I love staying at el cheapo motels and The Oriole Motel in, IIRC, Lynchburg, VA takes top honors.
I was biking south from NYC and decided that I deserved a bed instead of a campsite this night. The woman at the 7-11 saw me with the yellow pages looking for a place to crash in town, and engaged me in conversation. After she suggested a number of places, I asked which one she thought would be the cheapest. “If you want the cheapest, that would be the Oriole. Maybe twenty bucks a night. It’s run by a family of rummies at the end of town.” (Incidentally, that the first time I ever heard of someone use the term “rummy” outside of the bar scene in It’s a Wonderful Life.)
Sure enough, behind the counter, in the reception room of the OM was a father and his three or four sons (aged, say, 16 to 22) – all stoned-to-the-gills – sleeping it off on a couch, playing pool, and watching Liquid Television on a pawn-shop TV. The soberest one of the lot took my $18 (cash, of course) and showed me to a room that defies description.
The mismatched colors and styles of the furnishings were like an LSD trip as seen through a pile of broken glass while wearing cardboard 3-D glasses. Cigarette burns – everywhere – were the only consistant design feature. There was one or two roaches (the moving kind… I probably could have found the other variety, but I didn’t look).
But hey, the hot water worked, and the bed was clean, albeit ancient. Exhaused, I slept like a log – yes, without being ax-murdered in the middle of the night. I slipped out the next morning and kept pedalling south.
To this day, I consider paying anything over $18/night at any motel as a rip-off. (Smilie here.)