A PostSecret Prank Fails to Amuse the Aurora Travelodge

With nearly 830,000 followers on Facebook and the ability to sell out state university auditoriums for presentations by its creator, Frank Warren, the website PostSecret has a lot of fans. But the Travelodge at 8512 Aurora Ave. N. is not among them.

Every week, Warren receives about a thousand postcards from around the world printed with secrets ranging from humorous (“Every time I go to the zoo, I just think about how each animal would taste”) to heartbreaking (“My greatest regret is that I didn’t have the guts to kill him when he asked me”). He then posts about 20 on his site for viewers to peruse.

On August 8, Warren posted a “Greetings From Seattle” card on which someone had written: “We left a secret under the nightstand in room #302 of the Trave-lodge on the corner of 85th and Aurora…We hope you find it and feel the same.” Cue an onslaught of calls from PostSecret obsessives, says Christie, a front-desk clerk at the Greenlake-area motel who declined to provide her last name.

In the face of such rabid public interest, some establishments might ham it up, hike their rates, and maybe introduce a Commemorative PostSecret Package. But the Travelodge has been turning callers away, Christie says. “They were just asking what the secret was,” she says. “It was just stupid.”

The Travelodge’s manager greeted a question about the hubbub with a weary sigh. “The postcard case?” she asks. “Somebody made a joke. We searched the room, but nothing.”

She described the stream of calls as “annoying,” then declined to give her name and hung up.