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Down South

The first night in Mississippi, my company put me in a casino’s hotel.

The shiny, well polished glamour contrasted the fact that the place reeked of old cigarettes. To the point everything I owned still smells a week later. During the check-in process, little things kept pissing me off. Small things, that alone might merit a comment but wouldn’t be a big deal. Except, I had barely slept the night before and then had traveled all day to get to this place and by the time I had settled in, I was ready to go off on someone. Livid.

First, the smell of the place put me off. I was literally nauseous. Then, annoying because I’m traveling on business, the hotel room had no desk and no accessible power outlets. Calling down, I learned there was no business center. Even the “non-smoking” room still smelled like cigarettes and to top it off I could hear people talking through the walls in each of the adjacent rooms. Basically, this was a casino first and hotel as a far, far, distant second. Everything in the room was designed to look really pretty, be uncomfortable as hell (cast iron / glass breakfast table) and get you out of the room and downstairs gambling.

And then I heard the yelling. From the room next to me, a fight had started.

At this point I almost called the front desk to yell at someone. I was stressed and tired and wanted things to be easy. I wanted to be back in a Marriott where all the rooms look identical, no matter what state you’re in.

Except, I kept listening. The two voices were both male, and I realized it wasn’t really a fight. More like a lively discussion. About trucks. Toyota and Chevy trucks, to be exact. In Mississippi. In the most stereotypical, hilarious backwater Mississippi drawl you can imagine. And they were arguing about off-roading in trucks.

It made my day and all the stupid, petty and small annoyances from earlier didn’t matter. I managed to find a secluded outlet, one that I could stretch my laptop’s power cord over to if I sat on the bed instead of at the table. And everything was OK.

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