Category Archives: Featured

Speed Demon

Low-budget motel coffee is awful. When my guests relay this truth to me I hold up my coffee mug and say, "That's why I don't drink it."Western North Dakota—When I took over the motel a few weeks back, I had one housekeeper, hardly sufficient for 52 rooms. So I began asking for more help because I didn’t want to clean rooms. One morning, a highly energetic middle-aged woman showed up at the office. Hi, I’m [Suzy], she said. I’m here to help.  Three minutes conversing with this lady I was exhausted. She spoke fast as an auctioneer and had a tendency to complete my sentences for me. I speak a lot slower than she does. I later attributed it the gallons of Coca-Cola she pounds… Continue Reading

Ill Will in Williston

For entertainment, a one-man hairball fest comes to town and impersonates power-chord superstars like Brett Michaels, Alice Cooper, and Axl Rose.For entertainment, a one-man hairball fest comes to town and impersonates power-chord superstars like Brett Michaels, Alice Cooper, and Axl Rose. It's as close as you get to culture in the Bakken. Williston, ND—Ask folks around here about Williston and you’ll hear much lamenting about how far gone it is from what it used to be. In less than four years the town metastasized from an idyllic American town—one where you’ll find pictures of the Pope hanging in most businesses—to one that has succumbed to the corruptions of hedonism and oil money. Williston lost its soul, as one man put… Continue Reading

Wild Man Cometh

DSC_0023Western North Dakota—Running the cheapest motel within 100 miles attracts a not always savory clientele, a truth I allude to when a prospective guest of a more respectable class asks for a room. Not because I care, but so I don’t have to listen to them bitch about wanting a refund later. Motel and hotel rates in the Bakken are outrageous due to a limited supply and the endless flow of people pouring into the area. Because there is no mortgage on this motel, the owner can undercut everyone else in town enough that even the monied peoples’ curiosity is… Continue Reading

Shit Talk

DSC_0014Small 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.… Continue Reading

Cleaning House

DSC_0021Small Town, North Dakota—I spent my first morning as manager of the cheapest motel in town cleaning house. It seemed the previous managers—a young couple in their early 20s—had given every job-seeking transient and local degenerate a room on the promise they’d pay when payday rolled around or when grandma called with her credit card number. The grandmothers—half-suspecting they’re being scammed by their grandchildren—do always call. Their consistency, weighed against the paycheck, is unrivaled . Half the rooms were filled with squatters or speed freaks, indiscreet in their indiscretions. It’s easy to spot. The same sketchy locals will bounce from… Continue Reading

Where People Go To Be Disgusting

DSC_0012Small Town, North Dakota—Through a cascading chain of bad luck, poor decisions, and fate, I’ve landed in a small American town, where now, along with my girl, I manage a low-budget motel along North Dakota’s I-94 corridor. The motel, built in the 1960s, sits smack-dab in the middle of the state’s Bakken Oil Patch, where the world’s major oil companies are racing to pump an estimated 500 billion barrels of petro from deep within the planet, oil that just six years ago was untouchable because the technology didn’t exist to retrieve it. The majority of the motel’s 62 rooms are… Continue Reading

Mean Girls

alisa--300x300 Rio Arriba County—The New York Post today published a scathing review of The Feminist and the Cowboy, a new memoir, that, as the title suggests, tells the story of an ultra-liberal urbanite who shrugs off her feminist beliefs after falling for an ultra-conservative cowboy. His kisses are so powerful they inspire the little moonbat to peel an anti-Fox News bumper sticker from her car, among other non-liberal, anti-feminist behaviors. Riveting stuff, especially today with the Country so divided, but I take it Valdes didn’t care for the review anymore than the reviewer did her memoir. One of six Twitter… Continue Reading

Bad Dog Days

Bob the Dog recently had a near death experience.Bob the Dog recently had a near death experience. Española, NM – My landlord, who lives on the property I do, was recently away for four days. In that time I managed to run over her dog with my van while another was picked up by animal control. And guess what? She wasn’t the least bit upset about any of it. Running over Bob, a white lab in his later years, was awful. The worst part is that I don’t know how it happened. I backed out without incident, but as I accelerated forward I heard from beneath Purple Thunder… Continue Reading

The Perfect Bitch

_MG_7828The white dog is the stray I took in last month. She and Rumpus, also pictured above, have become best buds. Española, NM – The stray I took in last month has decided to stick around. To summarize: I saw a skin-and-bones dog hobbling down my street while pulling up to my driveway a few weeks back. For whatever reason, the animal followed me down the driveway and over the wooden bridge crossing the acequia. I didn’t realize this until later when I left to run errands, when I found her curled up beneath my van. I fed her bits… Continue Reading

A Little Bug With a Mighty Bite

My northern New Mexican casita.My New Mexican casita, a winter resort for Black Widows. Rio Arriba County, NM – I suffer from a creeping paranoia that they’re out to get me. And I fear that if they’re not out to get me, per se, that they’ll get me anyhow. It’s not the bears, the mountain lions or even the rattlesnakes that provoke this bubbling paranoia, but rather these tiny little spiders known as Black Widows. As a human being I’ve never worried much about predators or lethal non-predators. Chalk it up to being raised in Wisconsin, where the worst one fears is tornadoes or… Continue Reading
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