Friday, April 28, 2017

1789 Prize Patrol Airborne

Photo: Air Yetsco, Bellefonte PA.

Tomorrow’s the Big Day.  The “Prize Patrol” is scheduled to visit some hapless dreamer and award “$7,000 a week for life” to The Big Winner who will be televised jumping up and down on a doorstep and squealing “I won, I won!”

Eventually, we’ll see this on TV in a commercial for the Next Big Contest.

And the winner will be a woman (do women squeal better? Is it sexist to say yes?  OK, it’s yes anyway.)  And she’ll probably be a southerner.  (Do southerners squeal and jump up and down better than others? For sure!)

Most of us dream of the visit from the Prize Patrol. We fill out forms that come in envelopes thick with offers of Cracker Jack trinkets at “bargain” prices and magazine subscriptions that are not as cheap as they once were.

There’s an easier way to easy money, albeit not nearly as lucrative.

United Airlines has raised the amount of the reward you get when you’re dragged kicking, screaming and bloodied off one of their flights. They said this even as they promised to stop dragging passengers out of their seats.

The max used to be $800.  Now it’s $10,000.  So the next time someone demands you give up the seat you paid for and are sitting in, you could be the Big Winner in the Airborne Prize Patrol.

It’s not anywhere near what you’d get from the real Prize Patrol, but your chances of winning are much greater than the people with the entry envelopes.  And most of us could use seven grand a week before taxes but would settle for a one time lump sum that’s far lower.

Answers to Wednesday’s Quiz:
  1. Which has a deeper basement, Penn Station or Grand Central? Grand Central. It goes 10 stories down beneath the terminal’s ground floor.
  2. Which terminal sees the most foot traffic each day and why? Again, Grand Central, with an estimated weekday count of 750-thousand.  More people go to this beautiful old barn for lunch and dinner than go for trains.
  3. Who is Danny Simmons? Last of the real old fashioned track announcers at Penn Station. Danny Retires
  4. Where is Paoli? Just outside Philadelphia and a stop on the dreaded Paoli Local.
  5. What does Acela mean? It’s a combination of Acceleration and Excellence.  Dumb.
Bonus Questions:
  1. What does the late original Penn Station have in common with the late original Jimmy Hoffa? Both the wreckage of the ugly original and the former Teamster Union leader are likely buried in the New Jersey Meadowlands.
  2. What was the real purpose of forming the MTA? The formation of the state agency that combined the operations of the Long Island Railroad, Metro North, the New York City Transit Authority and the Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority was Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s way to sink the unsinkable Robert Moses, chief of the TBTA and it worked.

--Show of hands, now. Does anyone actually call the TriBoro the “Robert F. Kennedy bridge? Thought not.

--What happened to the deficit hawks?  Everyone loves a tax cut but how about a way to fund it? Guess that’s for the little people to figure out, not the financial geniuses in the White House.

- Has anyone heard from Steve Bannon lately or has he really fallen off the face of the earth … and if so, when does Sean Spicer get the roadmap to follow?

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2017

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