Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

My dad and I went to Cancun together years ago. No real occasion for it. He said he just wanted to take me and we had a blast but what I was reminded of today was how he handled a fast-talking time share salesman. Here's the story:

My dad has been a Baptist preacher for longer than I have been alive but he also volunteered for a while to do a stint as chaplain for the local police department. It's a small town and there wasn't a whole lot of action for a chaplain but my dad was prepared for the action even if none appeared. He had all the accessories, let's just say that. He had hats, jackets, lights, even the gun but he also had a special wallet to hold his big, gold chaplain's badge. Never know when you might need to show your badge and Pop could whip that wallet out and flash that badge with the best of 'em.

So there we are in Cancun, Mexico, just the two of us for some sun and fun and we saw some guy in the hotel lobby giving out information on some fun things to do in Cancun. Through him one could go snorkeling, parasailing, fishing, diving, boating, tours, etc. He said if we just went to a quick orientation we could get a free breakfast and go snorkeling or parasailing for free. Well, we're all about free but Pop asked the guy if they were going to try to sell us anything and the guy assured us they would not. They just wanted to give some information.

We showed up at the place and sure enough, bigger than Dallas, they wanted to sell us timeshare vacation deals at "bargain prices" and all we had to do was listen to their presentation. At the end of the presentation we would not have to buy anything but we would get vouchers for free snorkeling or parasailing. So we tried to sit through it but after an hour or two of listening to this infomercial, we finally got up and left just to save what little time we had there in Cancun.

Later on that day we just happened to go into a mall not far from the hotel and there was the original salesman in a kiosk in the mall selling those timeshares. Pop marches up to him and asks him about the lie he told us about not trying to sell us anything. The guy recognizes us and starts to try to say something but before he could get it out Pop reaches in his pocket and pulls out the special wallet, flips it open like he has seen on TV too many times and flashes the big, gold chaplain's badge at the startled Mexican.

"In my country you would be arrested for business practices like that! Who do you think you are telling us a lie and trying to deceive us into buying a timeshare? That's illegal where I come from..." and Pop continued to tell the guy what he thought about him and his business. "I think you ought to go to jail for such behavior!" He looked at me and I tried not to laugh and just nodded. Pop didn't let up.

He griped at the scared Mexican salesman for a minute or two and the man got so intimidated and nervous he couldn't hand over vouchers quick enough. He wound up giving us vouchers for free parasailing and snorkeling and he even threw in a t-shirt just to make the mad American policia go away! Pop never said he was law enforcement but evidently "Chaplain" does not translate well when flashed on a badge for half a second and if that was his impression, oh well! We enjoyed the trip even more as we parasailed and snorkeled and laughed the whole time and Pop still cracks up when we talk about it. So, happy Father's Day, Pop. Good times! And remember, "Just act like you know what you're doing".


Richard said...

I really wish you hadn't posted my nursing home picture.

Love ya!


John said...

I think he needs to come visit our class sometime!!! I would LOVE to meet him!!