I just got a friend request from a Hotel. The Super 8 in Moline. I approved the request, as I normally do approve requests from commercial entities seeking to pad their friend count (hey, I’m a businessman too, I know the game), and also because I thought it was funny that a hotel, particularly the Super 8, sent me a friend request.

However, the friend request I really want to get is from the Traveler Inn.

The Traveler is a little off-the-highway craphole in Davenport that boasts closed circuit TVs on their sign. I guess at one point that was a big draw. That one point? 1955.

I’ve never been there, but from what I hear it’s a real dive. It’s one of those places that has quarter machines for the bed, pay porn on the TVs (maybe they need to change their signs?), and a ban on black lights, lest anyone get a look at what’s splattered all over the rooms (see previous comment about pay porn).

Whenever I drive by one of these places I wonder how it stays in business.

And the only things I can think of are:

  • Illicit affairs between people too cheap to go to a better hotel.
  • Drug deals.
  • Teen parties.
  • Hideouts for murderers.
  • Potential movie sets for films that involve unshowered people with greasy hair, cigarette-and-booze marinated voices and guns that were bought from a fat guy with a confederate flag hanging behind his register (covering up the secret entrance into his dungeon / regular Klan meeting location.)
  • Potential real-life scenarios that involve unshowered people with greasy hair, cigarette-and-booze marinated voices and guns that were bought from a fat guy with a confederate flag hanging behind his register (covering up the secret entrance into his dungeon / regular Klan meeting location.)

There are a lot of other businesses that amaze me with their tenacity to stay around. I never see anyone there. There are never any cars outside. They don’t advertise. They don’t seem to be particularly viable. Yet there they are, steadfast, inexplicable.

Can these places be potential tax write offs or money laundering enterprises?

Or do they have a set of clienteles that I’m not privy to, since I don’t run in certain circles, or since I don’t maintain a strictly nocturnal existence?

Maybe they’re just dead during the day, but at say, 3 or 4 a.m., when most of us are in bed, asleep (or, just waking up to get a bottle for a one-year-old), they become bustling meccas for a wide range of customers.

It’s strange to think of this different world taking place around us, apart from us, but still somewhat tangentially tied, if only through the physical remnant of the building, standing static, abandoned, during the daylight hours.

Hmm.

You wonder if vampires think the same thing about banks.

“What’s up with that Us Bank building?” writes the vampire blogger equivalent to Sean.   “I never see anyone there during night hours, when we’re all awake. How does it stay in business?”

 

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written almost 30 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.