Humor Non-Fiction posted November 19, 2016

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Links to previous chapters in the Notes section

Nashville Trashville - Conclusion

by Mary Wakeford

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

A fun-filled weekend in Nashville with my adult children would provide an opportunity to revisit a little town named McEwen forty years later, where I spent the summer of 1971 as a crappy housekeeper for my uncle, the newly installed pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church and school. What could possibly go wrong?  Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, it did...

It was after midnight when I rolled up to the concierge desk in my Betty Boop pj's under my coat, with the distinct aroma of a rebel Glade plug-in minus the outlet; quietly leaned into the desk and the gentlemen whose name badge identified him as the caller, and introduced myself--I was there to collect the credit card and license on behalf of my daughter's drunk ass.  She had dropped both when she entered the lobby twenty minutes earlier, half past drunk midnight. Brunhilda (my inner voice) was so pissed, she blurted out, "We're with the drunk chick that just blew up your lobby... oh, and your elevator, by the way."

Then the shot heard around the world, er, lobby--

"Oh absolutely, Mrs. Wakeford, I just need to see your ID."

"ID? I didn't bring MY ID-- you didn't tell me over the phone five minutes ago that I would need to bring MY license -- who else would be here recounting our phone conversation, in pajama's, at half past midnight? Oh, and by the way (leaning in closer to whisper), I apologize profusely, but my daughter vomited all over your elevator--third one on the right.  I am so sorry; she had a little too much to drink at a wedding. I am more than embarrassed, and will pay for any clean up charges."

There I was, a grown woman in her Betty Boop PJ's, reduced to near exhaustion, infantile embarrassment, with no idea where kid #1 was at the moment. Had I been born a leopard, I might have eaten both my kids that night.  It was also obvious clicking my UGG's three times while repeating the mantra, "There's no place like home, There's no place like home, There's no place like home" was not going to get me out of this fooooooking nightmare.

The concierge was either gifted with intuition; had developed a sense for an impending guest breakdown -- or Brunhilda had initiated head rotations emulating Linda Blair in the Exorcist.  We had already nailed Linda's smell of green spewing vomit. Scenario A,B, or C were entirely possible, given the news I would have to ride the fooooooking Otis back up to the eighth floor to obtain my own ID in order to claim hers.

If I were a clam, I would have steamed myself to death right there on the spot.  Betty Boop and Pudge were so humiliated, they demanded donation to the nearest Salvation Army, post haste. The puke stained elevator was their last straw too.

The perceptive employee responded to my Bruni's head rotations with, "That is not a problem Ms. Wakeford, I will have our security officer accompany you back to your room. Once you show him your ID, he will give you your daughter's cards--and don't worry about the elevator, we will get that taken care of immediately."

Apparently McEwen Karma was not yet satisfied with my degree of humiliation, because with that and while trying to summon the attention of my security escort presently at the far end of the long check-in counter describing to one of the Vanderbilt coaches the drunk chick who performed involuntary figure eight's in the lobby twenty-five minutes earlier, and was "dropping shit everywhere."  He was yet to know of the shit she projectile dropped in Otis #3. 

The guy must have been Italian; moonlighted as an actor, or both.  He was emoting my daughter's drunk walk, while laughing hysterically under an arch of peppy, bobbing balloons that seemed to be laughing just as hard as the coach.  It was then I picked up the tidbit of information about the cab driver losing his mind when he jumped out of his taxi in the hotel circle and began yelling at my daughter about the Merlot christening all over his backseat, demanding a clean up charge to the tune of $75.00.  I was guessing the drop of her cards must have occurred after he sped off.  Judging from the size and extent of her share in the elevator, I was prepared to lose several hundred dollars in clean-up fees.

As the concierge tried to shush the security guard, oblivious to the fact I was witnessing his replay
--"Frank, this is Ms. Wakeford's M-O-T-H-E-R. (in other words--shut the fooooook up)... Can I have a word with you?"  Frank's actors guild card was shut down with a giant EEEERK.  Talk about awkward. Brunhilda was disappointed with the abrupt curtain call--she was sure Frank was getting ready to execute a somersault on the slick marble floor.

Once Frank was filled in on the plan and secured my daughter's ID and credit card in his pocket, we made our way to the elevator bay, now host to at least twenty giddy parents and kids waiting to board the first elevator available.  One place you don't want to be with puke-christened pj's is with a large group of people in a small space.  I scored a hat trick. 

I hoped someone else would be framed for the smell of puke under the wash of Chanel #5. Brunhilda retorted
"Fat chance, you look the part--pj's under a winter coat and UGGS-- zero makeup. Not to mention you are the only one here with a security escort."  I considered leaving Bruni and her smart-assy opinions in Nashville.

