October 11 - 17, 2013
by Mary Bufe email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Webster-Kirkwood Times is published every Friday by Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc. The purpose of the Times is to provide a forum for expression of community interests, personalities, culture, events and ideas. Letters and columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. CIRCULATION Circulation is 40,400. Direct home delivery to residents in Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Des Peres, Glendale, Oakland, Rock Hill, Shrewsbury and Warson Woods totals 30,500; store stack distribution in the above communities plus nine additional communities totals 9,900. Circulation audited by Circulation Verification Council, St. Louis, Mo. Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dwight Bitikofer Editor-In-Chief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Don Corrigan General Manager . . . . . . . . . . Mary Chambers Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kevin Murphy Associate Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marty Harris Online Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fran Mannino Photographer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Diana Linsley General Assignment Reporter . Jaime Mowers Correspondents..... David Baugher, Steve Birmingham, Linda Briggs-Harty, Robbi Courtaway, Eileen Duggan, Rick Frese, Spencer Gleason, Jennifer Grotpeter, Dennis Hannon, Linda Jarrett, Joe Leicht, Jim Merkel, Mary Shapiro Creative Director . . . . . . . . . . Randy Drilingas Creative Department Susy Bergman, Tam Tin Tang, Amanda Zarecki Display Advertising Sales Polly Brackman, Sheila Buckles, Tom Carter, Terry Cassidy, Marianne Fuhrmann, Cathy Joyner, Dennie O’Dowd, Ann Simon, Jim Slama, Jackie Wagner, Michelle Weintz Accounts Manager . . . . . . . . . .Kim Besterfeldt Classified Ad Coordinator . . Kent Tentschert Classifieds/Circulation . . . . . . . . . . Jan Streib
The Problem With Belonging To An Exclusive Club Just for today, don’t think of me as the writer of a newspaper column. Think of me as a new member of one of the more prestigious clubs in our society today. Yes, think of me as nouveau clubbe. I will now take your questions. Q: Wait. Which club do you belong to? St. Louis Country Club? Old Warson, perhaps? A: Better! I belong to what we insiders call “The Diamond Club.” OK, technically, I’m not a member. My husband is. I mean, it’s like Sam’s Club. One person is the member; the other one just tags along for the free samples. Q: What exactly is the Diamond Club? A: It’s a club for frequent travelers who are treated with a certain, shall we say, foie gras when they stay at the properties of a particular hotel chain. Q: You know that’s French for “fatty liver,” don’t you? A: Well, excusez-moi. Q: So what kind of foie gras do Diamond Club members enjoy?
A: First off, when you check in, the front desk clerk gives you this look. Q: What look? A: This look that says, “I know you are a Diamond Club member.” Nothing is said out loud, of course. But you know that they know. Then the perks begin. Q: Like what? A: Like, when you get to your room, you find not one, but TWO bottles of water. Plus, a three-ounce bag of snack mix. Complimentary, I might add. The list goes on and on. Q: OK, so what else? A: Just last weekend, the clerk at the hotel where my husband and I were staying gave me an entire bag of cookies that he was about to throw away. Q: So Diamond Club membership gets you day-old cookies? A: Yes – and here is some inside information – as long as you arrive at midnight and mention you’re visiting your two college-aged sons and that you left the pies you baked for them back home on the kitchen counter.
Q: Oh. So you really seem to be taking advantage of all the benefits of club membership. A: If you want to know the truth, it’s actually quite stressful. Q: Stressful? How can it be stressful? A: First, it’s not easy to get into the Diamond Club. And once you’re there, there’s no guarantee you’ll stay. I’m telling you: once you’ve grown accustomed to the bottled water, it’s hard to go back to tap. Q: Who says you have to? A: My husband. Apparently, he hasn’t had to travel as much this year. Q: You mean your membership could be revoked in 2014? A: That is exactly the fear that keeps Diamond Club associate members such as myself awake at nights. Q: So what are you saying? A: C’est la vie! Or as they say in America: membership doesn’t ALWAYS have its privileges.
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