A humorous look at the little things in life

Redeemer and travel agent all in one … can it work? December 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 6:47 pm

Recommended wine for today’s entry: Thinking about becoming a travel agent (in my 4 Runner) with California as a destination led my synapses to a favorite chardonnay from a wonderful winery: Grgich Hills Estate chardonnay is, according to their site, “a wine that is alive with delicious acidity. This aromatic wine is rich with aromas of ripe peach, mango and tropical flowers, plus a note of minerality. Showcase this Chardonnay’s elegance with fresh seafood, roasted chicken, grilled pork, or creamy cheeses.” At around $40, this is a GREAT gift wine or special bottle to take to a Christmas hostess!

My loyal readers know that I am carefully considering re-entering the work force when my youngest daughter, who hasn’t needed me for about six years, goes away to college and leaves me stranded with no child to hide behind.

But I’m not one to just jump at a new career. I already gave careful consideration to being a school crossing guard, but that analysis not only ended in an unequivocal “NO,” it also resulted in about five nasty nightmares over the past few months. Now I realize that the black Escalade that barrels toward me in the dreams is being driven by Tiger Woods. Yikes.

Anyway, I’ve been mulling over an entrepreneurial endeavor for which I feel I may be ideally suited. With no children at home, I would have freedom to do a little traveling. But because I am a real go-getter, I’m thinking of a double-dipping career. Check this out:

After doing careful research, I found that some states still offer money for the return of empty bottles. Well, I kinda stumbled on this information, as I pulled out a four-bottle-pack of Kahlua Mudslides that I think I bought in about 2002. They sounded good then; now I believe they contain curdled milk so I’m afraid to open them.

But here’s the plan: I will be a professional bottle redeemer. I am thinking of spending the first three weeks of each month at area bars, where I will either drink oodles of beers and slip the empty bottles into a large designer tote (business expense) or I will drink wine and sweet talk the bartenders into giving me the empty bottles.

I will take a lot of friends with me and we will all amass a huge quantity of bottles just begging to be redeemed for anywhere from 5 cents to 10 cents!

Exciting prospects, I know … but there’s more!

The last week of each month, I will lead private tour groups to the states that will allow me to cash in my collection. From what I’m gathering, (again, from my research on the Mudslide bottle), I will show excited Kentuckians a great time in either Michigan, Iowa or Maine. Those will be my summer offerings and I’m not sure exactly what the trip will entail, but you will certainly want to sign up early, because I’ll be taking the group in my Toyota 4Runner, and since the way back will be filled with clinking beer bottles, there will only be room for four tourists in the vehicle.

I’ve only been to Michigan twice — I remember little from the first trip, where I apparently went skiing in Boyne Mountain. I have a vague memory of barrelling rapidly down a hill with limbs askimbo and a bunch of people with annoying accents screaming W-A-A-T-C-H O-U-U-U-T as they scrambled from the lift line. (Watching people scramble in cumbersome skis is funny unless you’re about to hit a building.)

I can’t, in good conscience, offer to take my happy travelers there, because I inflict too much pain on innocents when I ski.

I also went to Lansing once, and I will probably include a tour of the gym where my daughter attended gymnastics camp as well as the Holiday Inn with the cloud of chlorine encircling it, much the same as Pig Pen’s dirt cloud embraces him.

I’ll have to do some research on Iowa and Maine, but you can trust me to only offer the best.

Now, as for the winter trips … hold on to your hats! If my Mudslide bottle is correct, we’ll be taking the 4Runner to California and … since I THINK the HI code stands for Hawaii … you got it! Sign up NOW!

I have been to California, and I’ll be happy to drive clients past the Rose Bowl (where the NY Giants defeated the Denver Broncos in 1987) and I’ll also be happy to show you a restaurant I liked in La Jolla. I managed to get on the wrong side of the tracks while by myself in San Diego and I don’t guess I should take paying customers there. I don’t want to be messing with stuff like liability insurance and all.

