Money Stories: One for One

This is my latest idea for a reoccurring segment. Stories about money, both the good and the bad.

I called it One for One because I figured for every story that paints me in a skillful or at least lucky financial light, I should include a clunker – for parity.

First up, the good one. Let me paint the scene.

It’s Spring Break, me and the family (4) are flying out to Vegas and the Grand Canyon. First leg of the journey was short, now we are at Midway (Chicago) with a 90 minute layover. We are fed and the kiddies are blissfully fortniteing away on their devices.

SouthWest has overbooked the flight by 16, count them, 16 seats. An announcement catches my ear;

“$600 + the price of your ticket in vouchers if you let us bump you to the next flight.”

Color me intrigued. I share a look with the wife and mosey on over to the counter. I am flying with 3 other people, $600 apiece or altogether?

Each. Let me get this straight $600 x 4 + plus the costs of the tickets $228 x 4 to get on a different plane 2 hours later?

Yes, and we will throw in $40 with of food vouchers and give you priority seating so everyone can sit together on the next flight.

I do believe you have yourself a deal, mam.

I felt like Kramer, falling ass backwards into money. A total of $3,312 in vouchers good through June of next year. Sometimes the world is alright kids. Sometimes the universe is smiling down on you.

And then again, sometimes it is not smiling down upon you;

Next up, the bad one.

Before my life was changed by a CPAP device, I had a serious snoring issue. After a certain weight threshold is reached, I snore and it is not pleasant.

My wife once described my snoring as sounding like a bear….getting raped….by a stick….on her face….

SO when we decided to stay at hotel not too far away for the purpose of letting our kids explore the cool kids pool play area for a night, we were left with a dilemma.

What to do about dad?

The solution, which sounds ridiculous in retrospect, was to rent dad a separate room. But of course we are too frugal to rent another room at those prices. No, the better idea was that daddy could stay down the road a bit at a way cheaper motel. Just for the purpose of sleeping, he’ll be back in the morning and won’t leave until bed time.

Problem solved.

Only daddy booked a night at the worst motel in six counties.

I should have known something was wrong when I pulled up. The first floor had windows (plural) broken out. There was a stack of old mattresses out near the Dumpster.

I made a deal with myself right then and there. ‘IF‘ the front desk gave me a pair of hay hooks and told me I could go pick out my own mattress and drag it back, I was going to leave. I do have some standards you know.

Turns out the whole first floor was unused and the rooms were only on the second floor.

The room.

It smelled of cigarettes and had a definite murder vibe. I did not open my bag or take off any clothes. This would be an ‘on top of the covers’ kinda night. I just read an article about bedbugs and was definitely not confident this room was bedbug free.

Later that Night.

I am a light sleeper. Some would say (wife) a ‘delicate hot house flower with numerous idiosyncrasies’ that make it hard for me to fall asleep.

The was a tractor trailer idling in the lot next to the motel. A deep rumbling sound just below the level where most people would be disturbed, but for me and most dogs it was just too much, and it had been gong on for a long time.

So I went out late at night, careful not to get Shanghai’ed by any lot lizards. Went right up to him and asked how long he was planning on being there. Keep in mind this was only after I had waited a reasonable amount of time. I do not have a problem being confrontational because of my delinquent days. He moved on.

The Next Morning.

I saw my fellow travelers in all there methy glory. Bare-feet in the lobby dispensing fruit loops from a cereal dispenser. Slack jaws everywhere assessing why I was there, customer or mark?

And I ran, I ran so far away. I just ran, I ran all night and day.

What started out as an accommodation for my family (sleeping somewhere else to spare them my snoring) turned out to be an accommodation from my nightmares.

Money spent and for NOT a good result.





10 thoughts on “Money Stories: One for One

  1. At the end of residency, we all attended a professional conference. I decided the conference hotel was too expensive and went for a motel 6 down the street. Friends who wanted to save joined me. Four dudes in a meth hotel with hourly rates who were about to accept their first doctor jobs. Have yet to live it down. Flock of seagulls could not run as fast as we had to between the conference and our room.

  2. i was on a work trip to chicago as a young buck. i was in my seat on the plane with my boss when they offered up a similar deal for like 800 clams. i told my boss, see you tomorrow at work and got off the plane for my sweet voucher.

    like your second one, a work friend came to nola just after i had gotten there and hadn’t even moved into my apartment yet. she had booked some awful room like the one you described in new orleans east, which is like another war torn world. we check in and went up to the room with the messed up locks and taped up glass to the outside and she went back and said “no way” and got her money back. she ended up sleeping on the couch in my buddy’s little law office in the french quarter. that couch was the right choice.

  3. I like the premise of this series. There’s some truth to the notion that you make your own luck, but none of us make good luck all the time. Sometimes we make reservations in hotels like the one you describe.

  4. The things you do for family. LOL Wow huge score on the win, awful loss on the second one.

    By the way, I am known to snore a bit too (it does not bother my girlfriend thankfully). However on the Disney Cruise (girlfriend, daughter, and I) I knew my daughter would be kept up because of it.

    Luckily I had this mouth piece created by my dentist (It was quite expensive, thinking $1k or so) that is adjustable (there is a top component and a bottom component that go over your teeth, when engaged it brings the top teeth slightly forward). It really does reduce the snoring quite a bit. I don’t use it because it is a bit intrusive and in the morning it takes a bit for your jaw to align again (they have a retainer that you wear for 15 min or so to help the process).

    Anyway, there was no way I was buying another room on a disney cruise ship, so this was a great compromise.

  5. Oh man, I’ve been in hotels like that as well. For me it was in New York when the guy at the desk wouldn’t release the front door of the hotel to let me out (even though I had paid) as he wanted me to book in for a second night. I honestly thought that I was going to be found three months later at the bottom of a dumpster.

    Fortunately he was forced to release the door when a new guest/mark wanted to get in. No saving is every worth that!

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