The Blue Swallow Motel on Route 66 in Tucumcari NM, is a short detour from our mapped trip to Jemez Springs NM. Nonetheless, I had just seen Jay Leno interview Billy Bob Thornton, who said on his way to the show he stopped at the Blue Swallow Motel for the night. I’m like, OMG Billy Bob Thornton slept there, we have got to stop and have a looksee. I could tell Ruby J, who once made us sleep in our cloths, I mean all our clothes at a hotel in South Carolina, was not sold on the idea. You see Ruby J was a Health inspector in another life. Cleanliness is next to Goddess, right. Let me explain.
We made a quick trip to South Carolina to see Ruby J’s son graduate from boot camp. I mean QUICK. Can you say South Carolina without the vowels? It was that kind of quick. We only took a breath when we weren’t running over some idiot who didn’t know 70 mph meant 100 in we gotta get there yesterday lingo. After about 100 hours of straight driving, we stopped at a motel (the word motel should cause your eyebrow to raise just a tad). We only have an overnight bag, however little did I know, Ruby J’s bag was equipped with a sanitary supply industrial warehouse.
We walk in the .005 star room and Ruby J shouts, “Don’t touch anything, quick pull the bedspread off the bed.” Puzzled (remember I’m the naïve one) Ruby J said, “Didn’t you see Oprah where she showed what people do on those things.” I’m hearing this as I’m on a downhill motion to sitting on the black plague of death bedspread, and in one (not so smooth) motion I immediately do the ballerina tuck, arch, pull yourself up with all your might, tippy toe, jump, turn and look to make sure something didn’t get on me.
Ruby J pulls out a 95 gallon can of Lysol and start spraying EVERYTHING. There was not an inch of that 250 square foot econo-room that could have anything vile living on or in it. I start to pull off my coat, which by the way was long, quilted and hooded when Ruby J says, “You might want to keep that on. We have to sleep on top of the sheets and it might get a tad chilly in here tonight.” Now mind you we are dog tired, it even hurts to talk. Visualize the two of us sleeping in sub-zero coats, jeans, snow boots, gloves and the hood of our jackets tied tightly around our head. “I damn the germ that tries to get past these barriers.”
Alrighty then, back to Tucumcari and the Blue Swallow Motel, I think you get the picture. As we take the Route 66 exit, our macho 3-quarter ton, 4-wheel drive pickup that can pull a cruise liner if needed strolls past the Blue Swallow Motel. “Was that is, no that can’t be it, Billy Bob raved about the place, said it’s a permanent stop-over on all his trips, maybe we should turn around and take another looksee.” “Hum, let’s see...oh yeah, that must be it, hum maybe this is upscale in Billy Bob’s Sling Blade world, what do you think.” Ruby J looks at me with raised eyebrows and says, “Venus, I don’t think I have enough Lysol.”