Recently Mobil reported its five-star properties in the United States. Noticeably absent was any property in Mississippi. Filled with indignation for my home state, I decided to investigate.
Mobil, I surmised, had possibly overlooked Jackson's well-known hourly rate motels. Determined to rescue the reputation of Mississippi's hospitality industry, I headed west.
I apologized to the desk clerk for not having a reservation and inquired about the availability of accommodations. As luck would have it, a vacancy existed, and I requested a room for the night. He said, "We charge by the hour."
I said, "Well, give me 24 hours."
He said, "OK, that will be $480 dollars."
Immediately, I noted the 5-star price of this property. However, I was not prepared to spend quite that much. I decided I could complete my analysis in an hour and handed the clerk my American Express card.
Unfortunately, this particular property did not take American Express—or any other credit card. It felt incumbent upon me to advise the clerk of the benefits of credit card acceptance—especially if one is interested in high-end travelers. However, the Plexiglas window between us hindered our communication. I decided against the advice and passed him a $20 bill.
On the first floor, the décor of my room was an interesting mix of burgundy, fuchsia, magenta and mint green with a gold shag carpet. An obvious attempt at a neo-50s look, it went well with the faint smell of stale beer and disinfectant. Under décor I noted, "eclectic."
I laid on the bed and found it firm and comfortable. As I looked up, I noticed a mirror on the ceiling. A curious place for a mirror, I thought. What could possibly be the advantage? One cannot watch oneself sleep. Finally I decided it was an elaborate security measure. Awakened in the night, one could look straight up and see all corners of the room.
High-end business travelers expect a variety of television news and sports channels such as CNN, FOX and ESPN. I found none of these but a rather wide selection of movies. Apparently there is a series of travel logs with which I am not familiar: "Debbie Does Dallas," "Debbie Does Indianapolis," "Debbie Does Atlanta…" I called a friend of mine who is somewhat of a movie buff and asked him about this "Debbie." He advised me that "Debbie Does Dallas" is somewhat of a classic. "'Like Gone with the Wind' or the 'Ten Commandments?'" I asked.
"Something like that," he answered.
Time did not allow for a movie this trip and, besides, I wasn't much in the mood for one of the classics. Instead, I decided to order room service.
Unable to find a menu, I called the front desk and asked for help. "Of course, sir," the clerk replied. A few moments later a young woman, attractive if rather scantily clad for food service, appeared at my door.
"You want something, darling?" she inquired.
"Yes," I replied. "Do you have a menu?"
"Sure, baby," she answered. "It's all in my head."
Although impressed with her memory, I decided not to hear the entire menu and asked her to simply bring me a club sandwich.
"I'm not familiar with that one, honey, but if you'll tell me how to do it, I'll try." She looked a little puzzled.
"Just tell your chef," I said. "He'll know. And, bring me a split of good California chardonnay."
"You wanna split what?" she asked.
"Wine," I replied. "I want a half-bottle of wine."
"Listen, Mister, I don't provide the liquor, and I don't do grass. How do I know you're not a cop? You're weird enough to be one." With that she stormed off. My hour at an end, I, too, departed.
On the way home, I decided I was now in the mood for a little intellectual stimulation so I pulled into Blockbuster. I told the clerk I was interested in a classic I had yet to see, "Debbie Does Dallas." Apparently unaware of the importance of this film to cinematic history and too proud to admit it, he rather rudely asked that I leave.
I went over my notes disappointed I had yet to find a 5-star property in Jackson. I still can't figure how they get $480 a night for this place.
Andrew Scott is the pseudonym of a JFP food writer.
BWAHAHAHA! I will certainly laugh a little thoughout the day after reading this...
I LOVE Andrew Scott. :)