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The local Sport Talk Radio station I listen to has taken each of it's weekday shows to San Antonio this week to cover the Cowboy's Training Camp. The afternoon show, referred to as the Hardline, has two main characters who are loving called the Old Grey Wolf and The Snake. The Old Grey Wolf (Mike Rhyner) is a generic ~60yr old married white man who has an affinity for women with large man made breast. Mike's partner, Corby 'The Snake' Davidson is also married in his early 40's with boys under the age of 4. Corby is known as the show's 'Yuk-Monkey' and expected to provide the comic relief to the Old Grey Wolf's no-nonsense Ranger Baseball talk. Corby is often playing pranks or 'bits' on Mike, other show members, celebrities, or the random sale person for any given pro-sports team. One of his most popular pranks is known as the 'Fart Game' where Corby calls the sales office of a team to enquirer about season tickets. As the call progresses Corby has fart sounds played in the background. The shows members take wagers on whether or not the Sales Rep will acknowledge the fart sounds that increase in frequency, volume, and duration testing the reps focus on customer service. The is very highbrow entertainment.        


Now that you have been introduced to the Hardline let me get to the real subject of 'customer service'. As mentioned above, the Hardline is in San Antonio this week for te Cowboys' training camp. This past Sunday Mike Rhyner had driven his brand new, personal car (Audi) to the hotel in which the radio station is staying and took advantage of the hotel's valet. On Monday afternoon when Mike requested his car the Valet rushed off and grabbed the hotel manager who informed him that one of the Valets had regrettably wrecked his new car and that the car was not drivable. The hotel manager was obviously distressed in giving Mike the bad news, apologized profusely, arranged to repair his new car thru a local dealer and provided him with a rental. In an attempt at showing some penance the hotel placed a basket full of vending machine snacks in his room with an apology note and tickets to see a once popular but now all but defunct 70's and 80's band known as Chicago. Finding humor in the peace offering Corby drafted a letter for Mike to send to the hotel manager as a lighthearted prank and to push for some innocent, not too valuable, retribution for the inconvenience the wrecked car has inflicted with full intention of letting the manager off the hook later this week. When the letter was give to Mike for his approval Mike felt some light editing was required. Below is the letter Mike sent to the hotel manager. This version is not nearly as lighthearted, but is still intended to be a prank. I'll let you know how the prank finishes later in the week.




Dear Mr. Smith--


Thank you for your concern regarding the matter of this most egregious act of incompetence on the part of your valet staff. To say the least, I was most disappointed to hear that my brand new 2011 Audi which I've enjoyed driving so very much and handles like a dream on the open road--the proving ground of every man, young or old--was involved in a horrible mishap with one of your people at the helm and subsequently rendered undriveable. This doesn't even take into account the loss of value of the car down the road. That has been compromised so that I might as well just take that hit upon my return to Dallas.


Ever since this tragic affair began rolling out, I have heard 'I'm sorry' over and over again from your staff--hell, I even got a letter stating same from you. Well, in this world we live in, Mr. Smith, everyone's sorry. Tiger Woods was sorry. Anthony Weiner was sorry. If he'd made it out if his peculiar little embroglio to tell us, Charles Whitman (UofT 'Tower Massacer' shooter who was killed by police in 1966) would probably be sorry. Allow me to paraphrase the great Elton John, Mr. Smith: sorry seems to be the cheapest word.


So--let's talk about how my inconvenience and anguish can be meaningfully assuaged. The gesture of tickets to see Chicago was warm. But, Mr. Smith, Terry Kath killed himself playing Russian roulette--not an awful way to go out, as Charles Whitman could attest--in 1978. One of my idols, Peter Cetera, hasn't been in the band for years. Danny Seraphine is writing tell-all books and doing drum clinics. Chicago has been rendered nothing more than a horn section and a couple of sound-a likes. A big night out for the Tommy Bahama crowd and the frau. Not for me.


Also, the basket of Rold Gold Tiny Twists, Munchies, M&M's, Chips Ahoy, a Snickers bar, Emerald mixed nuts, and Jack Link's Beef Jerky was nice. Your staff of highly motivated self-starters trying to make their way up the hospitality industry food chain showed genuine attention to detail by making sure the M&M's were peanuts and the Emerald mixed nuts were deluxe. And the three Coronas gave a glimpse of an organization not afraid to take a walk on the wild side. Bravo.


But you know what, Mr. Smith? I don't like any of those things. And that leaves us at this: what do I like? What's it going to take to get me back on track and thinking favorably about Courtyard by Marriot to the point where not only might I stay here again myself but truthfully recommend to my over 200,000 followers on Twitter and maxed-out 5,000 Facebook friends that they do the same?


Well, Mr. Smith, I'll tell you what I like.


I like steak. And I think reservations for 4 at San Antonio's finest steak emporium would be in order.


I don't like golf but my clients do. I don't think a tee time for 4 on San Antonio's finest links would be unmanageable for an organization like yours.


I like my mother and her 89th birthday is coming up Saturday. My plan was to drive back up for her birthday party Friday night, and I still could do that in that fabulous Jeep Grand Cherokee you put me in. However, that is a vey large vehicle and I'm a rather erratic driver. A better plan would be a nice first class round trip ticket on Southwest Airlines, departing around 9 Friday night, returning at 2 Sunday afternoon. Seems very arrangeable for an organization with the footprint of Courtyard by Marriott.


I like friendly female companionship--tall, a little older, say, over 40, and amply bosomed. Don't concern yourself with spikes being driven into the walls of the room or use of any kinds of toys, as I'm strictly a bj man. And upon performing her duty, she can leave. I'm not looking for the so-called 'girlfriend experience'.


In view of the tragedy and the inconvenience and how I've been put out due to the recklessness and total disregard of property, life and even justice of your staff, I think all of this might begin to balance things out and get me feeling good about Courtyard by Marriott once again.


Best regards,


Michael Rhyner

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