I received an interesting piece of mail yesterday.

It was obviously an advertisement. I rarely open such pieces. However the envelope intrigued me and so I did.

It was from a major hotel chain. Advised I had won a 3 day/2 night stay free at any one of its hotels in the United States. Not a big deal in and of itself. The next paragraph had a dark gray circle that had to be scrapped. Three additional awards were available. The best was two free round trip airline tickets to any major city in the United States.

I scrapped. Something I never do! I won the two free airline tickets! Wow!

So I telephoned the number listed to advise I wanted to take advantage of the stay and that I had additionally won the 2 airline tickets.

A charming lady answered. I sensed young. Age not important, however.

I gave her my name and address. She congratulated me. Then she told me I had to answer some qualifying questions. I countered, ” What is this qualifying stuff? My letter said I had won the stay and airline tickets.” She was adamant. “No. You have to qualify.” I should have known at this point that something was amiss!

The first question was, “Are you married or living in a relationship with someone?” I responded, “I am married and not living in a relationship with someone.” I then volunteered that I did not live with my wife, that she lived in upstate New York and I in Key West. She said, “You do not qualify.” ” Why”, I asked. She said, “Because you do not live with your wife.”

We discussed the issue for a moment. She finally saw my point of view that it was better to be married and living apaprt than living in sin in an unmarried relationship. All bullshit, of course.

She insisted however that there were further questions and I still had to qualify. Shoot, I said.

Her next question was, “Are you between 35 and 72 years of age?” “No”, I said, ” I am 73.” Her immediate response was, “You do not qualify!” “Age discrimination”, I said. She could sense I was a bit unhappy. Not because I was not getting the free trip. I could care less. But the stupidity and insult of the whole thing was too much! Especially from a large and respected hotel chain!

Now she was stumbling for words. “Don’t blame me. They told me I had to ask these questions! You have to qualify!”

End of telephone conversation. I said good bye and hung up. And surprisingly, I actually felt sorry for the young lady!

My haircut yesterday morning went well with Lori. Always does.

Afterwards I went to the Coffee House on Duval for a coffee and to read the papers.

I have noticed the past couple of weeks a very decided increase in business at the Coffee House. I attribute it to the recession. It’s cheaper to have coffee and a bagel there than breakfast or lunch at a restaurant.

Last night started at the Chart Room. People. Noise. Good company.

I hooked up with Marty. He wanted to eat at La Marquesa. I rarely eat there so it would be a treat.

We ate at the bar. Seated next to Marty was an attractive lady. Mid 50s. Obviously a tourist.

We started chatting.

Turns out she is from Indiana. Every one I meet lately seems to be from Indiana.

Her name is Mary. She is a physiotherapist. Owns her own business which has 3 locations. She also owns a time share in Key West which brings her here once a year.

An intelligent and interesting woman!

The conversation got around to politics and the role of government. Mary is from the far right! Far far! Her heroes, and she proudly pronounces them as such, are Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. She is not a fan of Obama. And that is an understatement! She fears a socialistic government and fears we are heading that way for the long term.

I enjoyed our conversation with Mary. Though I disagree with her. I am basically a moderate with a left leaning. She tilts the boat! Mary was a woman of conviction, saw her thoughts clearly and knew how to enunciate them. She should run for Congress!

After dinner, I stopped at the Keys Piano Bar for a nightcap. Bobby Nesbitt was there. He had earlier sung for cocktail hour.

We talked about Terri White. I told him I had spoken with Donna and Terri earlier in the day. They were driving that truck/u haul back and were somewhere around Richmond, Virginia. They had copies of the reviews with them. Terri said all the reviews were good. The show was a hit. Backers were already in line and she anticipatged a full Broadway opening for November. Terri also received very laudatory comments for her part.

Bobby had seen the reviews. He was duly impressed by it all. I was impressed that he was impressed! This Finian’s Wake revival is a big thing for the show and for Terri! She had to leave New York to be rediscovered! Amazing!

To put this all in perspective, things got tough for Terri in New York City last year. She could not get a job. She spent a month sleeping nights on a park bench in Central Park.

Go, Terri, go! We are all proud of you! We are all happy for you!

Jill wrote to me yesterday. A blog reader. She and her family are coming to Key West in a week. On a Sunday. She asked about Sunday traffic. Jill, Sunday is the best day to drive US 1. There is little to no traffic on a Sunday morning. Enjoy the drive! The scenery is absolutely outstanding! Ocean on both sides as far as the eye can see! Though be aware the speed limit is genrally low and it will take 4 hours to make the 150 mile trip. It’s all part of the experience! And forget about ferry service Miami to Key West. None exists.

Today is Saturday. What will I do? I don’t know. Isn’t that nice?

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