Saturday, February 04, 2006

Vegas, Baby

Earlier this week I posted one of my favorite stories in recent memory, G-Master’s tale of his mother faking his father's death in order to get a phone call from his sister. After much introspection and, I feel, some degree of prayer, G-Master decided that perhaps he had not adequately explained why his mother would go to such extreme measures and thus had portrayed her in a negative light. He emailed me to ask if he could perhaps provide a little backstory for us.

I think you will find that the following anecdote serves, in large part, to make the fake-death-in-church-bulletin story all the richer. And this one is a little gem in and of itself.

"Late last year, my sister and brother-in-law were having a bit of cash flow difficulty and were late on a few bills (cable, power, mortgage, etc.). Anyway, the two of them decided that the best course of action would be to cook up a get-rich-quick scheme. To wit, they formulated the following plan for themselves:

1. Hire a babysitter for their three children for the weekend.
2. Rent a car (You heard right! Three kids and they don’t own an operational car).
3. “Temporarily” exchange their wedding rings for cash at a local pawn shop.
4. Drive the rental car to Las Vegas and win thousands of dollars with their new bankroll.

The most unusual part of this story, to me, is that their plan only had four elements, and they actually managed to accomplish the first three, which statistically made this one of their most successful endeavors to date.

That’s ironic.

So, babysitter in place, car rented, and jewelry hocked, the two set sail from Denver to Las Vegas. By the way, they got a really good deal on the rental car by signing the in-state-use-only rental agreement on a car they planned to drive from Denver, Colorado to Las Vegas, Nevada. Nice.

Some hours later, they were about 60 miles beyond the Nevada state line when their rental car hit a deer, killing the deer and sending the car into a ditch, rendering the vehicle inoperable.

Stop the tape right here, and ask yourself: “What would my next move be?”

See if your decision matches theirs.

Upon determining that their rental car could not be restarted and that no other vehicles were near enough to have witnessed the accident, my sister and her husband left the scene and walked approximately one mile to a small-town gas station they had passed just before hitting and killing the deer. The two lovebirds then purchased bus tickets back to Denver, and early the following morning hired a taxi to take them to their house.

They arrived home, relieved the baby-sitter of her duties, and - get this - went to sleep, because they were “just too freaked out by everything.” When they awakened, they promptly called the rental company and reported that the rental vehicle was missing and "possibly stolen."

Details since the night in question have been tough to come by, but reports out of Colorado indicate that both my sister and bother-in-law have since retracted their story about the vehicle being stolen, and, to my knowledge, have managed to avoid any serious criminal charges. What remained of their Vegas trip cash pool was just enough to cover the deductible on the insurance they purchased at the rental agency as well as the additional charge for driving the vehicle out of state.

My father paid their mortgage and bills for the month in question for the sake of the grandchildren only (his words).

The pawn shop still has the rings.

So if you have been asking yourself why a woman would fake her husband’s death to get her daughter to call home, this story may provide some insight.

Have a fine weekend.


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