Guess which elevator opened first? Yep, consider it my stellar Irish luck.  Frank the actor/security guy rushed to it, having been apprised of its inside 'scoop' earlier by the concierge as to the 'christening'.  

As the herd of nineteen peeps followed him to board it, Frank knew he had to air my daughter's dirty stank juice--"I'm sorry folks, this elevator is out of service.  We'll have to wait for one of the others.  It won't be long."  I breathed a little easier as the herd returned to center.  I choked when Frank then stuck his head inside Otis #3 and began dry-heaving as he hit the button combination sending it to the roof or outer space. 

Frank's acting kicked in a second time that evening as he shook his head like a dog in a flea rush "Ah, damn,that is rank, wheeeeeeeeww! HAAAUUUKKKK,HAAAUUUKKKK!"  With that, a gentleman custodian appeared from around a corner, obviously having received the Otis 911 call.  Frank the emoter turned to the poor guy and said something to the effect, "Hey Joe, Whewwwww-wey, that sucker was baaaaddddd.  I just sent it to the service floor.  You're going to need a vat of Clorox to get that thing cleaned up!!  Whewwwwwey-HAAAUUUKKK, HAAAUUUKKKK!"  I felt for poor Joe. There is only one thing worse than cleaning up a stranger's puke...

At this point, death would have been kinder.  The door to elevator number 1 opened and we filed in like cattle to the slaughter; one cow apparently so frightened, she seemingly puked curdled Merlot all over her pant legs.  Everyone but Frank and I bailed on the fourth floor. Bruni suggested the other guests chose to endure the cardio stairs over ascending additional floors of odorous Otis with my stinky Betty Boop pj's.

Conversation was scant between me and Frank until we reached my hotel door. I sensed he was embarrased I had witnessed his impersonation of my drunkey monkey; I was embarrased he witnessed my drunkey monkey's disorderly slop-flop-card-drop.  Once reaching the room, I asked him to back up against the hallway wall; I would return with my ID.  I wasn't about to add the potential of a nude and tattoo'd streaker to my weekend disaster bucket list, or to his.  

I entered the room to the sound of welcoming HAAAUUUKKKK'ing sounds, followed by subdued humming coming from the bathroom.  It may have been groaning in disguise, now that I think of it. I asked my daughter, still showering, where she placed the camera clutch holding my ID.  I was directed to the table just inside the room.  I pulled back the velcro latch, noting additional wet puke.  

Further disgusted with one more item to wash and zero complimentary shampoo bottles remaining, I tried to slide my license from it's tight, dark, damp, stinky surround. It wasn't giving up easily.  It too, likely suffered from PTSD-Puke Traumatic Stress Disorder.  We were an elite group: A mother, a cab driver, Frank the security guard/actor, and poor Joe the custodian. I placed my room key on the table, so I could free my license from its wet bondage with both hands.   

Once free'd, I neglected to pick up my room key. Big mistake.  I re-entered the hallway after washing my hands and my license and headed toward Frank, still plastered against the wall. Just as I extended my license for his perusal, the fooooooking door to #823 slammed shut behind me, locking me out of our stinky Nashville nest. 

"OH SHIT!" flew out of my mouth in the most disgusted outside voice I could muster.  Even Bruni couldn't stop it from erupting.  

Frank winced at my discharge.  I apologized, explaining I had just locked myself out of the room with Ms. Drunkey still showering. Frank offered to head back to the lobby, obtain another room key for me and bring it up. I refused his offer, considering we had overstayed our southern hospitality by at least a vat of Clorox, and one 'oh shit' at this point.  I sent Frank on his way and told him I would wait in the hallway until my daughter exited the shower to open the door for me. Bigger mistake.

Twenty minutes later, and more off-key singing/groaning emanating from behind the wall, I regretted my decision. Twenty-five minutes later I lost my shit and began banging loudly on the wall directly opposite the shower stall, hoping I wouldn't wake up surrounding guests.  At some point, the noise broke through the HAAAUUUKKK barrier, and my bathing beauty stumbled to unlock the door for me.  

I was LIT.UP!  My bitch-hat was in full plume and I wore it without blinders or biting my tongue.  

Then I informed my daughter between continuing gutteral purging noises, both hers and mine, I was disgusted with the fact she had shared her Merlot all over the elevator.  I insisted she seek out the poor man in the morning who had to clean up her stench and personally apologize to him.  

