A tale taken from my real life diary.
Howie Dewin, 1 … Howie Dewin, 2 … Dick Tator.
I typed the strange names into a computer at work—hotel reservations for several different people. Tension knit between my brows. Who on earth used such ridiculous names?
I continued to type. Ted Cronin … Mystical Tours.
Wait a minute … could it be? I shuffled through the dot matrix printouts to see the dates of the room reservations.
September 8 to September 12, 1982.
“Oh, my God! They’re staying here … at our hotel.” My squeal easily carried throughout the sixteen-by-sixteen office where three other women worked beside me.
“Who?” Mary peeked at me from the corner of her dark eyes, revealing a bumpy-nosed profile. Both she and Kyla were college students working full-time, like me.
“REO Speedwagon!” I shrieked.
Sandy, our supervisor, broke away from a crossword puzzle. “Highly doubtful. Let me see that.” She held out a palm.
I handed her the printouts.
“This is a block of rooms from our sales department for some business convention.” The woman, old enough to be my mother, flicked the papers back in my direction.
I huffed. “It has to be band members from REO. Those are the dates they’re playing here in Chicago. Plus, the lead singer’s last name is Cronin.”
Mary stayed focused on her work while speaking. “Yes, Lori. We all know about your infatuation with Kevin Cronin, and your vivid imagination. REO crap is plastered all over your bulletin board.”
I shrunk inside from her belittling tone, but refused to show it on the outside.
“Yeah, and the guy’s name on the reservation is Ted, not Kevin.” Sandy’s short auburn curls bounced with every shake of her head.
“So?” I flashed my palm at her face. “The other names on these reservations are jokes, not the names of businessmen. They probably used fake names to keep hordes of fans from bombarding the hotel.”
I glanced at the back of Kyla’s head where bleached blond hair met black roots. She remained quiet typing away on a computer at the far end of the room.
Sandy’s pock-marked face contorted. “Fine. If you don’t believe me, ask the sales department.”
“Okay.” I snatched my phone and dialed sales’ extension. They said the same—it’s a business convention coming through. I believed them.