“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

The sad state of Holiday Inns ... and taking food from strangers
Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm old enough to remember when staying at a Holiday Inn meant you wanted to splurge for the night. They were the fanciest oases on the road, unless you drove into downtown to stay at some highrise Hilton or historic hotel.

When touring, I prefer Hampton Inns (their nice beds, free breakfasts and reliable cleanliness), but if there's no Hampton I usually choose a Holiday because they have free wireless internet access.

Well, I can't remember the last time I stayed in a Holiday Inn without experiencing the following:

1. Sleeping in bedsheets with a poly count so high I feel as if they've been laundered in lotion.
2. When a walk to the bathroom and back to the bed in your stocking feet makes the bottoms of your socks black.
3. Mold and mildew smell.
4. Just an overall feeling that this room is also being rented by the hour.

Okay, not that bad. I'm exaggerating a little here.

Something cool that happened to me last night in the motel bar, though: A traveling rent-a-dental-tech (think Kelly Girl/Guy only for the medical community) from Miami, who stays here often, was eating a plate of prime rib that looked delicious. Unfortunately, I'd already eaten or I would have ordered some myself.

I commented on how tasty the beef looked, and do you know what he did? He offered me a bite! Me, a perfect stranger. And you know what? I took it! I think he was just as thrilled to have me accept it as I was to eat it; he really wanted to share that experience.

Think about it: how often do we say yes when strangers offer us something nice like that? Not often at all, that's for sure. Especially the Boomer generation. And why is that? We seem to have this aversion against borrowing things or accepting favors, as if doing so will whittle away at our independence.

I plan on accepting more food from strangers in the future.


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