"There's one small difficulty. I have a flight going to Israel, not Los Angeles. The most ideal situation would be to delay that ticket until later in the week, say, Dec. 2 or 3, and buy myself a round-trip ticket to LA from Chicago. Then everybody wins. Especially me and my girlfriend (fiancee!), and even a little bit you, concerned reader, for helping me set up the best possible proposal my uncreative but pretty romantic mind could ever piece together.
"Ah, yes, the problem. My ticket, I have been told, is nonrefundable. Which means I cannot delay it till later in the week. But there's something else that I've been told, dear concerned reader, and that is that love conquers all, even the fine print. I hope I have not been lied to. I hope that somewhere, someone hidden behind a wall of red tape takes the time to get this far into my letter (kudos by the way) and realizes that with a couple keystrokes, she can change my destiny. I hope I can make my ever-loving girlfriend as happy as she deserves. I hope."
David sent the letter. Six hours later, he got a call from an attendant. "We got your letter," said the customer service representative. "And we found it intriguing." Five minutes later, his tickets were rebooked by the airline. And a few days later, he proposed to my sister in Los Angeles.
That's a story you won't hear about the DMV, the post office, or the folks who are going to be running the medical system if President Obama gets his way. Sometimes, even in the competitive world of business, love triumphs over red tape. When it comes to the government, the only thing that triumphs is the red tape.