May 4, 2005

How to Get Chips

1) REALLY want chips. YEARN for chips. Desire chips not just for CHIPS sake, but because you are very hungry, and it is late at night, and you are BACK in Memphis at the MONEYSUCK hotel and you REFUSE to order room service. You would sooner be eaten by zombie monkeys. Slowly. SO. YOU NEED CHIPS.

2) Follow signs to ICE AND VENDING. Find Ice and a coke machine and another sign that says, "CHIPS are located on the third floor in the guest laundry."

3) Go to third floor.

3) Find no chips.

4) Find no guest laundry, even. Instead, find MORE ICE and a coke machine and a sign that says "CHIPS are located on the third floor in the guest laundry."

5) Pop your head of of ICE AND VENDING and look at all the room numbers that say 324, 325, 326, etc but no signs for guest laundry.

6) Wander the third floor like an aimless ghost, wailing about chips.

7) Did I mention you are in your pajamas? Well. You are. You have decided that since you have put on sandals and a bra and since your pajamas are actually a VERY soft pair of Moroccan pants your friend Amy gave you and a 9 year old pilled knit maternity top (SSSSSSSEXY!) it's okay. See, you got locked out of your room once before in modest but VERY OBVIOUSLY PAJAMA pajamas, so on THIS leg you took non-pajama looking sleepies. Assessing your sleepwear in the mirror, PRE-chip-hunt, you concluded rightly that most people would think "escaped mental patient" before they would think, "ah! pajamas!" and since it is VERY late and you are VERY hungry and you aren't GOING ANYWHERE really except right down the hall from your room to vending, you thought to yourself, "HEY! Why CHANGE?" Except now the OBVIOUS answer is, "Because you are going to have to go to the lobby."

6) Go to the lobby. In your pajamas. Have nice human explain that there are TWO third floors. A north tower one and a south tower one. You have been wandering the halls of the NORTH tower one....guess where the chips are.

7) Go to SOUTH tower third floor. Follow signs to guest floor laundry where person-who-is-unhappier-than-you is doing his laundry. God bless him. He is doing laundry in the dark of night in a hotel far from home. He is probably unhappier than EYEORE.

8) SEE! CHIP! MACHINE! Do a small internal prance (VERY internal because it is untoward to prance gleefully by someone who is RADIATING I-am-unhappier-than-eyeore vibes).

9) Put dollar in slot. Watch machine placidly put dollar RIGHT back out.

10) Repeat step nine about eleven times.

11) Notice that the repetition has attracted Eyeore, who watches with sad yet unsurprised eyes.

12) Bang head on chip machine, and as you do, notice a FLASHING RED SIGN just above the placid dollar-spitting slot that says CHANGE ONLY.

13) GO BACK to lobby in pajamas and get CHANGE for your dollar.

14) BACK to guest laundry. Eyeore watches your approach with something akin to hope. You suspect Eyeore is rooting for the chip machine.

15) Start to not like Eyeore. Lift your chin and decide NOT to be defeated. Walk to machine, undefeated, put in change, undefeated, and undefeatedly press button for chips.

16) Be defeated.

17) GO BACK TO THE LOBBY and get ONE of your quarters swapped out for two dimes and a nickel.

18) BACK TO LAUNDRY. Eyeore says, "I do not think that will help. I tried it earlier with all dimes and I could not get it to work either..."

19) STRONGLY consider murder.

20) Decide against it and put EXACT change in, hold breath, say teeny prayer and watch in mounting joy and disbelief as the CHIPS SLIDE TOWARD YOU and by some MIRACLE do NOT catch on the edge of the wheelie thing and hang there paid for but ungettable thus necessitating Ben Stiller type antics where you try to WORM up into the machine and get them and then failing that you ROCK it back and forth in a moronic frothing rage, a course of action that can only lead to you dead under a chip machine with Eyeore standing over your corpse saying something PITHY, but instead chips FALL into the slot and are YOURSYOURSYOURS.

21) CONTROL impulse to victory dance because you are NOT dancing for Eyeore in your pajamas. Chips or no Chips.

22) Clutching chips, run to elevator and head up to the tenth floor, and then stand outside your room for a long time putting key card in and getting a red light before you realize....your room is actually on the SOUTH tower's tenth floor, and you are currently assaulting a door in the NORTH tower.

23) Creep away before whoever is crouched inside the room terrorized by your predations can call the cops, and go BACK down to lobby (The pajamas at this time are beginning to think of themselves as LOUNGE WEAR) and then back up the OTHER tower where a merciful God lets you back into your room to fall asleep in front of Law of Order before you even get the chip bag open, but it doesn't MATTER because you WON, you WON CHIPS, you defeated Eyeore and, more importantly, you defeated ROOM SERVICE, and you sleep the beautiful sleep of the just.

