The Land of the Fee

Boyleing Points

I flew to Austin, Texas and then drove down to San Antonio last weekend for a midwinter break. People watching is a favorite sport of mine — except when I’m on a plane.  Then I just hate people. This trip was no different.

I was so annoyed, I knew I’d need some emotional support for the trip home, so I went to some ranch and bought a 2000-pound longhorn. I was immediately pleased with the thought of my new pet making its way down the aisle. I’ve been hit with enough luggage and sizeable rear ends that a little payback was in order. 

You might have heard about the woman who tried to board a plane with a full-sized peacock last week at Newark. She’d bought a ticket for the bird so she wasn’t trying to get by on the cheap (though the peacock didn’t have to get extra leg room like so many of us). I don’t know if the bird has a last name but I presume his name, Dexter, was on the ticket. 

I’m a little surprised the bird didn’t get through. I’m more surprised that it wasn’t on my flight, sitting right behind me. Sometime after takeoff the comfort pet would make itself more comfortable by pecking at the back of my head.

So, anyway, I’m in Texas where everybody drives doing 90 and they’ve got whiskey sampling rooms on back roads. There’s a website called ArmsList which is like Craigslist where you can on impulse buy a Glock for $700. I figure getting a longhorn on a plane wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.

But getting the longhorn in my rental car was too much so I took him back to the ranch and the guy asked if I wanted him for dinner. Jeez, they take this barbecue stuff seriously. 

The idea of an emotional support longhorn wasn’t completely about revenge. I needed some comfort after looking at my hotel bill they slipped under my door in the dark of night.  You know, you spend $225 a night plus taxes and it starts getting pricey. And that’s fine. But, and I mean but, an amenity fee? Yea, they get you for more than $250 and they add $7 a night for amenities. I thought that’s why the price was north of $200 because the place had, you know, amenities.

Everybody complains about taxes but friggin’ fees are far more insidious. Former mayor, David Dinkins, holds the honor in my mind for devising the most devious (yet laughable) fee of all time. He didn’t want to raise taxes (because everyone complains) but he added a surcharge to the income tax! A fee for having to pay taxes. Classic. They do it elsewhere now but I think Dinkins was the inventor.

Airline fees. Bank fees. Phone fees. Red light ticket fees! Yea, you have to pay the fine but if you get caught in Nassau County they charge you for having to deposit your check. These fees are designed to piss you off — what other explanation can there be?

By the way, I swear, I wrote this in Austin and when I got on the plane home, sure enough, there was a comfort dog sitting next to me.  I waited  to be peed on.  But nope.  I've never sat next to a better passenger (so there).

I started thinking about getting my own comfort pet.  But no, I bet there's a fee involved.

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