Desk clerk: Good morning, Buffalo Hilton. How may I help you?
Me: I'd like to make a reservation for April 7, 2024
Desk clerk: That would be our Eclipse Special
Me: Oh, there's an eclipse then? I was just looking for a place to celebrate my 103rd birthday.
Desk clerk: We have just one room left.
Me: Whew, just in time. And what's the rate?
Desk clerk: One thousand forty nine dollars and twenty-three cents.
Me: One thousand forty nine dollars? That's outrageous. I could get the presidential/honeymoon/royal suite for half that.
Desk clerk: And twenty-three cents. But you get 20 percent off at our breakfast buffet.
Me: What will they be serving?
Desk clerk: Bacon, we have an omelette bar, croissants, biscuits with sausage gravy ...
Me: Thank you, but I'll just watch the eclipse, if like you say there is one, on TV
Desk clerk: The Eclipse Special room has a 44-inch flat screen LSD television.
Me: Why would I want to watch an eclipse on TV if I'm paying a thousand dollars to see it live?
Desk clerk: And forty nine dollars and twenty-three cents.
Me: I'm calling Motel 6.
Desk clerk: They've been booked solid for that date for the past three years. Perhaps you'd like our Lunar Eclipse package for January 30 2018.
Me: What's the difference between a solar and a lunar eclipse?
Desk clerk: About eight hundred dollars.
Me: And twenty-three cents? I meant what's the difference in viewing experience?
Desk clerk: A lunar eclipse is way more intense, because it only occurs when the sun comes between the moon and earth. If it happens at night, the moon disappears but the earth lights up like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Me: Doesn't it get hot when the sun is that close to earth?
Desk clerk: During the last lunar eclipse, I was able to fry an egg on my forehead. But your room has solar powered air conditioning, and you still get 20 percent off our buffet breakfast.
Me: Why would I want a buffet breakfast when I can fry an egg on my forehead?
Desk clerk: Because your plastic cutlery is likely to melt.
Me: Are you in the path of totality for the lunar eclipse?
Desk clerk: According to Scientific Armenian, we'll have 99 and 44/100 percent totality.
Me: Are you sure of that?
Desk clerk: I'm 80 percent sure.
Me: If you're 80 percent sure it will be 99 and 44/100 percent totali -- oh heck, I'll take it.
Desk clerk: That will be two hundred twenty six dollars and 23 cents.
Me: What if it's cloudy when the moon gets 99 and 44/100 percent eclipsed? Do I get a refund?
Desk clerk: We're offering weather insurance.
Me: And how much is that?
Desk clerk: Eight hundred dollars and twenty-three cents.
Me: In other words I'm still out a thousand dollars if I want to see a lunar eclipse.
Desk clerk: And twenty three cents.