over and sleep roadside for the night, I saw a sign blinking up ahead—heralding the Trail’s End Motel.
Indeed it was—even though with a few burned out lights it read rail’s E d Mo e .
But the smaller sign below contained the good news: VACANCY. (Actually it read VACA. But thanks to my longtime “Wheel of Fortune” viewer-ship I figured it out.)
I strolled in to the motel office wearily. Behind the counter was a guy who looked so creepy that even Norman Bates would have turned around and gone back to his car. But I was so tired that a bed of nails sounded appealing.
After checking in, I walked down several doors to my new venue—number 11—and even though I was yet to lay eyes on it I was already writing a blistering Tripadvisor.com review in my mind. I knew it would have to be a doozy to top some I had seen previously on-line.
There are some masterpieces. Here is a sampling of one motel in particular:
The Travelodge in Jersey City. (I have corrected some—not all—of the grammar.)
“This place was the worst motel I stayed in. The rooms smelled nasty. The sheets, TV, mirror and refrig was dirty beyond words. There was flies everywhere. I complained with the front desk manager and they refused to help us—and spoke with another manager in the morning and complained and he did not do anything either. On top of that the TV channels suck and they were one channel of porn.”
OK, that sounds bad. I mean, what kind of dump only has one channel of porn? But a single review is not a fair reason to condemn a place like the Travelodge in Jersey City. So here is another:
“This was the worst experience of my life. Not only was the room dirty and dingy with bugs and blood on the walls, the bathroom was broken. We asked for our money back, management refused and changed our room to #40. A very tall man who said he has lived there for the past 3 yrs. asked us if we were interested in selling drugs for him. Again we complained to the manager and he said, “This is New Jersey. Next time stay at the Plaza in New York City.” All night, people of all sorts come and go from room #40. If you value your life don’t stay there. It is a nightmare, creepy. Room tip: Stay away!”
Again, that is just another person’s opinion—and perhaps they are just the fussy type.
So here’s some more about the Travelodge in Jersey City:
“Ugh! The roaches chased us! As soon as we entered the door the bugs scattered…we were so afraid to leave our luggage open—we thought they would like to come with us. Stay away! Horrible place!”
OK, but what about the bed? Was it comfortable? How many bugs did it have? A more helpful review might have at least mentioned those things too.
Here is another:
“Please, don’t ever go there in your life. We changed three times of room because the bed had hairs on it.”
Again I would want to ask “What kind of hairs? Human? Goat? Panda? Specifics please!”
To be fair, not all of the Jersey City Travelodge reviews complained about hairs, dirt and roaches. This one had a refreshingly different theme:
“After staying a few days in this place, I was covered with sores that I scratched at night. I didn’t know what it was until my friend told about the bedbugs there. I had to move and wash everything in bleach and hot water.” See? No complaints about porn or hairs.
As for my experience at the Trail’s End Motel, I will keep my review brief and to the point:
“Nicer than the Travelodge in Jersey City.”