Friday, June 11, 2021

Float Trip at the Scene of the Crime

Friday after work we headed toward Blue Springs Ranch in Bourbon, Missouri for a little floatin'.

We stopped at Walmart on the way for ironically patriotic supplies.

Lydia was swept up in the patriotism and insisted that I buy her this shirt. Who was I to infringe upon her freedoms?

The bugs beat us there.

I haven't been back to Blue Springs since college. The distinguished gentlemen of Phi Alpha Literary Society came here for Spring Weekend, stayed in their cabins, and destroyed them. We regarded the posted lists of rules as a checklist. Through the haze of time and alcohol I distinctly remember someone making a game out of slapping baloney on the wallpaper. I also recall a lot of furniture being burned in the fire pit... and maybe a clock in particular. One nice thing about getting older is that once the statute of limitations is up you can publicly brag about your crimes. Through the magic of email and my inability to ever delete them, I present to you the circa 2002 email that Blue Springs sent to the men of Phi Alpha:

Although this is a fairly serious letter, it has got to be one of the funniest
things I have read in a long time.  I could go through this thing line by line
and make fun of it, but I think it truly speaks for itself.  I particularly
enjoyed the itemized list of our atrocities.  I also like the implementation
of the new "Phi Alpha" rules.


PS- I included the pictures they sent me from Dan's Monster Truck Rally

Dear Cortney:
This letter is written in reference to your group's recent visit to Blue
Springs Ranch. Illinois College is one of the few college's who are still
allowed to come to Blue Springs during their spring breaks. In the past, we've
had other college's who are no longer allowed to make reservations to stay at
our facility. I want your group to be aware that the relationship that we have
with Illinois College has been placed in jeopardy.

After the repeated warnings to several members of your group this past
weekend, it should come as no surprise to you when I tell you that we are
disappointed by the ill mannered behavior, property damage, peace disturbance,
the disregard for our other guests regarding our quiet hours, along with the
customer complaints that we received during your group's brief visit. It
should also come as no surprise that you have already forfeited your $200
damage deposit and still have a balance due which will have to be paid before
your group is allowed to make another reservation.

When your group left our facility it was reported and witnessed that your
members left the cabins and yards completely trashed, vomit on the carpets,
urine on our beds, pictures missing, chairs broken, property damage from
vehicles driving off roads, fireworks trash in the yards, and towels racks
ripped off the walls.
When a group checks out, we expect to find unmade beds along with linens to
wash. We expect to do a reasonable amount of vacuuming and cleaning of floors.
Your people should be mature enough to understand the defInition of
"reasonable". Anything beyond "reasonable" is not acceptable and will no
longer be tolerated.

Because of this group's behavior, we've been forced to change our policies for
future groups from Illinois College.

These changes are as follows:
1. The damage deposit is increased from $200 to $500 being paid in cash on
arrival. Checks will not be accepted unless they are sent at least three weeks
in advance.

2. The group leader must arrive and pay the balance in full before keys will
be issued to any member. The group leader must arrive before the store closes
or no one will be admitted.

3. There will be a $50 clean up fee for every cabin if it is not cleaned up
prior to check out. This will be deducted from the damage deposit if the
cabins are not left in a reasonably clean condition - including but not
limited to trash picked up inside and outside, vomit cleaned up. If a bed has
been urinated on there will be a $200 fee to replace the mattress. If a sofa
or chair or carpet is urinated on, the entire damage deposit will be forfeited

4. One person will sign a contract taking responsibility for the entire group.
One person from each cabin will sign a contract taking responsibility for the
individual cabin

5. The tax exempt letter for the group will be faxed to us before arrival or
you will pay sales tax on arrival

6. If quiet hours are not adhered to, any or every individual will be escorted
off of the property without no refund.

7. Any damages exceeding the damage deposit, will be billed to the
organization and must be paid before that organization can make another

We look forward to having the Illinois College groups come and stay with us.
Your staying with us does provide a welcomed source of income in our
pre-season months. However, if your people intend to destroy our facility or
terrorize our other guests, you cannot possibly pay us enough to be welcomed.
I feel we've been pretty lenient when your groups visit but feel that certain
members have become disrespectful, inconsiderate, and have abused the latitude
that we've allowed in the past.
I've enclosed a statement for the damages incurred from the past weekend.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.


Sharon Strauser, Manager

Toilet severely stopped up with a complete roll of toilet paper not reported
to maintenance, store, or housekeeping
Two destroyed kitchen chairs            $60 (from cabin 6)
Two kitchen chairs destroyed            $60 (cabin 2)
One mattress urinated on                $100 (to replace)
Vomit cleaned up                        $50
Picture missing                         $30 (cabin 2)
Kitchen clock missing                   $10 (cabin 2)
Towel Rack tom off wall                 $20 (cabin 4) (labor to replace)
Off road damage to property             $100 (labor to repair)
Labor to repair and clean up            $40 (cabin 6)
Extremely trashed and filthy cabin cleanup      $50 (cabin 2)
Pissing off rednecks                    Priceless
Damage Deposit Received                -$200

Balance Remaining                       $320"

I recall the other societies being butthurt that we partied so hard that the entire college would now be punished with higher security deposits. I say unto them: let freedom ring.

The staff of Blue Springs was kind enough to include photos of some of the damage that was done to the grounds. A large gentleman named Eric, affectionately referred to as Big E, drove a large white Ford Explorer, I assume because it was the only car that his oversized carcass would fit into. Anyway it was dubbed the "Hosplorer", which is of course a portmanteau of the words explorer and hoe. Big E after what I'm sure was much thoughtful deliberation drove his large vehicle all over the grounds and tore them up real fine.

I include this one because it looks an awful like someone took a picture with an old school camera, had the film developed, then poorly scanned the photo.

Anyway we're back, thankfully under the cover of darkness. Lord only knows what inflation has done to that $320 we owe. I really should tell Lydia not to pull any upper deckers here because these people do not forgive and they do not forget.

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