Posted by joshilyn at May 4, 2005 6:27 AM

LOL It is, of course, essential to defeat room service. :)

Posted by: Jensgalore at May 4, 2005 8:08 AM

*dismayed expression* Again? The same hotel?! Jos-a-lyn! Why, oh why, did you not pack copious amounts FOOD in your suitcase? I mean, really, this should be instinctual. After all, YOU.ARE.A.MOTHER. But at least you got a nice little hike out of it all.:-) Oh, and by the way? Alabama Booksmith? Eeeee!

Posted by: David at May 4, 2005 8:19 AM

I've decided to call my first novel "Chips of the Just." I can pay you some royalties, if you need. Perhaps in chips...?

Posted by: Mir at May 4, 2005 9:27 AM

Joshilyn, pack your own chips (i.e. comfort food) in your very own luggage. Nothing can compare to the comforting glow of cheetos smiling up at you, nestled happily in your undies. Another travel hint - get TWO of those key card things... I invariably lose one or somehow demagnetize it. Then there are more trips to the lobby in ... loungewear.

Read the book. Finished it. loved it. Peggy in Tulsa

Posted by: peggy spence at May 4, 2005 9:47 AM

David & Peggy in Tulsa:

You don't understand. I weighed her luggage and it was 49.999 lbs. Miss Cheapo (wonder where she comes by that) would rather be set on fire than pay for an overweight bag! Hence, lounge wear in the lobby.

The Papa

Posted by: The Papa at May 4, 2005 10:30 AM

Call me spoiled but I order room service at the slightest provocation. Feel like having a 3am meatloaf and pie? ROOM SERVICE! Ice not cold enough? ROOM SERVICE!

Might be expensive, but when my wife and I plan trips we build my insane food delivery antics into our budget. It's called my Discretionary Fund.

There's something special about picking up a phone and telling someone you want 3 pieces of whole grain toast, an apple and a half rack of ribs. After a very tense 20 minutes you then have a polite, well dressed person literally wheel your food RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. I love it.

Posted by: Matt at May 4, 2005 11:45 AM

Is it saying something that I read this entire entry with the character of EYEORE being played by someone I thought was called EYESORE? I thought that was hella funny. EYESORE. Upon further review, it turns out his name was EYEORE. Ah. I get it now.

But you have to admit -- EYESORE is a funny name, too.

Posted by: Julia at May 4, 2005 12:14 PM

Man, you must REALLY like chips. :) You persevered long after I would have slunk back to my room wailing against the injustice of the world against my woeful self...

Posted by: Marilyn at May 4, 2005 1:13 PM

What I want to know is why the heck you're back at the same thrice-damned hotel after that food fiasco on your last visit. Did you mention to the person making your travel arrangements (I assume someone at the publisher's?) that your last experience at that hotel sucked the big ol' donkey nether regions?

But the chip hunt made a great story. :-)

Posted by: DebR at May 4, 2005 2:29 PM

What kind of crack-smoking hotel management are we dealing with, here? Only ONE chip-vending machine, but TWO rooms with the same number on the door? That's not right, Kimosabe. Perhaps it's not Memphis, but a small quadrant of the Twilight Zone, hmmm?
Can't believe you didn't eat those chips in front of Eeyore!

Posted by: Amy at May 4, 2005 2:36 PM

Hysterical! Just saw a full page ad for your book in People magazine. Hope your sales soar through the roof.

Posted by: MoMMY at May 4, 2005 2:54 PM

Great story - I loved it completely. Found your blog through Blogging for Books regarding Gods in Alabama. Followed a link from the site regarding your book... wow, didn't know published authors bother to blog. Very cool!

Posted by: Charity Triplett at May 4, 2005 6:39 PM

Now let's forgot to spell the name of that hotel. Can I get that please? My sign must be correct, I wouldn't want to look like an idiot when I do my picketing in the front lobby.

Posted by: hiai at May 4, 2005 10:35 PM

*laughing hysterically*

Oh, Joshilyn, what a delight you are! You're better than a cup of coffee at 6:30 a.m. on a day I do NOT want to get out of bed.

Posted by: Katrina Stonoff at May 5, 2005 9:55 AM

OK, going back to this entry this morning, I discovered -- along the lines of the Eyesore/Eyeore confusion -- that I thought you were back in that same MON-K-EY Suck hotel. Monkeysuck is far funnier to my juvenile brain than moneysuck, I will admit!

I've been good. My AUTOGRAPHED hardback copy of Gods has been sitting on my endtable for over a week, winking and flirting with me. Tomorrow I will have 4 uninterrupted hours on a train to read said book! And then Sunday, I have the mate to that 4 hours... I'm not sure I'll be able to put it down in between, but if I don't, my Mom will hurt me ;-)

Posted by: Beth at May 5, 2005 10:44 AM

You know Josh, I knew before I even read it that you were going to go up to your room in the wrong tower :)

Posted by: Kitty at May 6, 2005 6:37 AM

Poor Eyeore man, doing laundry in a hotel. And why only one CHIPS room? Surely the MONKEYSUCK hotel could pony up for a second vending maching...

Posted by: Sarah at May 8, 2005 10:51 PM