A guy walked in wanting to pay cash for a room. I told him that is fine, but I needed a credit card to put on file for incidentals. He started counting out his cash. I told him I will not complete the reservation without him giving me a card. He looked worried. Again, he told me he just wanted to pay cash. I told him again that he can absolutely pay for the room in cash, but I will still need a card on file for incidentals. He gave me that, I don’t want to do that, look. With the increased number of local drug addicts trying to get rooms and then leaving needles and blood everywhere, there was no way I was gonna give this guy a room without a credit card. He had shady written all over him. He was also filthy. The man tried insisting that he only wanted to pay cash. I just repeated why I needed a card. Suddenly, he pulled out a card and handed it to me. I looked at the name on the card. It was a woman’s name. I pointed out to him that his credit card and I.D. did not have the same name. He told me he changed his name recently. I said…
“So you were formerly named Lucile?”
He started to sweat. I still had both his I.D. and the credit cards in my hand. I took a closer look at the card. It was an expired card.
“I am going to be blunt mister. I don’t believe you were formerly named Lucile.”
“Yes, that was me. I had it legally changed.” He said.
“You know Lucile is a woman’s name right?”
“So you are a woman?” I asked. “You have a very thick mustache, ma’am.”
He started counting out his cash again. “You will take cash. Cash works everywhere.”
“I can take cash for the room, but I will need a valid credit card in your name first.” I insisted.
“No.” he was stern with his tone. “You will take my cash.”
“OK,” I said. “But I will need to photocopy your license for our files. And I will still need a valid credit card in your name.” I turned to go into the office to make it look like I was going for the copy machine. “What do you have to do that for?” He seemed even more concerned.
“Oh, it’s something we have to do for local police. They want us to copy people’s licenses when they pay cash. Then we have to fax a copy to them.” Not exactly.
He fumbled over his words. Then he said… “OK, I will try someplace else. Please give me my cards back.” I handed him his license. Not the credit card.
“Can I have that card back also?”
“Can you show me a photo I.D. showing your name is Lucile?”
“Fine then.” He said and rushed out that door as quickly as the automatic doors would allow him.
I just realized “Hotel California” is playing in the hallway.