#2. Installing a Suicide Window
If you're confused as to what you're seeing in the above photo, it's my super-masculine arm passing judgment on the fact that this motel room has a suicide window.
If you're up high enough, a lot of hotels don't even let you open the window at all. A strange and lonely room is probably a great place to fill out the necessary paperwork in privacy before hurling yourself onto the unforgiving but ultimately problem-solving sidewalk below. The Ws and Doubletrees of the world don't want that kind of drama at all.
They also don't trust you to not smoke. Hotels are a great place to take up filthy habits. In those places that do let you open a window, though, you're at least given a protective layer of screen to keep the bugs out and, again, to discourage suicide attempts.
Here's another look at that shitty motel room window:
Now with even more breathtaking view!
There's not a single thing to discourage a person who may be sad enough to just leap right the hell out of that window. And do you know who's sad enough to jump out the window of a shitty motel room? Every single person staying in a shitty motel. Even if you weren't depressed when you got there, you are once you arrive.
Even more troublesome is the fact that this window is situated inside the aforementioned sitting area that let me know I'd been catfished by a picture of a "fancy" motel room in the first place.
The universal symbol for "stay somewhere else."
There are at least eight different ways a setup like that could go terribly wrong. If you're staying in this room, though, in all honesty, things probably went terribly wrong a long time ago, and that brings me to the last point.
#1. Trying to Improve at All
Here's the thing -- all of this fancying-up is unnecessary. There's not a single person on this planet who checks into a $50 motel room expecting to be blown away by the experience. Blown during the experience, sure, but a cheap motel is not the place to expect awesome otherwise. Things like "hardwood floors" are not the domain of the Motel 6s and Super 8s of the world. That's like Domino's branching out into steak and lobster. It might be on the menu and look delicious in the commercials, but if you're paying $8.99 for it, you know they're going to fuck it up somehow.
So while you may initially be surprised to see a hardwood floor at a cheap motel when researching your lodging options online, you should be way less surprised when you get there and realize that "hardwood floor" is basically a series of well-placed stickers that happen to have a wood-like pattern on them.
Stuff like this should be avoided also:
This meaning what, exactly?
That's the absurd art deco towel rack that was hung in the otherwise very cheap motel-like bathroom, and it's exactly the kind of shit I don't need in a place like that. For one thing, it looks like I should be reaching into one of those holes to pull out the folded piece of paper that tells me what denomination of bill Bob Barker is going to make me creepily remove from his pocket as if he doesn't have hands and didn't die far too long ago for that joke to work. (Author's note: Turns out Bob Barker is still alive. That said, he'll always be dead to me, so the joke stays.)
The real problem, though, is that it does nothing to alleviate the traditional shortcomings that are inherent to every shitty motel. Yes, the towel rack is quirky, but what good is quirkiness if you still feel the ever-present threat of strong arm robbery when you visit the lobby late at night? Skip the fancy towel racks and put a vending machine on every floor so I don't have to take those kinds of risks, shitty motels of America.