Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

A Wife's Creed / `a Penny Saved Is Worthless, but a Credit Card Is a Swell Day in Town'

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

A Wife's Creed / `a Penny Saved Is Worthless, but a Credit Card Is a Swell Day in Town'

Article excerpt

We drove all day to New England. Desperate for rest, we came in the gray New England night to Hyannis, a vast conurbation of motels occupying what once was Cape Cod.

These were not motels where you backed the station wagon up to a door, shoveled children, turtles, cats, luggage and grandmother into the room and were checked in by an owner who forecast fog with the help of his corns and offered a pull at his private bourbon bottle by way of welcome.

They don't make motels like that anymore, so we pulled into one that looked slightly smaller than Kennedy Airport. My first impressions were of glass, glitz and grandeur.

A survey of the parking spaces suggested there might be a vacant room or two, and possibly as many as 1,500. This promised big bargains. Not for nothing do my children refer to me, when they think I'm out of earshot, as ``Old El Cheapo.''

On this journey I had left the children behind after explaining that people in their 30s couldn't go everyplace mommy and daddy went. Thus I had only my wife to exult at after seeing those acres of empty parking space.

This was not entirely satisfactory, since my wife was not reared on the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin. Her motto is:

``A penny saved is worthless, but a credit card is a swell day in town.''

So when I said the motel would be so glad to see us that we might get a room for $15, she said:

``New England in October is colder than the shores of the Baltic.''

``Meaning?'' I said.

``Get a room, not a pup tent by the swimming pool,'' she said.

I pulled up behind a gigantic German car suitable for delivering Conrad Veidt and Erich von Stroheim to depraved parties in Berlin. I estimated the car's value at $82,000 new, which it was.

Through the lobby's glass doors I could see the car's occupants checking in. They were dressed in the sinister leathery-tweedy style. This, combined with their vast Teutonic automobile, betrayed them as a team of television technicians, doubtless sent into the New England gray to shoot a TV commercial for tire chains or cough syrup.

Such people tend to run up prices, since they are making free with other people's money, but I was cheered, upon entering the lobby, to hear the room clerk say:

``Yes, the discount will be given to all three of you. …

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