Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Game 3 - You may have already won...

Life takes some funny twists and turns… A couple of weeks ago, just before Christmas, to be exact, I received a rather believable-looking, business-sized white envelope in the mail. As I mentioned before, my mailman tends to be rather disrespectful and rough with any correspondence that is outsized. So this letter, like so many others, bore signs of damage. It was addressed to me, but as for the sender, there was no address, just a word “Peerless” at the top. Additionally, the front of the envelope was stamped with “You May Have Already WON!” in bright red letters.

Everyone gets these annoying letters once in a while. They inform you that your name was randomly selected from a big all-knowing database at the Publisher’s Clearing House and therefore, you are about to get a million dollars, a house, a brand-spanking-new SUV, a 42” plasma TV, or some such cool prize. I don’t buy this anymore, not after ending up with 2-year subscriptions to Blender, Good Housekeeping, and Conde Nast Traveler. Oh, and I didn’t win that million after all. So in short, I throw these kinds of envelopes away unopened. Or I open them, find out about a prize, day-dream about it for the rest of the day, and throw the envelope out anyway. Why should this time be any different? And so I dropped it in the green recycling bin before opening the front door and forgot all about it. Again, that was right before Christmas.

Right before New Year, I was checking my e-mail and saw something from Peerless.com. Everyone gets these annoying e-mails once in a while. They flash pictures of 42” plasma TVs, brand-spanking-new SUVs, new houses, or what a million dollars in $20-dollar bills would look like. I don’t even open these e-mails anymore, not after spending hours unsubscribing from various newsletters and getting rid of viruses and Trojan horses. So I deleted this e-mail as well, marking it as junk. Again, that was right before New Year.

Yesterday, I was working when I heard a knock on a door. I ran downstairs and signed for a piece of registered mail with no return address, just a word “Peerless” at the top. That was most unusual indeed. I tore the envelope open and found a small letter advising me to call a toll-free number as soon as possible to claim my prize. I won!!! For the first time in my life, I actually won something!!! It took me maybe 15 seconds to grab the phone, but my whole future life flashed before my eyes, complete with a round-the-world trip and a shopping spree at Barnes and Noble. I dialed the toll-free number, and then entered the 8-digit winner’s confirmation code. “Good Afternoon and welcome to Peerless. My name is Sue.” I heard. I’ll name my first baby Sue, even if it’s a boy, I caught myself thinking…

To make the long story short, my first issues of Shape, Popular Mechanics, and Cooking Light will arrive in four to six weeks. As for my prize, I am still in the running.