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Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 10:26:44 -0500
From: The Owls are not what they seem
Subject: BLAGUES-L: Telephone Number

From: Simon Lewis
Subject: Daily Dose 7-17
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 20:30:10 -0400
From: Daily Humor

Leola Starling of Ribrock, Tenn., had a serious telephone problem.
But unlike most people she did something about it.  The brand
new $10 million Ribrock Plaza Motel opened nearby and had acquired
almost the same telephone number as Leola.

From the moment the motel opened, Leola was besieged by calls
not for her. Since she had the same phone number for
years, she felt that she had a case to persuade the motel management
to change its number.  Naturally, the management refused claiming
that it could not change its stationery.

The phone company was not helpful, either. A number was a number,
and just because a customer was getting someone else's calls
24 hours a day didn't make it responsible. After her pleas fell
on deaf ears, Leola decided to take matters into her own hands.  At 9
o'clock the phone rang.
Someone from Memphis was calling the motel and asked for a room
for the following Tuesday. Leoloa said, "No problem.  How many

A few hours later Dallas checked in. A secretary wanted a suite
with two bedrooms for a week. Emboldened, Leola said the Presidential
Suite on the 10th floor was available for $600 a night. The secretary
said that she would take it and asked if the hotel wanted a deposit.
 "No, that won't be necessary," Leola said. "We trust you."

The next day was a busy one for Leola. In the morning, she booked
an electric appliance manufacturers' convention for Memorial
Day weekend, a college prom and a reunion of the 82nd Airborne
veterans from World War II.

She turned on her answering machine during lunchtime so that
she could watch the O.J. Simpson trial, but her biggest challenge
came in the afternoon when a mother called to book the ballroom
for her daughter's wedding in June.

Leola assured the woman that it would be no problem and asked
if she would be providing the flowers or did she want the hotel
to take care of it. The mother said that she would prefer the
hotel to handle the floral arrangements. Then the question of
valet parking came up.  Once again Leola was helpful. "There's no charge
for valet parking, but
we always recommend that the client tips the drivers."

Within a few months, the Ribrock Plaza Motel was a disaster area.
People kept showing up for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and Sweet
Sixteen parties and were all told there were no such events.

Leola had her final revenge when she read in the local paper
that the motel might go bankrupt. Her phone rang, and an executive
from Marriott said, "We're prepared to offer you $200,000 for
the motel."  Leola replied. "We'll take it, but only if you change
the telephone number!"

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