‘Booty and the Beasts’ Wins Thrifty Car Rental’s ‘Honeymoon Disasters’ Contest

Entries Sought for 2006 Contest

TULSA, Okla., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ — For newlyweds, honeymoons are supposed to be the celebration of a new life together and not an episode of When Animals Attack. Lynn and Steven Curran of Chester, Maryland, had so many close encounters with wild critters — enough to fill several “nature run amok” movies — they must have wondered if somebody was trying to tell them something. In spite of their beast-plagued honeymoon, the couple was recently crowned the grand-prize winner of Thrifty Car Rental’s 10th Annual Honeymoon Disasters(R) Contest.

For surviving their postnuptial trauma, the couple was awarded a second honeymoon courtesy of Thrifty Car Rental, the contest sponsor. As winners, the Currans will receive roundtrip airfare to a destination of their choice in the continental U.S., three nights hotel accommodations, a four-day car rental from Thrifty Car Rental and $500 spending money. (See http://www.honeymoondisasters.com/ for details).

Things started off mundanely enough for the Currans in Cancun, Mexico, with predictable occurrences like sunburn. That’s when the couple decided that a moonlit swim in the ocean might be just what the doctor ordered for their lobster-red skin. “No one was looking,” said Lynn, “so off went the bathing suits.” As the skinny-dippers frolicked in the waters, it wasn’t long before they realized they had company. Soon, the couple found themselves wrapped in the loving arms of a large jellyfish. “We ran out of the water screaming,” said Lynn, “which told everybody on the beach, ‘Hey, look at the idiots running naked on the beach!’”

The day trip to the zoo wasn’t much better. Swimming through a cavern, the newlyweds took a wrong turn and missed the “closed for repairs” sign. That’s when they found themselves in a pool of algae, surrounded by alligators. “One swam right past me,” said Lynn. “We had to climb up a 30-foot ladder to get out of the water, and we were covered in goo.” That night, the couple ate dinner and went to bed without speaking.

The next morning, when Steven woke up with a bad case of Montezuma’s revenge, Lynn went snorkeling without him. A first-timer when it came to snorkeling, Lynn was entranced by the beauty of the underwater landscape. Then from out of nowhere, she was attacked by a barracuda; fortunately, she was rescued by the nice men driving the boat.

Playing it safe in the hotel pool the next day, Lynn snuck up on her husband to goose him on the backside. That’s when she realized it wasn’t him, but another man wearing identical swim trunks. The couple later canceled a scuba trip when they found out they would be accompanied by the man she had pinched.

“The only thing we did from that point on was sit around and eat,” said Lynn. “I gained 10 pounds in one week and came home with a lot to talk about.”

More than a thousand entries were received in Thrifty Car Rental’s 10th Annual Honeymoon Disasters Contest and judged by a panel of Thrifty employees.

To enter next year’s Honeymoon Disasters contest online for a chance at a second honeymoon, or to read other outrageous entries, visit http://www.honeymoondisasters.com/ or http://www.thrifty.com/ . Entries for the 11th Annual contest are accepted through September 30, 2005. Entries may also be mailed to: 2006 Honeymoon Disasters Contest, Thrifty Car Rental, CIMS 1020, PO Box 35250, Tulsa OK 74153-0250. Mailed entries must be postmarked by September 30, 2005.

More disastrous stories from this year’s contest:

Larry and Sarah Bloxham, Acton, CA: After a soggy weeklong stay in a pup tent on an island in the middle of Lake Erie, they escaped the cold and damp by spending the night in Larry’s boyhood home. When Sarah received a late- night visitation from an old woman hovering over their bed, she hid beneath the covers. When she told her husband about their spooky visitor, he explained that his aunt had died in the room when he was a baby. Guess they traded one “Erie” for another!

John and Lisa Curran, Bedford, NH: When the travel agent booked them on a cruise, the newlyweds never dreamed they’d be venturing into outer space. Maybe it was the TV channel devoted entirely to Star Trek or the cabin boy sporting the Starfleet badge. Their suspicions were confirmed when they met actor George Takei (“Mr. Sulu”) on the elevator. The couple had unwittingly been booked on a weeklong Star Trek Convention cruise. If the alien passengers in full regalia weren’t bad enough, there was the scintillating Klingon dinner conversation. “Beam me out of here, Scotty!”

