This is where I'm staying tonight. No. Really.
Here's how it went (more or less):
Me: "Do you have any rooms still available?"
[insert mandatory relevant Larry tone, heretofore referred to as MRLT] "For one night?"
Me: "Well, either one or two nights"
MRLT (but a wee bit slower and a bit more monotone): "Well, I have a room for tonight. It's late so there's not much"
Me: "I understand. So you only have a room for tonight?"
MRLT: "Well, I have a room for tonight. And...um...I have a room for tomorrow night. But no two nights. I can't switch people around"
Me: "So we could switch rooms tomorrow?"
MRLT: "I don't know"
Me: "But we could check in about that in the morning?"
MRLT: "Yeah. You can check with my brother Glenn. He'll be here from 8 until 10. Then my brother Chris will be here, and then [insert female name that I can't remember] will be here. You can ask them."
MRLT: They have [insert name of my bank] around here now?
Me: No, I just used to live in a different place.
MRLT: Yeah, well this credit card machine isn't like at McDonald's. It takes a while. The people from Europe, those ones with Ing cards and stuff, theirs seems to go faster. Yours too. Maybe because it's from a bank that's out of state."
Me: "Wow. Maybe."
There's more to tell, but I don't want to infringe on your overactive imagination. Go right ahead, take it to the next place in your mind. You're probably right.
Oh, and about the hearse thing. I don't know. I just don't know. I mean, last night, a friend asked me I was feeling morbid, and maybe this is just the karmic detritus from that conversation. Or maybe I really did watch Harold and Maude too many times (No, I'm not saying how many times. Suffice it to say I've seen it more times than you have. By a lot. Yeah, I'm sure.).
You tell me.
Why would a highly polished new-ish hearse (no casket) with Rhode Island plates be barreling along on the highway in Maine, headed north? Yeah, a real hearse.
And why, once in Maine, with said hearse left behind hours ago, would I suddenly encounter a yard (one that appears to be a makeshift auto repair yard) with three, count 'em, THREE, black hearses in front (and two stretch limos, one up on blocks, but now you're just getting picky)? What's with the hearses?
It was quite a day.
My one regret is that I didn't stop for a bite at the China Dine-ah. It's clearly the place to be (situated as it is between Paris, Norway, and Palermo). I did pirate a photo though, so that counts. Maybe next time.
I hear it's the dining spot of choice for hearse drivers, who seem to be drawn to it like moths to a flame. Go figure.