I've recently joined AAA, (not AA), for reasons to be explained later, which will promise about 2 months of non-cooking posts, but will promise a steady diet of restaurants, continental breakfasts, drive ins, diners, and dives, a Whup Ass of Fun, the ersatz of history I throw in, and scenery. Oh the scenery! Mr. Hawthorne and I are going on a major road trip, but more about that later. I was going through the welcome letter/brochure from Triple A and found I have numerous discounts available to me now at selected places. To wit: Hertz Penske Lenscrafters DirecTV Sirius Satellite Radio Target.com Barnes & Noble AAA Prescription Savings SeaWorld Hyatt Hotels & Resorts Reebok Outlet Stores Rockport Hampton Inn New York & Company Busch Gardens Dell Universal Studios Florida Best Western Banana Republic Factory Store FTD.com Starwood Fairfield Inn Marriott Hard Rock Cafe (Like I'd go there.) Westin Hotels & Resorts Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Gap Outlet The UPS Store What's the difference between a hotel and a resort? Anyways, back to the gist of my post. I notice my AAA membership gives me a discount with DirecTV. I have an account with DirecTV. So's I call up DirecTV. I get Tony. I give him my name and account number. I have a terribly hard time understanding him and had to keep asking him to repeat himself. He apologizes for the slow service on the computer. But the entire time I hear fingers flying furiously over the keys. Minutes later, he takes my question. "I have Triple A, Tony. It says here in my membership brochure that I get a discount with DirecTV. I want to get the discount." Tony has no idea what I'm talking about, has no idea what DirecTV is, and has no idea what AAA is, but he finds out quickly to whom to send me. In the meantime, I found out that Tony was in the Philipines. When Mr. Hawthorne heard that Tony was in the Philipines, he called out, "The Philipines are beautiful." Tony hears him and asks, "Oh, you have been to my country?" Mr. Hawthorne replies, "No. My uncle was in the Philipines in the Battle of Manilla in WW II and he told me it was beautiful." Tony assures us it is indeed beautiful. Tony connects me to DonnaFromGeorgia and she's a peach! I immediately recognize her accent. I explain to Donna that I want to take advantage of the DirecTV discount. She says, "No, I'm sorry. That's just for new customers." "Excuse me," I say, "but that sucks." "Yes, it does," she happily replies. "Donna, where are you from?" "Georgia." "I thought so. So Donna, you're telling me that I have to be a new customer to take advantage of this discount to which I believe I am entitled as I've been a loyal and paying-on-time customer for x-years/y-months?" "Yes, I'm sorry, but that's correct." "OK, so what if I cancel DirecTV and re-sign up as a new customer? Would that work?" "No. You'd have to not be a customer for at least two years." "Say whaaaa???" "Would you mind holding so's I can see if I can do anything for you?" "Not at all. Thank you very much, Donna." . . . . \/ "I can take $10 off your bill for the next 12 months. Will that be OK?" "Yes, Donna. Thank you so much and have a lovely evening." "You too, hon." I love good ol' Southern Hospitality. My AAA membership has already paid for itself. Not to mention all the maps I've gotten.