(A-list spy shooter Brenda Priddy lifts the lid on the world of industrial espionage, with road reports from the world's greatest car spies! In this, the first installment, Priddy airs some dirty laundry...) My twentysomething daughter and I arrived at our home away from home at 10:30 pm on a very hot July evening (about four hours after we passed Holy Moses, Wash) and rang the little silver bell for the desk clerk, Norman. It was obvious we woke him, but fortunately for us, he threw on some (mismatched) clothes before he came to the office to hand us our keys. "Office" is a lose term in this case - it was simply a three-by-four-foot (and I'm being generous here) waiting area with a few dusty magazines on a homemade shelf, and a map tacked on the wall dating back to the Johnson administration.
The motel itself was built in the 1940's, and it is far from quaint or charming, but in this case location is everything and this is where we need to be (on and off) for the next three months. The motel was originally owned by the Bates family and we expected a young Anthony Perkins to greet us, Fortunately Perkins was nowhere in sight. But I swear it felt like Hitchcock's spirit was pretty close by.
The proprietor was glad to see us. Most who travel to this remote area do it for wholly different reasons, renting the shabby rooms with cigarette burns in the bedspreads by the hour. We rented two rooms for three full months, and even paid in advance. That's probably 80% (or more) of this motel's annual income, and the Bates successors were overjoyed at their instant windfall.
We were still unpacking in the wee hours when Norman caught a man at our door. "John" thought we were setting up a brothel, wandered up the steep concrete steps and walked directly to our door. He wanted some action. I guess the folks in these parts are — to say the least — a bit too "friendly." And he wasn't too far off...
... After all, this is a county where the notorious Heidi Fleiss (also known as the Hollywood Madam) is actually listed in the phone book.
Yep, Heidi Fleiss is really listed in the white pages! And just last week she opened (get this...) a 24-hour laundromat appropriately dubbed "Dirty Laundry." It's over one hundred miles away, but it's located in the shopping center nearest to us at the moment.
Heidi is also in the final planning stages of a "Stud Ranch" to cater only to women! But for us to report on this, Jalopnik may have to become an age-verification subscription-only website...