Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What Happens In Vegas Sometimes Doesn't Stay In Vegas

Being at an airport (and thinking ahead to the dozens and dozens of airports I'm about to be in) reminds me of one of my all-time favorite stories.

My Uncle Nathan (or "Junior") is one of the most charismatic folks to ever grace the planet with his presence.

He is a Vietnam Vet, he is the Emcee for Mobile Country Music Assoc. , he is simply a larger than life character and I have never been in a place where Uncle "Junior" wasn't working the room. He is the epitome of cool. He uses the cheesiest pick up lines he can think of (i.e. "Your feet sure must be tired because you've been running through my mind all day"). But don't think he doesn't understand the cheesiness. Quite the contrary , Uncle "Junior" uses those lines more as a challenge or more appropriately as a declaration that HOW something is said to a person (here: a lady) is way more important than WHAT is said to a person. Again proving that he is cooler than the rest of us. What I mean is: Uncle Junior oozes believability and coolness.

Ok. On to the airport story.

From my earliest recollections , Uncle Junior has always been the coolest.

Well at the time of this story, Uncle Junior was a big wig (CEO I believe) of a very large corporation. Due to this perch atop the business food chain , he always had cool cars, cool house (with a cool swimming pool), cool hair cut, cool clothes, and also cool stories.

Some of the stories came from his traveling. This is one of those.

Uncle Junior has always liked to gamble.

To stay true to form with Uncle Junior style where do ya go to gamble? Well , Las Vegas of course.

So one weekend he, his wife, and my other aunt and uncle went on just such a trip to Vegas.

They had no weekend plans at 3pm on Friday, by 7pm Uncle Junior had the foursome at 40,000 ft.

Well the tickets they bought were round trip to Vegas (leaving Friday early evening and returning Monday night).

The group got to Vegas, and Uncle Junior owned the place (I imagine). I can just see it. In my mind he was like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (minus the falsetto background singers). He was king and he was the tour guide to Vegas (being as he had been to Vegas many times and the rest of the party were new to the place).

He spent money quickly and with reckless abandon. So his entourage followed suit. Lady luck didn't smile on any of them. So Uncle Junior threw down more money. And again his crew did the same. This process repeated all night.

The unflappable Uncle Junior wasn't flustered at all but the consensus of the rest of the group was to go back to the room and discuss the rest of the weekend.

Upon getting to the room , the group decided that way way too much money had been lost way way too quickly and they would be so much better off heading back home.

They were all broke! Well.... broke as they cared to be at that time . This caused a dilemma. They were done with Vegas but Vegas wasn't done with them. They had a hotel room in Vegas for 2 more nights and non transferable plane tickets for flights 2 days later.

What to do? What to do? Well as usual Uncle Junior takes the reigns. He assures them he will handle it. Reluctantly (but of course trusting Uncle Junior's charm) the group grabbed their stuff and headed to the airport.

They knew that their tickets were non refundable and non transferrable. But they really needed to get the return flight dates moved up two days so they could get home. They also knew that they had the smoothest talker the world has ever known (Uncle Junior) in their group. When you have that you become accustomed to the rules getting bent in your favor more often than not.

They hoped for the best but expected to be stuck in Vegas for 2 more days.

Uncle Junior leads the charge up to the the ticket counter. He explained their situation while pouring on his world class charm. Much like his luck over the last two days, his charm failed him. The lady didn't budge. She was enamoured with him of course but as far as being able to switch the flights , she simply couldn't help.

Failing isn't really Uncle Junior's style. So he continued his pitch.

They lady assured him that she wanted to help and she empathized with ther situation however she just simply wasn't authorized to make the flight changes.

Uncle Junior was quick on his feet. Of course he was. He always is.

He asked the lady, "If you aren't authorized to make the flight changes.....WHO is?"

She scanned the expansive airport lobby then pointed. She said , "Do you see that man in the blue shirt way down at the other end of the hall?"

Uncle Junior : "Yes"

Lady at Counter: "Well he is the only person in the building that can authorize the flight change. But I assure you , he is not gonna let me"

Uncle Junior: "Thank you. Let me go talk to him"

Uncle Junior turns to his group and instructs them to hold on.

He calmly walks the length of the airport lobby all the way down to the man at the other end of the corridor.

Uncle Junior approached the man in the blue shirt and said,
"Hey Buddy, sorry to bother you with this but you see the girl down there at the counter?"

The man in the blue shirt looked and nodded. "Sure"

Uncle Junior: " Well I need change for $100 and she said you'd have to approve it"

The man in the blue shirt makes eye contact with the lady at the counter and gives her an emphatic thumbs up.

Uncle Junior thanks the man, calmly walks back to the counter, gets his group's new changed tickets and then they go board the plane.

Lady luck may have beaten Uncle Junior at the tables , but in the end, Uncle Junior wins. He always wins.

1 comment:

  1. I think every family has that one great uncle. Mine's Uncle Chuck. I remember one day I was sitting in the kitchen, and he had just finished frosting a huge chocolate cake he had spent most of the day making from scratch. We were the only ones in the room, and he sat the cake down beside me at the table and said, "April... You know what the best way to eat chocolate cake is?" I smiled and said no. And without a moment's hesitation, he proceeded to stick his entire face into the top of the cake. :)