Ms. Drunkey became very indignant.  "Mom, I DID NOT puke in the elevator.  That was someone else!  I puked in a few trash cans along Printers Alley, and in the taxi, but I DID NOT puke in the elevator!"  

Oh really?  Nice try.  I have a keen nose.  Elevator Merlot matched jacket, dress, camera case, shoes, and pj's Merlot.  But I applauded her attempt at denial.

Following another lecture, I got my daughter settled into bed as she cuddled with a plastic trash can.  Bruni may have told her she would beat the shit out of her if she puked on the bed we were sharing, or on the carpeting.  I returned to the bathroom to continue the destinktifying process with the camera case, Betty Boop and her dog Pudge now added to the mix.  Bar soap took up where shampoo left disgusted, repulsed and drained.

At some point, I went to check on her, and noticed a glow from under the covers.  I asked her what the light was as I pulled back the sheet and blanket. She was talking on her cell phone to a friend she'd known since first grade, and had a crush on since junior high.  Mind you it was 1 a.m.  I started yelling again, and she quickly ended the conversation with, "I have to go, my mom is mad at me."  

I felt like I channeled Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest at that very moment.  All I needed was the coat hanger. "What would possess you to call Tanner, drunk, at 1:00 a.m.?"  Her matter-of-fact response, this time minus the shit-eating grin; "It's only midnight in Colorado."  Brunhilda quipped it was a good sign she hadn't burned off any good brain cells with her excessive Merlot'ing.

A half hour later, kid #1 showed up with a bag of Jack in the Box.  The aroma of 'fried' started kid #3 erupting again.  Fearing another Etna projectile, I ordered kid #1 to eat his food in the hallway.  You can imagine what that demand was met with...

"I'm not eating in the hallway at 2:00 a.m.  Mom, little sister needs to learn how to handle her liquor. It is ridiculous for you to think I'm going to sit out there and eat my hamburger and onion rings!  She's the problem here, not my food!"

His retort was met with a series of rapid-fire HAAAUUUKKK's, and a mad dash for the bathroom by kid #3 as he settled in on his roll-a-way and pigged out. Brunhilda demanded her own room as I followed my daughter into the bathroom and held her hair away from the toilet while stifling my own Haaauuukkk's.
The following morning, I roused the two revelers early.  We headed to a nearby coffee dispensary in an attempt to dilute the remaining Merlot with caffeine.  With her jacket hanging out the right rear window and her bright green cocktail dress hanging out the left rear window in an attempt to air dry before packing them in our suitcases, we sped off for McEwen.  Even her garments seemed to be celebrating fresh crisp air as they waved to the passing cars.  Bruni suggested our car looked like the redneck express with the laundry flapping from the windows at 55 m.p.h. and was relieved we didn't know anybody in this neck of the woods.

One hour later and forty years forward, we rolled up to the little church and rectory at St. Patrick's just as Mass was letting out.  2011 met 1971. It seemed as though time had stopped; nothing had changed.  Memories of my uncle, Harvey the collie, Jenny the mutt, and Bronson the orange kitty all came flooding back to me. Rita, Wanda, the Pence brothers, the Carroll's, the Peeler's, the Tarpy's, the annual St. Patrick's BBQ...everything was right with the world, and with mamabear again.  

The three of us entered the little red brick church when a woman approached and asked if she could help us.  I told her my story, my uncle, my summer. I was visiting Nashville and had to come to McEwen just to remember.  It turns out, she remembered me, my uncle and that summer. She was overjoyed, inviting us to their biscuit and gravy breakfast fundraiser being held in the gym nextdoor.  I glanced at my daughter, now exhibiting the color of gray, and responded we would be delighted.  

I met with other long-timers, and we talked about that summer, Harvey, the dog who refused to leave the church grounds between priest assignments and broke out of a parishoner's basement only to make the trek back to the rectory three miles away in the dead of winter.  They told me where Harvey was buried on the grounds, and I visited him before we left a few hours later for our return flight from Nashville Trashville.

As we drove away, I couldn't help but think McEwen Karma smiled, Harvey extended a paw, and my uncle nodded his forgiveness of my thirteen-year-old crappy housekeeping adventure of 1971.  I turned to my kids, one red-cheeked and alert, the other gray-cheeked and sporting hiccups...and forgave them too.  

Awaiting our next adventure--much to Bruni's premature bitching already in progress.




Thank you for reading and reviewing my work!

Names of the hotel personnel have been changed.

Of note, my daughter is happily married to the young man she was dialing up from under the covers. They are expecting their first child in May.

This hilarious youtube video describes the struggle fought while cleaning up my daughter's Merlot puke share..


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