Like most days, what the mailman leaves in the mailbox is mostly junk mail or advertisements, along with the normal monthly bills and today was much of the same.
I quickly tossed out some of the advertisements and sat what I knew were the phone and water bill to the side and thumbed through the others. Most were just crap, but one in particular seemed a bit interesting, if not unbelievable.
A solicitation from a Visa card company was offering a special deal on a balance transfer in excess of $10,000.00 with no interest for the first year, and only a 6.5% interest charge after that. That sounded too good to be true, but I was curious and called the toll free number listed in the intro letter.
Twenty minutes later, I had paid off four of my high interest credit cards, and now had only one payment, a payment a lot less than I was paying to the others combined. As a bonus, I was entered into a contest for a trip to Las Vegas with airfare and hotel paid. Of course I really didn't think I could be that lucky, but I was wrong.
Three weeks went by and I somewhat forgot about the contest, but as my wife Kathy and I were just finishing dinner the phone rang. On the phone was a representative of the company that was sponsoring the contest telling me that I was one of the grand prizewinners, and I would be sent a package detailing everything.
When I received the package, it explained that there was six dates I could choose from, each were for a Thursday through Sunday, and all I had to do was call and make the reservations.
As it turned out, Kathy's sister Suzanne and husband Paul had planned on taking their daughter Ashley to Vegas for her 21st birthday, which corresponded with one of the prize dates offered. The only difference was, Kathy and I would leave on Thursday morning, while Suzanne, Paul and Ashley were booked to fly out on Friday evening.
I scheduled two vacation days, as did Kathy, and everything seemed to be all set until a power outage caused all the computers to crash where Kathy worked just two days before we were to leave. Kathy worked two twelve hour days trying to get things back to normal, but she knew she wouldn't finish by Wednesday evening.
I called to try and change the dates, but that wasn't possible at that short of notice, and I thought we would just have to cancel, when her sister Suzanne came up with a plan.
Since she, Ashley and Paul weren't scheduled to fly out until Friday evening, Suzanne's plan, since Ashley had Friday off, was for Ashley to fly out with me, and Kathy take Ashley's place on the Friday flight. It seemed to make sense, and that was the direction we took.
Ashley and I got to the airport and went to the terminal that was indicated in the package I received, and since this was not a regular commercial flight, I simply showed them the winning voucher and my I.D., and onto the plane we went.
The first thing I noticed was the size of the plane. This wasn't a regular plane like I had been on before, it was small, or at least it looked that way on the outside. As it turned out, this was the private jet of the hotel were we would be staying, and every seat was like a first class seat on a regular plane, except it only held twenty people, the grand prize winners.
We were about an hour into the flight when a couple, Jim and Rita, seated directly in front of us started up a conversation. We chatted a bit about the contest, and how is was unreal that my wife and I actually won something and how this was our first "vacation" in over seven years, a year after we got married.
Suddenly both of them just stared at me and Ashley for a minute or two before the woman asked just how old my wife was when we got married, and commented that she looked awfully young to be married for eight years.
I looked at Ashley and we both busted up laughing and I then explained the whole situation with Kathy and her job. The couple seemed to be relieved that a forty-three year old man wasn't a cradle robber, but did inform us that there could be a problem.
I guess I really didn't read the entire letter I received, and I know knew that this whole trip was sponsored by a large construction company that was trying to sell condominiums in the Vegas area, and was only offered to married couples, something that would be verified upon checking in at the hotel.
The minute we arrived at the hotel I quickly asked if I could register alone, and explained my wife would be arriving shortly. I didn't say the next day, just shortly. Unfortunately, that was against the rules, my wife had to be with me, and more importantly, I had only until six o'clock until the check in time would expire.
At first I figured I could simply secure another room that I would pay for and that would that, but with two major conventions in town, every hotel was booked for the weekend. I had to come up with something, and quick, I had less than four hours to figure something out.
Ashley and I sat in one of the lounges in the hotel and had a few drinks while I thought of just what to do, when the couple we met on the plane came over to our table.
After explaining that they were right about being a married couple, and getting another room was out of the question, I asked if either of them had any idea what to do. We discussed several options, which all meant getting a room over an hour away, and even the idea of secretly staying with Paul and Suzanne in there room. Of course, if we got caught we all could be tossed out. No, I couldn't leave Paul and Suzanne open to that, there just had to be a way.
Although he said it joking, Jim did have another suggestion. He said we could go over to one of the wedding chapels, pay for a quickie wedding and technically we would be married, although maybe not legally, after all I already had a wife.
Ashley and I sat there discussing what we should do when finally she said we should go across to a wedding chapel and just do it. She figured before the weekend was over we could get a quickly divorce, and no one would be the wiser.
I really wasn't too keen on the idea, but it was almost four o'clock and I was getting desperate, so I agreed. Ashley was a bit tipsy as we walked out of the hotel, and the hot air wasn't helping matters in the least and making our way to the chapel was a chore in itself.
I was thankful that the first chapel we approached was open, but completely empty except for the so-called minister. He looked at Ashley and smiled and gave me a wink and mumbled how she was going to wear me out, and how lucky I was having a hot young chick like Ashley.
Of course when I tried to explain everything, he just smiled and said there wasn't a need for stories, and it didn't matter to him how old she was if she was at least eighteen.
.... There is more of this story ...