Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sparky, The Negotiator

The beach at Naples Motorcoach Resort
You've heard of the Terminator? Arnold Schwartzenager? Well, just call me Sparky, the Negotiator....Eldy and I talked things over today....the resort is having trouble with their wifi...we thought, well, if they can comp us for doing a Tastefully Simple show, maybe they would comp us a couple of days for no wifi...he said, why don't you see what you can do? He said that because I'm the one who doesn't hesitate for one nanosecond if my steak is not cooked extra rare in a restaurant, (back it goes), if the music is too loud in the movie theater (I ask them to turn it down), lots of luck on that one! If people have their cell phones on and are having a  loud personal conversation in a public place, I'll say, "REALLY? YOU'RE KIDDING! I DIDN'T KNOW THAT!" just as loudly right next to their table and lean into their physical space...well, actually, I haven't done THAT one yet, but as I get older, WATCH ME! I'm chompin' at the bit to say it! The older I get, the easier it is to speak my mind! (uh-oh! says E.) So down I go to the office. I got us TWO free days after offering to do another Friday show next week, and a sizable discount for seven more days...we are now staying for $48.00 a night for the entire stay for this gorgeous, 3 pools, bar, lounge, billiards room, cards room, spa, sauna, fitness center, movie theater, etc. etc. etc. These folks are willing to deal, barter, negotiate and offer deals, that's for sure! Now if I could only figure out how the guy from Crooked Lake, Angola, IN, my former hometown, got an email offer for a whole free week at this Naples Motorcoach Resort, no strings attached! He doesn't even have to listen to a sales pitch!  Since it's been so cold, we wanted to stay longer to enjoy the pools and the facilities so we are really happy that they worked with us to get their normal 79.95 nightly rate down.....they do have weekly and monthly rates, but that was too high for us to consider....these people really want to get more business here, so they are willing to do whatever it takes to get you to stay....

While I was negotiating, I told the gals in the office here about Pickleball...they'd never heard of case anybody reading this missed my blog on it, it's a new sport that is a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. You use rackets shaped like ping pong rackets, only larger. You use a whiffle ball with holes in it, only the ball is harder. You play tennis, sort of, only the court is shrunk down. Much less running around and reaching for those tough to get shots! You can play singles or doubles. After hearing my enthusiasm, they ordered a kit to start it here at Naples Motorcoach Resort....AWESOME!!! It's cheap to get started for the facility offering it...they can paint complementary lines for pickleball on existing tennis courts. Our experience is not as many seniors play tennis anymore..We never see anybody on tennis courts where we stay...but Pickleball is easier on the joints and movements, and it's really taking off in the west. Sporting goods stores are not stocking pickleball rackets and balls yet, it's such a new sport, you have to get them online as far as I know. But we're excited this place is going to invest in it, and we hope the equipment comes before we leave so we can help them set it up. I would have tried to get comped for starting Pickelball tournaments, but I haven't played the game yet myself! Hm-m-m-m-m-..wonder what other activities I could come up with that they could comp us for? (Don't push your luck, Sparky! says E.)

Ok...before we start wearing ourselves out at this beautiful place starting with Zumba for Sparky, Friday morning at 9:00 sharp, I'm going to show you a couple of things leftover from the last day at Jolly Roger and share a funny story about our trip to Hallendale Beach yesterday....I went kayaking in the mangroves...relaxing but didn't see much...that was was cool in the mangrove tunnels....
On my way to the mangrove tunnels, I passed by the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon...I caught some of the show to the chagrin of the trainers and speaker who were putting the dolphins through their tricks for the people who had PAID for the show...I got a polite shout out from the speaker, "HELLO TO THE KAYAKER OUT THERE IN THE ORANGE KAYAK! ARE YOU ENJOYING THE SHOW? [Everybody else paid to see this, how about you move on?] was the implication, I think!
Moving on to the story about the trip in the car to Hallendale Beach, FL to see our friends....we decided to stop at the rest stop to use the bathroom, rather, Eldy did. I stayed in the car knitting. He hops out, and hits the lock button on the key chain on his way to the bathroom. After a few minutes, I thought, uh-oh, I better use the bathroom, too. So I go to open my door...the lock doesn't work. The window didn't work either, none of the buttons on my side worked. I tried all the buttons, nothing was functioning. I thought, well, maybe Eldy hit the child lock button on the driver side accidentally. I reached over and pushed the child lock button. It was down, so when I hit it, it came up...but still the door wouldn't unlock on the driver's side and the window wouldn't move up or down. Now I was getting worried. I was locked into my own car! I hit the driver's child lock button and the unlock button in a panic and the car alarm went off! MAJOR PANIC ATTACK! Who knows how long Eldy was going to be in the bathroom! #1 or #2??? This could be awhile! The car alarm is loudly protesting, and I'm in the car, and people can SEE I'm in the car. Why isn't that idiot lady getting out of the car? Why isn't she disabling the car alarm?? BECAUSE I CAN'T DO A FRIGGIN' THING ABOUT IT, FOLKS!!! I'm too panicked to look it up in the car manual and I have no idea how to disable it. Like an idiot, I even hit the car horn button in the wheel thinking that would help. Now there's several people starting to come over to the car to find out what the hell is wrong with the lady in the car with the car alarm going off? A couple bangs on the window, gesturing to unlock the door. I try to tell them I can't, they can't hear me! WHAT?? JUST UNLOCK THE DOOR, LADY!   I CAN'T!  Finally, I yell to the guy that my guy is in the bathroom by pointing and gesturing towards the restroom. WHAT'S HIS NAME?   Eldon...WHAT???  ELDON. (I'm a little pissed at Eldy at the moment and VERY embarrassed for locking me in the car, so now it's ELDON, his real name.) OK, I'LL GO TRY AND FIND HIM!  the guy yells.  Just as the guy heads into the restroom, I hear the door unlock and Eldy comes out, totally unaware of the problem and totally puzzled. "What's going on?" he says. And he proceeds to get the DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN, LOCK ME IN THE CAR! speech.  Poor guy, he didn't know what hit him..."I was just trying to protect you, I locked the car out of habit...."  Awww....I got over it quickly, but not so sure he did!  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it...see you tomorrow in beautiful, sunny but cool Naples...

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