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.
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.
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.