Nathan and Lisa Eatough, Centerville, MA: Taking a romantic sunset walk along the beach, Nathan leaned in to whisper in Lisa’s ear. Expecting “I love you,” Lisa was disappointed with, “Hun, I think that woman was here earlier when we came to the beach.” Sure enough, the sunbathing woman hadn’t moved all day — not a single inch. To confirm their suspicions, Nathan tugged on the lady’s towel and gently tapped her on the shoulder. It was 11 p.m. when the homicide detective finished asking questions.

Michael and Lois Heady, Gilbert, AZ: The day after graduating from Army basic training, Michael’s leave was cancelled and he was unable to leave the base to get married. Fortunately, a hasty phone call to his congressman saved the wedding, granting Michael a 30-hour pass. After a half-day honeymoon, the bride drove Michael back to Fort Knox within minutes of his 6 p.m. deadline. “For the next three days, I languished in a nearly empty barracks, performing typical military ‘policing’ assignments, scrubbing floors, picking up cigarette butts, cleaning latrines, all while dreaming about my bride,” said Michael. While the couple later reunited for a three-day honeymoon, the groom learned his wife had spent several days at his parents’ home watching The Newlywed Game with his brother.

Keith and Karen Grierson, North Beach, MD: Karen and her husband, an Arlington, Virginia, firefighter, picked the wrong day to leave for their honeymoon: Sept. 12, 2001. Keith’s firehouse is the first to respond to emergencies at the Pentagon, and that’s exactly what happened on 9/11 when terrorists crashed an airliner into the military complex. “Not only did we not get our honeymoon,” said Karen, “but I didn’t see or talk to my husband for the next five days.” Karen said she’s just happy her husband made it home alive.

Frank and Peggy McReynolds, Carmichael, CA: At first, the newlyweds were excited about the quaint little cottage in the woods. But Frank, an amputee, wasn’t too thrilled about the thirty-five foot ladder used to reach the sleeping accommodations — especially considering that’s how he lost his leg. Mustering his courage, Frank climbed the shaky ladder with his prosthesis. When nature called in the middle of the night, his artificial leg fell to the floor below and he was stuck. “What a heck of an introduction to my new bride,” said Frank.

Michael and Sheila Parks, Baldwinsville, NY: Michael learned the hard way not to stow his suitcase on the floor. The Daytona Beach hotel where they were honeymooning was undergoing renovations. After his morning shower, Michael put on his underwear and pants, then started doing the hippy-hippy shake, slapping his groin. “What’s wrong, got ants in your pants?” cracked Sheila. That’s when she noticed the conga line of red ants making its way to the candy she’d left in his suitcase. Last year for Christmas, Sheila gave him a pair of pajama bottoms decorated with red ants.

John and Lisa Schofield, Braintree, MA: The Schofields planned to wed at an exclusive couples-only resort in Jamaica and invited Lisa’s best friend and husband. At the last minute, Best Friend’s Husband decided he couldn’t go. Rather than forfeit the money they’d paid up front, the Schofields invited a gay male friend to share a room with Best Friend. At the resort, Best Friend informed Lisa she didn’t like the sleeping arrangements and would be sharing the newlyweds’ king-sized bed. “So I had my husband on one side and my friend on the other,” said Lisa. “She snored so loud every night, I didn’t sleep too well.”

David and Andrea Wegener, W. Columbia, SC: The 100-year-old bed and breakfast came with a creaky bed, broken air conditioner and a bedroom door that wouldn’t lock, but the Jacuzzi made up for it. Forgetting to extinguish the romantic candle, the couple pursued extracurricular activities in the other room. Interrupted by the sound of bacon frying, David realized it wasn’t time for breakfast — the Jacuzzi was on fire. Naked, David tried to douse the two-foot flames using a tiny juice glass full of tap water. The bride’s wedding dress was ruined by the smoke and soot, along with half of the bathroom. The innkeeper wasn’t too happy either.

Thrifty Car Rental is a subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:DTG) . Together with its corporately owned locations and those of its franchise owners, the Thrifty brand operates more than 1,100 locations in 64 countries. On a daily basis, Thrifty Car Rental strives to provide all of its customers — not just honeymooners — with disaster-free service.

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