The Roach Motel.

It was a chilly, Fall evening in the autumn of my life, the rain spattering on my
cracked windshield, playing havoc with its incessant drumbeats on the decaying
maple leaves plastered hodge-podge on the glass, while all the while the road
continued rolling on relentlessly yet in an excruciatingly aggravating manner in
perfect synchronization to the monotony of this inexcusable run-on sentence.

I took a very short break from the computer for a well-deserved rest, and drew
another suspense-laden breath.

Just at that very moment, the most welcome sight greeted my timeworn eyes and my overtaxed neocortex. I beheld a place to sleep, perchance even to dream of far away snores.

The Roach Motel.
It lurched out of the looming landscape like a little old lady who had languished
long past the luscious, licentious but lonely life she had lived, much in the lovely
way alliteration can lie on the page, enlivening the literati yet belaboring the
language, being both lofty and lackluster simultaneously at the same time.

Making a quick decision, I turned the page and immediately drove into the
driveway. The lights were out.

But the sign flickered ominously, as if choreographed by some malevolent creative miscreant whose only motivation was to add mystique and magic realism to an already burdened narrative.

I thought it was instructive – even a dead giveaway – that all the other parking
spots were vacant. I just wasn’t certain what it was instructing me to do.

But there was a used car lot next door.
I intuitively took this as a sure sign that I should drive straightaway to look for
other lodgings, but my sense of misadventure and predilection for misdirection
drew me hypnotically like iron filings to a magnet towards the Roach Motel

I tried the door but it was locked. I knocked on it several times to no answer. I
tapped on the window, I rang the buzzer, I swung the hefty knocker against the
heavy, vainglorious oaken obstruction.

I was about to turn and leave when the door creaked open.

Peering out was a spindly old man, so frail that one might shatter his delicate
constitution with a quick sneeze.

‘Can I help you?’ he inquired. On my asking to be put up for the night, he simply
nodded and beckoned me to follow.

The room was tidy enough, but it had a strange smell about it, almost like a
chemical of some sort – the kind that has been banned for decades, perhaps since the Great War.

I settled in well enough. That’s when I didn’t see it.

A little brown blur it was, scurrying under the hotplate to avoid the light. Then
another, squeezing behind the icebox. In the bathroom, there were a half dozen of them in the tub, and that’s when I fled to the Office.

‘Not again!’ said the Manager. ‘We’ll have to call The Exterminator. But don’t
worry, he lives just up the road.’

Sure enough, one quick phone call, and his truck rolled up a few minutes later.
There was a lot of clattering and banging as all the equipment came out and he
brought it through the front door.

In front of my eyes was a 6’-5” cockroach with his coveralls on, staring down at
me. The Manager pointed at me and said: ‘We've got another customer, Bob.’

I was exterminated a very short time later and the Manager relocated my vehicle to the used car lot next door.

So if you ever come across the Roach Motel, just keep on driving. Because people check in. But they don’t check out.