Things That Are Seedy

When I was a kid, I remember my mom referring to “seedy hotel rooms”. Actually I am not sure if she was referring to hotel rooms, but I felt like when she used the word “seedy” it must be in reference to hotel rooms, because what else can really fall under that classification. For that matter, what in the world does “seedy” even mean? In my juvenile brain I imagined something like a dried up orange, sour and sticking to your teeth, and definitely hard water stains in the bathtub. That is seedy for sure.

I started hashing through all of this on a recent sleepless, yet thought -provoking night at a hotel room that could probably pretty fairly be considered seedy. I was trying to be thrifty since my employers had been reticent to pay for the nicer hotel the last time I needed one for work. There were hard water stains on the bathtub for sure, but no dried out oranges to speak of. If I had to define seedy I would probably say it something akin to the opposite of “classy”, i.e. low quality, unkempt, and questionably legal. The ACTUAL definition of seedy is much better than mine:

Seed·y ˈsēdē/
  1. sordid and disreputable.

As I lay contorted in a bed with undefinable lumps in it, I decided it would be helpful to develop an identification strategy for anyone who wonders if they might be staying in a seedy hotel room. Here are the parameters I came up with.

  1. If you walk into the room and smell wet carpet, it’s a pretty sure sign you’re at a seedy hotel. Chances are also good that where you smell wet carpet there is wet carpet and it will be a relief to discover that it’s mostly from the leaking air conditioner, and probably not from that suspicious stain by the bathroom door.
  2. If you find yourself playing the “floor is lava” by yourself, leaping from bed to table to entertainment center to cracked bathroom tiles to avoid carpet stains, you’re probably in a seedy hotel.
  3. If the table you lept to from the bed does not support your parcours adventures and breaks into 5 pieces, you’re probably in a seedy hotel.
  4. If the paper cups wrapped in saran wrap by the coffeemaker are so biodegradable that they biodegrade during one episode of House with a little bit of ice water in them, chances are good you picked a seedy hotel.
  5. If it sounds like there is a middle school game of twister going on above you and they all brought their toddler siblings with them, you might be staying at a seedy hotel.
  6. If the guy in the room down the hall has his door open and an ACTUAL boom box stationed to blare into the hallway some unrecognizable cross between mariachi and Celine Dion, yeah, you’re probably there.
  7. If the coffee for your room is two scoops of folgers in a zip-lock baggie…
  8. If the circa 1987 wallpaper still matches the bedspread and the paint is rubbed off of EVERY CORNER, it’s a good sign.
  9. If there is hair in the bed BEFORE you get in it, well, that’s just gross.
  10. If there is no discernable difference in color, smell or viscosity of the shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and shoe polish - good chance you’re at a seedy place.
of course I have. 

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