FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » The Kon Tiki Room Key
The Kon Tiki Room Key
kctiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 22, 2003
Posts: 439
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2004-02-16 5:56 pm   Permalink

I like old motels. Especially if they have a certain Polynesian flair. Which is why I almost dropped everything for a trip down San Antonio way. Almost.

Old motels. That’s what had me pawing through a box of grimy motel room keys. The old kind, with the plastic thing attached. Drop in any mailbox. We guarantee postage.

But I didn’t find the keys in San Antonio. Not even Texas. Nowhere near it. They were in Nevada. In an antique store right outside of Carson City. But I’m not from there, I’m from Kansas City. If you read my screen name, you already know that.

Antiques? Who are they kidding? Antiques and Junk. It says so right on the sign. My kind of Junk. A mug from The Tikis, tacky souvenirs from Hawaii, fish floats, loud shirts with tropical flowers. But none of it grabbed me enough to take a crowbar to my billfold.

That box of motel room keys though, that kind of blew my skirt up, if you catch my drift.
Fred, my companion, fidgeted as I methodically read and discarded each key. OK, he passed fidgeting 20 minutes ago. Now he was impatient and closing in on antsy.

This wasn’t his kind of joint. He didn’t bargain for a junk store that day. Just scenery and maybe a few museums. Museums at least have old guns and machinery he can look at while I study fancy dresses with lace and feathers, and vintage laxative boxes. Not that I’m especially intrigued with laxatives. I just can’t figure why those old timers needed so much of it. I thought they all had gardens out back.

Then there it was. Just a tarnished motel key attached to an ordinary black plastic tag with white lettering. But the words stamped on the tag, they weren’t so ordinary. Kon Tiki Motel 350 Aviation Blvd Universal City Tex. T E X period. Back from the days when you could abbreviate a state with three letters and nobody told you it was against the rules. TEX, ARK, FLA, like that.

A buck for a worthless old key and I paid it gladly. We both left smiling. Me with my key to paradise lost, and he in anticipation of collecting the extra browsing time fees I’d racked up.

Was I really the first to sniff out this clue to a long forgotten Tiki shrine? When it comes to Tiki hunting I’m just a bit player. But I don’t recall any of the big boys mentioning this place in Texas.

I checked the road atlas. Universal City is right there between San Antonio and New Braunfels. I searched the TC archives. Postings with the word Universal, no Kon Tiki Motel. Postings with the word Antonio, no Kon Tiki Motel. I stepped back and did a google search. “Universal City” +”Kon Tiki” +Motel. Seven listings. Seven? For a defunct motel? What the hell? There it is with a phone number.

I pick up the phone and my palms are starting to sweat. “If the owner answers and his nickname is Thor, you might be onto something.” Fred says, with gleam in his eye. He knows collecting the extra browsing time fees would be a piece of cake in a place called Kon Tiki down Mexico way.

A lady answers. “Yes” I say, “I’m looking for a motel with a Polynesian theme. Would that describe the Kon Tiki?”

“No honey,” she answers with a charming drawl, “other than the name, there’s nothing you could call exotic about the place.”

“What about the sign? Is the sign…”

“Not even the sign. We’re just a nice, neat, little ordinary place.”

“Did it used to have a Polynesian theme? I mean like a long time ago?”

“No it never did,” she answers wistfully, “I really don’t know where the name came from.”

“OK. Thank you then.”

“Bye now.”

So here I sit, nursing a Suffering Bastard and idly fondling an ordinary motel room key that once held so much promise. OK, so it’s not a real Suffering Bastard. I’m off the sauce. It’s apricot nectar with cranberry juice and key lime soda with a dash of bitters.

My latest concoction in an attempt to blend today’s reality with yesterdays dreams. Tomorrow I’ll drop the key in any mailbox. We guarantee postage.



 
View Profile of kctiki Send a personal message to kctiki  Email kctiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Formikahini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2004-02-16 9:02 pm   Permalink

Ack, kctiki, you got even closer than I did, and I spent an hour driving around trying to find the dang place!

There's a billboard on the highway, and I finally had the time on one trip that way to exit and try to find the Kontiki. "Try" being the operative word. I went up and down the road where it was supposedly located, and the billboard directions of something like "Exit 37, Turn left 2 miles" were wholly unhelpful. I tried left and right, at least 5 miles - you name it.

