The next morning, we headed to campus and saw lots of kids with their folks looking at maps and buying stupid bumper sticks and T-shirts. One of those kids was from my old high school. Her folks and mine made small talk and exchanged pleasantries until talk turned to what hotel we'd been staying at. Y'see, her family had managed to book the hotel right on campus (which was run by the hotel school. Yeah, Cornell has a hotel school. Super weird. In my day, it also had the most attractive students -- although any 17-year-old kid who knows they want to be a hotel administrator when they grow up doesn't deserve to have sex, in my opinion). In any event, you might be wondering how this family got such primo lodging. Well, they were only too happy to tell us.
"Well, y'know what the trick is," her mom said. "You just ask to speak to the manager and tell them you're traveling with a handicapped person and can they please help you."
Did I mention that no one in this family was handicapped? What was worse than this filthy lie was the pride she took in telling it. Like all the people who don't claim misfortune falsely for the purposes of tricking undeserving charity out of others just aren't as smart as she.
I was 23 cents short for my cafe latte, but then I had the brilliant idea to tell the barista that I was dying of cancer and late for my chemo appointment. Genius.
Bonus Anecdote Ooh, lucky you! I have another example to explain this point. No extra charge, though. You still get this content for the same price of nothing. OK. Here goes:
Although she's dead now, there used to be a fairly well-known playwright named Wendy Wasserstein (she won a Tony for The Heidi Chronicles). Think of her as a less funny, less talented Neil Simon. But without a penis. And also dead. In any event, Wasserstein was on Letterman one day promoting her new play and told a story about how she was a NYC native and how her family would go to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall every year. For non-New Yorkers, that's like a big deal institution thing. People come from all over and wait in really long lines. Well, turns out Wendy lived like just a subway ride away and each year her family would do this cute thing where they'd walk to the front of this long line of people waiting in the cold, and lie. They'd say they were a family from Arkansas or something who had driven miles and miles for the show and now they were afraid their kids won't get to see it. According to Wasserstein, that worked like a charm; Radio City would let them cut the line and give them seats front and center. Isn't that great? Oh, she was so pleased.
Pictured above: The amount of shame Wasserstein felt when telling this story.