ongoing happenings at a fictional motel
|Business has been good this season at the State Fair Family Inn.
"How come every summer can't be like this?" Harlan Caudill said to his wife Mary over breakfast Tuesday morning. It was the same morning Harlan hadn't broke a yolk flipping his 2 eggs. Over easy is the phrase. "how come I can't always flip 'em like that?", he thought to himself.
Glenn DelGrosso. Now there was an good cook. Glenn had probably flipped several dozen eggs perfectly already that morning next door at the Perky Cup diner.
"It all averages out dear" Mary said. "take the good with the bad" she continued. "Remember every customer is as good as the next if he pays his bill and doesn't leave a mess and there are always more eggs where those came from" she concluded.
"I suppose so" Harlan replied.
The State Fair Family Inn is a classic 1940's motel with 16 units and sits at at south edge of Crocusfield along state Route 9. Its been in the Caudill family since Harlans father, Dale built it with his father 64 years ago.
Harlan and Mary could retire anytime they want thanks to some shrewd investments Harlan made back in the 80's when he was in stock exchange business.
Dale retired in 1992 after Bill Clinton was elected President, and Harlan took over and has been coasting ever since.
Harlan still gets the itch to better himself, this town, Mary, even Glenn next door with some smart investments but because of strict doctors orders after his pulmonary scare of 1991, he's lost weight, kept on his regimen of medication, and above all relaxed.
Thats why Mary always takes their oldest son Wayne aside when he visits the motel.
"Wayne the motel is fine" Mary tells her son. "Dads fine I'm fine everythings fine" she pleads. "We're doing fine"
Regardless, Wayne gets to bothering his Father about anything and everything having to do with the motel.
From changing the name to Casa Caudill Amigos, to buying out Glenn's restuarant and opening up a theme complex; The Terra Ferma Tour Experience. A sort of land based cruise ship. All the rooms would have a nautical decor and the resaturant would be a 24/7 buffet. Wayne thinks they could cash in on the crowd who gets seasick or doesn't want to travel all the way to the coast.
The one idea Harlan has given into is the Honeymoon-Past-Noon Special. Anyone who spends their wedding night at the State Fair has a 1pm check out time instead of the usual 11am. There have been no couples from Crocusfield that have stayed there after their nuptuals and only 2 or 3 guests that didn't necesssarily look like they had just taken their vows.
In fact, one couple who checked in late one Friday night remembered that they were "Just Married" only after seeing the sign posted at the check in desk; "Please advise us upon check in if you are newly married for a special late check out tomorrow" followed by a charicatured winking eye drawn by the Caudill's middle child Jo Beth. Harlan overheard as they left for their room the woman asking the man what his name was.
Harlan has lately tried to follow the honor system when it comes to the guests and Mary said a prayer for the couple at Sunday service.
Wayne's latest scheme is Living Vault Storage Units. "Dad, every family has to decide what to do with the leftover junk when someone dies. Should they pitch it, burn it sell it or what?! Heres what they do; rent one of the motel rooms to store it all in. The selling point is they'd be climate controlled. Dry, safe, airtight. Keep the radiators hooked up and the A/C's working. Put in a straight chair or two and they could come visit anytime. All the smells of the dearly departed's things without having to fill up your own house. Miss the smell of Old Aunt Mabel? Just come out to your Living Vault Unit, open the door and take a big whiff. Its perfect!!"
"Oh, I don't know Wayne" said Harlan
"Wayne, the motel is fine the way it is" said Mary.
"Thats not all" Wayne went on, "think of the guilt approach"
"Guilt approach? What do you mean Wayne?"
"Dad, we'd sell them 3, 6 or 9 month leases, whatever, with the understanding if they don't renew, the contents of the unit would be discarded. THEY wouldn't have to do it. We'd agree to send them their renewal a week late. Oops sorry. Blame the post office!"
"But your Uncle Bud has been a mailman for 32 years. We couldn't say that he'd be late sending along a bill" Harlan protested.
"Poor Gramma Nonie". Wayne began, mocking a typical would-be customer. "How she loved her cookbooks. All eight thousand one hundred and fifty-six of them. Why, the two bedrooms upstairs at her house were of no use anyway. And her living room was the perfect place for her to keep the ones she adored the most. We couldn't IMAGINE selling them or throwing them out. We found a nice storage facility on the edge of town. Climate controlled, reasonable rates. Perfect. We arranged to store them there for 6 months at a time till we decided what to do with permanently, and do you know what? the renewal got lost in the mail. Came in the mail a week late! All of Nonies things, destroyed. Well, I don't blame the storage people. Heavens. They had a waiting list for those 4 units we rented. And the young man, I think it was the oldest son. He was so nice"
Harlan finally stopped listening when Wayne brought up a time share option for the Living Vault Storage Units