Small Town, North Dakota—So this girl and her man come in yesterday, a cute little couple from Indiana. He looks All-American while she was some kind of bitchy little twat with an outsized attitude. They want a room and she wants it now, but nothing is available until two.
They lounge on the couch in the office for awhile, explaining they’d driven 24-hours straight from Indiana, en route to Idaho. We relate, having made a similar 17-hour excursion last week from New Mexico to here. The drive knocked me on my ass for two days. Twenty-four hours. Sounds like hell.
The girl’s grandmother calls and, after a shaky-voiced interrogation of who I am, gives me her credit card number, asking that I take care of her great-granddaughter and her boyfriend.
They’ve had a hard time ever since they left Indiana, she says. They’re good kids.
They look like it, I reply.
This morning, about fifteen minutes before check out, the girl visits the office.
Do you know there is human feces in the bathtub? she asks. Yeah, I wanted to take a shower so we could check out, but I couldn’t because there is shit—human shit—in the bathtub. I can’t shower when there is human feces in the bathtub.
It’s a total lie, of course. The guest prior to her, a plumber employed by a company that books frequent rooms with us, was given that room because the toilet didn’t work in the room he was given initially. If he wanted to shit in the tub, he’d have done so in the room with the broken toilet rather than in the room we moved him to with the working toilet.
I ask what she wants me to do about it, nonetheless.
Um, I want a refund, she snarls.
That’s not gonna happen, I say.
Are you serious? There is human feces in the bathtub. Don’t you find that disgusting? I couldn’t even shower this morning.
It’s super disgusting, I say. Problem is, how do I know it’s not your mess?
She recoils at the suggestion, curling her lip in a sneer.
Are you serious?
Yeah, I am serious. Why didn’t you complain about this yesterday? Why now as you’re checking out? Seems like you might’ve shit on the floor to try and get a refund.
Because we drove for 24 hours and have been sleeping the whole time, she snorts. I didn’t use the bathroom until this morning.
You haven’t pissed once in twenty-four hours?
Again, she recoils, looking as if her head is about to explode.
Obviously, my grandmother has money. If you don’t refund the room you’ll hear from her lawyer.
Awesome, I say.
Really? she asks, seemingly shocked. You’d rather be sued than give me my money back?
It’s your grandma’s money, not yours. No refunds.
After they leave, I walk to the room. D, the cleaning guy, is already on-scene. On the bathroom floor are two shits that could’ve been left by the cats they smuggled into the room without paying the deposit on.
No long and obvious human fece in the bathtub as she alleged.