The Retiree

Granddaughters and Daughter were in Wisconsin. We decided to go there to see them and to get away from the hustle and bustle of retirement for a few days. We are aged and decrepit, so we thought leaving early would be wise. Also, it would be an event to remember, like Wife’s ascent on a rocket launching tower or my day on a submarine. Dissimilar, but memorable nonetheless.
To add to the mystique, we chose to pick a motel at random, near the Dells. The clerk at one of the two motels we declined admitted the rooms were absurdly expensive and many people had declined. Finally we found one that was only moderately absurd, because an acquaintance had said a room in Manhattan would be four hundred clams.
Go in the back door, the clerk said, second floor. On the way we saw a gentleman sitting on the sidewalk drinking from a paper bag. Then we noticed an arm sticking out repeatedly from behind the back wall of the building exercising. A little odd, but we went in, through a locking door blocked open with a rock.
Finding room 230, we swiped our card and entered, dropping our bags. Great security, we thought, except for the rock. We were met by a bat, circling the room, looking for a way out.
Wife expressed dismay and offered to return to the lobby and get another room. There were precious few rooms available in the town, even though rates were outrageous, so options were scant. I offered to defeat the intruder while she left.
I reached into the room from the hall and shut off the light. The bat, being blind as a bat, saw the hall light and swooped out in front of me, and the door slammed and locked as I scampered away.
Wife returned with a key to room 224. She’d been told bats are protected in Wisconsin and come in through the air conditioners. There’s a rock holding the door, though. Our bags were inside 230. I went down to the lobby to get 230 keys again. Wife knew there were no bats in 230. We opted to take 230 and I took 224 keys back to the lobby. We settled in. The rest of the night was uneventful, except for the tennis shoes in the parking spot next to mine, and the barefoot man in the stocking cap on the grass talking on a cell phone.
We stayed in Daughter’s motel and enjoyed the company of our family and the events opening the school. Then we decided to make the return trip in one day rather than chance it on a motel.
We enjoyed lunch with a wonderful lady acquaintance of Daughter and found I-94 nearby. Soon we blew a front tire. Wife piloted the car to the shoulder, traffic having cleared for a moment. Semis sped past inches from our car while we called 911. In less than an hour a highway patrolman stopped behind us to help. He called for a wrecker while I researched tire shops on our smart phone. We had just passed an exit. Our spare tire was rusted solid under the liftgate. We were winched up onto the truck and given a ride ten miles thataway and ten miles thisaway to a shop across from our disaster.
We are grateful for the tire shop for their quick response, to Firestone for the right tire, and to M&M and Lake Central and Bayer and Maxwell House and Pfizer and Smirnoff and whoever made that tow truck for all they did. We’re making another trip soon.