Oh, and by the way

Never do a favor for your friends that requires you to sign anything or use a credit card. In fact, never expose yourself monetarily for anybody if you can help it.

(Warning: I just gave you the moral of the story, thus there is no need to read below the fold. It is mostly my whining about what a fool I am and what jerks my friends are. You’ve been warned. If you’re still interested, read on).

One of my friends throws a party every year at the local baseball park. He always rents a skybox and buys everyone food and beer.

This year, tired of planning everything, he asked me to go to the stadium and reserve the skybox he wanted for him. I did so, filling out a reservation sheet for the July 4th game. The reservation sheet required a credit card number to hold the skybox. Unable to get ahold of my friend, but confident he would pay for the $2000 skybox before they charged the credit card, I left my own credit card number.

This turned out to be a mistake, as this day was bad for him, so I called and left several messages asking to cancel the reservation. The old woman we made the reservations with didn’t call me back until I left a message asking to change the day of the party (rather than cancel it).

We switched the day of the party to August 25th. My friend agreed with this. Then, confident that my friend would take care of organizing the guest list and the paying of the skybox, I went on vacation for a month.

I came back last week to find out that neither my friend nor the lady in charge of the skyboxes had talked to each other in the entire time. Furthermore, half of the guest list had canceled, so my friend had decided not to throw the party after all. He just didn’t bother to let me or the lady in charge of the reservations know.

Meanwhile, the lady in charge of reservations, ever incompetent, thought that everything was taken care of, so she didn’t bother to call us to go pick up our tickets or pay.

I returned from my vacation two days before the party was to take place and– thanks to serendipity or some other inadvertent good fortune– I lost my wallet and had to cancel my credit card.

I spent most of the day before the party going back and forth between my friend and the (now furious) lady. I tried to negotiate a deal in which we would pay for a smaller skybox and she could promote somebody else to our old skybox, but she would have nothing of it, blaming us for losing money on our previous cancellation and demanding we pay up now.

My friend refused to pay the $2000 or split the cost with myself and his roommate, saying it was too much money to spend if there weren’t going to be enough people at the party.

Having no money to pay for the party myself, nor any idea of how to resolve the situation, I tried to put it out of mind and hoped it wouldn’t come back to bite me in the buttocks.

It has.

The silly old dame has just turned me into a collection agency. I don’t know what to do, but I know if my friend doesn’t come to bat for me, then our friendship is over.

Let this be a lesson: don’t be stupid… please.

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