A room key is closer than I got - congratulations!
_________________
"Zazz captivates felt."


 
View Profile of Formikahini Send a personal message to Formikahini  Email Formikahini     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2004-02-16 9:50 pm   Permalink

The key may not have amounted to anything but your storytelling skills are outstanding! What a great read - it reminded me of a pulp novel circa 1949!




_________________


 
View Profile of johntiki Send a personal message to johntiki  Goto the website of johntiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2961
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-02-17 07:30 am   Permalink

i could almost smell the "junk store" smell from your story! great job! j$
_________________


 
View Profile of Johnny Dollar Send a personal message to Johnny Dollar  Email Johnny Dollar Goto the website of Johnny Dollar     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Kon-Hemsby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1286
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2004-02-17 08:52 am   Permalink

Riveting read.....Let's have another story..

 
View Profile of Kon-Hemsby Send a personal message to Kon-Hemsby  Email Kon-Hemsby     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
kctiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 22, 2003
Posts: 439
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2004-02-17 4:40 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-02-16 21:02, Formikahini wrote:


There's a billboard on the highway ... I went up and down the road where it was supposedly located, and the billboard directions of something like "Exit 37, Turn left 2 miles" were wholly unhelpful. I tried left and right, at least 5 miles - you name it.





Alright Sis, take a good hard belt of that Mai Tai. Or better yet, drain it. ‘Cause I’m gonna give it to you straight.

You didn’t find the Kon Tiki because you weren’t ready to find it. But you already know that. Maybe some part of you always knew it. Could be it just didn’t want to be found. You read the directions, but missed the fine print.

Exit 37 (onto Renovation Ave. Bear right, past the Sports Bar, past the Walgreens) Turn left 2 mi. (that’s a hard left, onto the Boulevard of Broken Mugs). Hey kid, did that billboard say anything about shattered mugs? Nah. I didn’t think so.

Turn around? Give up? If we had any brains we’d give up.

But when I dialed the Kon Tiki Motel and had her on the horn, when she claimed there’s nothing Polynesian about the place, I swear I could hear exotic music in the background. Not that plinky plonky water torture stuff either. Slide guitar I think it was. Kinda lazy. Kinda sad. Makes you want to quit your job and stop shaving your armpits.

So keep your eyes peeled kid. That neon vacancy sign is just beyond the windshield, right over the horizon.


 
View Profile of kctiki Send a personal message to kctiki  Email kctiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Formikahini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2004-02-17 7:23 pm   Permalink

Or maybe the Tiki gods didn't find me worthy!!!!

Noooooo!!!!!


Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But --
Now that I know that there IS a disembodied voice on the other end of the phone, it gives me hope:

That perhaps ONE day - the next in its Brigadoon-like hundred year cycle - The Kontiki Hotel, TEX will appear on the horizon, and I WILL find the flower-strewn path to its door, enter its balmy entranceway, where lovely wahines place leis of plumeria and other fragrant blooms over my head, while handsome loincloth-clad Polynesian surfer boys hand me a mai tai.

I'll save you a suite, kctiki. You already have your key.

***sigh***


 
View Profile of Formikahini Send a personal message to Formikahini  Email Formikahini     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Freeland
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 19, 2013
Posts: 37
From: Tex
Posted: 2014-08-21 07:04 am   Permalink

I am not too far from here... Maybe 45 minutes to an hour. Might be worth a little more digging as this old postcard does give some hope.





I found these images browsing around online for old Tiki near Austin... There has to be something!



 
View Profile of Freeland Send a personal message to Freeland  Email Freeland Goto the website of Freeland     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
mcmtiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 12, 2011
Posts: 19
Posted: 2014-08-21 4:44 pm   Permalink

[quote]
On 2004-02-16 17:56, kctiki wrote:
I like old motels. Especially if they have a certain Polynesian flair. Which is why I almost dropped everything for a trip down San Antonio way. Almost.

Old motels. That’s what had me pawing through a box of grimy motel room keys. The old kind, with the plastic thing attached. Drop in any mailbox. We guarantee postage.


Best forum post of any forum. But you took a wrong turn, sister. You're too good for this place. You write pretty, like a 15 cent dime novel. Now beat it, before you get your bus fare swindled by one of the sideways beachcombers.


 
View Profile of mcmtiki Send a personal message to mcmtiki      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2014 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation