An old friend of mine likes to get a good deal on a motel room and he often does, he told me. He waits until 8 or 9 p.m., after most people have checked in, and he offers to pay, say, two thirds of the rack rate –the advertised price. Then he bargains. If the motel has a lot of empty rooms they can rent one to him for less than full price and make some money, or not, and make nothing.
On our way back to North Carolina I challenged him: Get us one of those cheap rooms.
We stopped at a pretty nice looking motel and he told me to stay in the car while he went in and made the deal. Maybe what he does is like that thing they say about sausage: it’s good, but you don’t want to watch it being made.
Anyway, he came out in a few minutes, shaking his head. No deal. So we went to another, not so good motel. And another, further down the motel scale. He didn’t get a deal there, either, but the room was already so cheap it really didn’t matter.
As I got out of the car and started into the motel he advised me, in effect, to hold my nose — but not to worry.
“I’ve checked out the room,” he assured me. “It doesn’t smell as bad as the lobby.”
Coming Friday: The Exception To The Rule