Anywhere else in town this would be fine and you would load them right away. However at the airport it is illegal to load at the drop-off area. You can't load there because when leaving the airport you are supposed to add the $1.20 airport fee. So when you load at drop-offs the sensor that detects which cabs come through is not located there so TA, airport security, and metro will all just assume your trying to steal a whopping $1.20 from 16. Not to mention you're backloading everyone that's staging in the pit. That's two tickets right there. Probably at least $200. But not wanting to have to go and wait in the pit and also not wanting to make these people walk all the way to the other side of the airport to get a cab, I decided to take a chance. After all, this is Vegas right?
Where are you going?
We need to go to the courthouse.
I did a full 720 I think making sure I didn't see any TA, cops or brown shirts around....This was a good ride and I wasn't going to let it walk away.
I thought it was kind weird that they didn't have any bags and I don't think I've ever gone from the airport straight to the courthouse. They seemed like good people so I had to ask.
So from the airport straight to get married huh?
The girl answered, I found out later her name was Beth.
Well we're only here for two and a half hours...Do you know a place we can get married?
yeah,.....but wait a minute. You're just here on lay-over and decided to get married?
Kinda, we're here just to get married, then right back home. We just landed and we have 2.5hrs until we need to be back at the airport for the flight going back. Do you think we have enough time?
I didn't know. It was rush hour and we have a long way to go, we have to go to a government agency and wait in line and that never bodes well when you're in a hurry. Plus we have to find a chapel that can get us in and out. I knew the only way these two were going to make it was it I 97'ed them and brought them back to the airport. Adding wait times for cabs onto the above and there is no way they make the deadline. But more importantly there are chapels that are friendly and I needed to find one.
We're not even to Trop and Swenson yet, I pick up the mic.
Ott-34 go ahead
Anybody know a friendly chapel real close to the 3rd and Clark?
Andy, go to Stained Glass on 9th and Ogden.
I recognized the voice of a friend of mine.
That's a copy thanks Steve
They asked if they could have a cigarette and in accordance with my smoking policy I gladly allowed them and merely asked that they put the windows down. Then it occurred to them that they didn't have a lighter. Of course, airport security. I used to carry one but I don't smoke and I lost the one I had so we stopped at a gas station on Paradise.
Mike walked in and I called information to get the number for Stained Glass. I gave them a call to see if they could get us right in and to see what the rates were. I talked to Sheri and as expected she could get us right in. I put the phone in Beths hand so they could talk business as Mike came back with the lighter. $100 will get you the ceremony and 4 pictures. Pretty good for a last minute deal I thought.
I get the phone back and Sheri tells me to simply call them when we have license in hand and en route. No problem. We're back in the car now headed DT and our newlyweds to-be share their last cigarette as a unmarried couple. Along the way they confessed more of their story which I enquired about.
The essentials are these: They're from Milwaukee and they met in a bar 30 days ago while playing in a dart tournament. The night prior they had the idea to come to Vegas and get married, Mike had some FF miles and 12 hours later they were in Vegas, a town they had never been too for 2.5hrs then straight back home. They'd spend twice as much time flying as they would in Vegas.
We arrived at the courthouse and I informed the couple that they weren't ditching me as their driver. I would wait for them to get the license and then over to the chapel, wait and then back to the airport. I didn't sound like that had occurred to them but it's exactly what they needed. As I said, if I just dropped them at the courthouse and went back to work they're not making it. Then I had to explain about the vultures that hang around there trying to pimp their Chapels, it's pretty pathetic. They dodged them successfully and walked in, I found a place to park and called Steve on the phone to see if there was anything else I needed to know.
He told me a good tip which was to call Sheri back and ask her to throw in a free video for the couple...Then she'll tell the couple that it was your idea. All to make the couple that you hooked them up. Well if you think about it, you did hook them up. Good stuff. Anyway, I called her and sure enough she was game to do that as well as throw in the entire roll of film instead of just 4 pictures. Nice
Thankfully the place wasn't that busy and they walked back out of there in less than a half an hour. Not to bad.. So I call Sheri and tell her we're on the way. It's only a five minute drive from the courthouse. We parked and I walked them in and introduced them to Sheri and told them I would wait outside. There was a homeless guy sitting in their horse-less carriage beside the building talking on his cell-phone. It was an interesting image.
Some time had passed and I needed to use the restroom. I walked in around to the other side of the building to the other entrance and not knowing where to go exactly I just started opening doors after I walked in. Each one was kind of a different themed chapel. There was like the mini-chapel, then the outside by a mini-pool chapel then there was the saloon-chapel and the Elvis-chapel then I opened a door to find Mike and Beth exchanging vows in a chapel. Mike and the camera both looked at me. Good thing you hooked up that free video because now you have a cameo in it....Dumbass.
I turned around walked back outside the building then back to parking lot. I found a coke machine and got a Dr. Pepper. If I can't take a leak, the least I could do is drink a Dr. Pepper. Then Sheri walked out shook my hand and gave me two twenties.
Anytime you need to get somebody married you call me ok? We'll take care of you.
No problem, thanks
Then our newlyweds walked out with video in hand. I started clapping and got Dr. Pepper all over my sleeve.....Dumbass. We got in the cab and I turned the time off off as we pulled back onto Ogden.
Hey you guys said you've never been to Vegas right?
Well we're good on time, what'd you say we cruise the strip on our way back. They lights are just coming on.
That sounds awesome.
Cruise we did. They shared their first cigarette as a married couple and called some friends along the way. Apparently they didn't even tell anyone they were coming. Awesome. I threw in some interesting Vegas infos which I usually do for first timers and it's fun to watch people diggin it for the first time. I wish I could see it again for the first time.
We pulled up at departures at SWA with 20 minutes to spare, literally feet from where I picked them up. The meter read $48.45. Mark gave me a fifty for the ride and a twenty for the trouble.
Good deal. Basically a 1/3 of the meter is mine so that's 15. Plus the 20. Plus the 40 I got from Sheri. Minus 1 for the Dr. Pepper. That's $74 by my math. Not bad for 2 hours 5 minutes and 5 seconds of work.
I took a chance in loading the newlyweds in the first place, and it paid off nicely for me. Hopefully it will for them as well.