As for Hawaii, again — I feel good that I have some expertise as a travel agent here as well. I will take my four lucky passengers to the big island, where I squeamishly gagged during the traditional luau. This time I’ll know to divert my vegetarian eyes before they unveil the poor dead pig that looks like it just experienced spontaneous combustion.

In order to keep profits high and expenses low, I will pose as a stupid 15-year-old with the word “sex” in my e-mail address. This will certainly lure in a lonely whack-o in each state, from whom I’ll extract a description of his house (to make sure it’s suitable) and an address. Then the 4-Runner will pull up and I’ll get out first, dressed as a cop. After he runs out the back door, we’ll set up shop. Done.

I’m thinking that I’ll be able to charge a pretty penny for these exclusive tours/bottle redemption jaunts. You’re gonna want to sign up early.

Oh, and if anyone wants to assist with the three-week bottle emptying tasks, come on! I’m considering having polo shirts made for all my employees. Can you say “super perk”?

If anyone has a friend with a boat big enough to get the 4Runner to Hawaii a couple times each winter, let me know. That’s a bit of a sticky wicket.


9 Responses to “Redeemer and travel agent all in one … can it work?”

  1. Kim Keeley Says:

    Ashley, I’d be happy to join, although I think there needs to be a board meeting concerning the shirts. You see, in my case, “super perk” may fall under “false advertising”, and I’m just afraid when you go public with this company, you could be sued.

  2. Jody Says:

    Let me be your assistant. I wear a small in the polo shirt. My parents are both from Iowa, I have relatives in Michigan, so I think I should be your first choice!

  3. ashleyolsonrosen Says:

    Alright! My first two employees! Kim, because you bring up an excellent point about false advertising and legal implications, you’re general counsel. It doesn’t matter if you have a law degree, we’ll throw huge fits and cry and stuff and everyone will settle out of court — regardless of the infraction. We will have a board meeting though to discuss and practice our crying fits.

    Jody — EXCELLENT work with the relatives. That opens up a whole new subsidiary … hmmm…the Reneau B&Bs. Awesome!

    Girls, we may need more than the 4Runner for this. I’m thinking something along the lines of the Partridge Family bus.

  4. Tricia Says:

    Silly girl. You do need me. We can stay in the finest of hotels with room service even….not at some whack-o’s house. After all, travel IS a business expense. What are you thinking?

    I also have expertise in Iowa, California and Hawaii. I can also spell Michigan, so does that count. Don’t forget, Deb N. from out Cincinnati group lives in Iowa. So should we decide to opt out of vacationing (I mean traveling to) Iowa, we could send the bottles to her for redemption. We just have to vet her to make sure she is trustworthy. Afterall, she is a lawyer.

    Road trip, road trip, road trip…

    • ashleyolsonrosen Says:

      You’re IN! Your title is Manager of the Missouri office. You will be the hotel liason for the instances where we can’t put our sleeping bags in Jody’s relatives’ living rooms.

      And, as you know, on a road trip, I have dibs on hitchhikers that look like Brad Pitt or Ashton Kutcher. Just a reminder.

  5. zbestbs Says:

    Well, now, it just seems to me that a purty little lady might just need a burly escort of a man, especially as you navigate the wilds of Missoura (injuns), Maine (more injuns) and, where was that last place, Iowa? Rogue militia men there. That’s a lot a ground to cover I reckon too. Gonna need some reliable mules and a big-ass wagon to tote them pop bottles. A trip fraught with danger, I’d say. Well you just let me know when you fillies are ready to load up and count me in. Admire yer spunk.

    Bill Shadb….

  6. ashleyolsonrosen Says:

    Alright, ladies … looks like the noble Bill has offered to ride (and wield) shotgun! We may have to form a convoy! I know … let’s get CB radios!

  7. ashleyolsonrosen Says:

    Now, Sue, don’t be paranoid. I said the people who were skiing at Boyne Mountain on that day in 1979 had annoying accents. And only the ones at the bottom of the hill, waiting in the lift line. 🙂

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