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Sometime between approximately 2:30 and 5:30 this morning …

Diane and I are in Chicago, where we have found a “bargain” hotel room for something like $200 a night. (You can actually do better, price-wise, and find some decent to pretty nice rooms.) We go to the second floor to find our room, 2703. Along the corridor, all the “rooms” have the number written in black Magic Marker, or perhaps Sharpie, on duct tape — only, obviously, not all the things that are numbered are actually rooms:

Turns out our “room” is actually a medicine cabinet, which I open and ask, “How are we supposed to sleep in there?” A search to find us an actual room ensues; at one point, we are directed to a corner bed in some huge hospital room, in which everything is blue scrubs-blue. Eventually, Diane and I are pooling our resources and decide we can afford a room for $300 a night, at a decidedly different hotel.

Analysis:

I blame this dream on a couple of my co-workers, Mona and Sandy.

Mona is having some work done on her house, and a few weeks ago, a construction worker was removing some insulation from her bathroom wall, and, as he reached in, he cut his arm in several places because there were all these razor blades stuck in her wall! Well, as it turns out — according to another co-worker of mine, Alice (actually, her brother George was the one who told her about it) — back in “the old days,” some medicine cabinets had a slot where a person could dispose of his razor blade, which fell “harmlessly” into the wall. (I say “his” because that seems like such a guy thing to do, and guys are the ones who shave in front of a mirror … right? I mean, I shave in the shower, and if I had a bathtub, I’d shave while taking a bath … although I did shave that inadvertent stripe into my right temple late last year, but that was while using the electric clippers, not while actually shaving.)

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Sandy was planning to go to Indiana to take part in some of the Covered Bridge Festival events (read: shopping!), and she was talking about how she and a bunch of her girlfriends have gone and stayed seven or eight to a room — which, to me, sounds like the true definition of “hell” — and also how, one year, she and her husband found themselves a bargain price at a Days Inn or some other chain (she couldn’t remember which one, for sure) over there, and once they arrived, they quickly realized the hotel was in a very, very bad part of town.

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Just found out that Polly Ann Weathers died this morning.

Polly was best pals with my buddy and longtime co-worker, Joe Anne Malkovich. She’d had a tough life, Polly Ann, but as my friend Becky said, “She handled it, and you never heard her complain.”

I always liked talking to Polly Ann. She like me, too; I’m pretty sure it was because I’d written good stuff about her grandsons over the years. (That was easy to do: They are good kids.)

Polly used to send me a birthday card each year, and at Christmastime, she’d bring me a bag full of Chex party mix. I’d send her a card, too, whenever I remembered (I’ll admit it: I’m a bit lax, sometimes), but I really had no excuse for not remembering: Her birthday was the same day as my dad’s.

It’s a dreary day here, but I hope the sun is shining for Polly Ann in paradise. She deserves it.

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