When the telephone rings and a recorded voice says “Congratulations, this is your lucky day, …” I don’t get excited. I know what I have won, five days and nights in Las Vegas, a trip to Acapulco, or the right to mortgage my home for 5%, is a bogus non-prize.
So when the voice said, “This is County Bank, you have won two prizes in our raffle,” I should have been expecting what I actually got. But I got my hopes up. Silly me.
One day recently at the bank, I noticed a table filled with gorgeous gift filled baskets. One caught my eye: It was filled with Hershey Bars, M & M, and other candy. Wow, what a treat. They were being raffled off to provide a fund to send teen-ages on a safe and sane “grad night” party.
That’s a worthy cause. An all-night grad night party with chaperones in a confined venue and a breakfast in the morning. The idea, I presume, is to cut down on drunken brawls, pregnancy, and head-on car crashes that occur in unsupervised communities. I could contribute to that.
I dug out my wallet and fished out the one dollar bills. There were four. I passed them to the lady in charge and she wrote my name and phone number on some tickets and marked them with the number of the basket I hoped to win…the one with the candy.
I went home and forgot about it, until later in the day. I got a call. There was five dollar bill in with the ones. They put the extra five dollars back in my account. (Glad they didn’t just give me five more chances.)
A few weeks later, last night in fact, I got a message that I had won “a couple of prizes” and could stop by for them.
Wow, more that one prize. How will I carry those two big baskets on my scooter. Oh, wait. How could I have won TWO baskets? I only chose one. Oh, well, I will take the one with the candy and leave the other to be awarded to a runner-up. I was all largess and benevolence, I was so lucky. I could afford to share my prize. After all, it was all in a good cause.
This morning I scooted to the bank. Yes, the baskets were still on the table, and lucky number ten with the candy was still sitting tantalizingly there. I told my name to the lady in charge.
She handed me, not candy, but two envelopes: “You won TWO prizes… taco bell and car wash.”
Zing. Hershey melt down. My prizes evaporated like a trip to Acapulco from a mortgage company in Las Vegas. Poof.
What I had actually won was two “CBO Meals” from Taco Bell and Five “Prime Shine” car washes from Express Car Wash.
If you think I was disappointed, compare that with the crushing blow felt by the high school grad, confined to a safe and sane dry dance hall who had expected to spend his graduation night getting drunk, racing his car, and getting laid.