Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Sucker is Born

Everyone has heard that saying "a sucker is born every minute".  Well on July 22, 1961 at the precise moment I was born, VOILA!!  Yes a sucker.

I am regarded as an intelligent individual at work and in my personal life but every now and then I experience what I refer to as my blonde moments and on Tues night it was no different.

Exhausted from working a twelve hour day I arrived home eager to grab a bite to eat and go to bed.  The first day back to work after a long weekend is brutal.  I am better off not having any vacation days or long weekends because returning to work kills me.  I end up having to make up for that day off by working extra long days for the next week.

My mother had my dinner ready to go and looked at me with scrutinizing eyes.  Mothers never stop being mothers.  She was checking to make sure her baby was ok.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrnggg, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnnngg, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnng.

"Jezus it never fails. Every night, just as you are about to eat that damn phone rings. 

"Hello", my mothers voice automatically reverted to her phony telephone answering voice.

"Just a moment, please."

With one hand over the handset my mother warned me that it was just a telemarketer and that I should end the call as soon as possible so that I could eat my dinner.

"Hello.  This is Ms. Snow.  No there is no Mr..."

For twenty five minutes I listened to the gentleman with the Jamaican accent from New York explain that I had won a prize from a ballet that I had purportedly completed last Dec 18th, 2005.

I don't remember completing a ballet and he said the sponsor was the Marriott hotel.  Maybe I did.  How would I know.  It's difficult for me to remember what I did an hour ago.

My instinct was screaming that it was just a scam, to hang up, but my curiosity made me hang onto the phone and listen to him anyway while my dinner sat on the counter getting cold.

My mother was in a rage that I was letting her good cooking decay in favour of listening to a scam artist.  To display her dissatisfaction with my choice she continually walked in and out of the kitchen where I was standing with the receiver to my ear and ran the faucets, clanged pots, loudly complained about ignorant people phoning in the evening to sell crap and various other techniques deployed to encourage me to hang up.

When they didn't work, she resorted to yelling out loudly "Hang up the phone on the sucker.  He's just trying to rip you off.  How stupid can you be?"

It may have been her overt attempts to control the situation that led me to continue the conversation and waste more of my time, but each time she disrupted my train of thought with noise, I had to ask him to repeat the verbiage that I just lost and so it went on and on.

After twenty five minutes of this action, I had the directions in my hand of where to pick up my prize and his name and phone number.  My appointment would be just two days away at 7:00pm. 

I was a guaranteed winner of either a cruise of the Bahamas, completely paid all air, food, drink etc including the air fare from Toronto to Miami, a 60" Plasma TV,  a week at Hilton Head along with golf clubs, or a mini vacation which was accommodation only for a week in either Florida or Mexico.

I knew before I went that I would win the trip without the air. 

I really wanted the Plasma TV.  I had already argued with my mom and my daughter that I was going to give it to my friend, who had just spoken to me the week before about how he wanted to get a plasma TV and we even mentally rearranged his living room in order to give the optimum viewing angle. 

In my mind, it was fate.  Why would I have a conversation with someone about a Plasma TV and then within days of that conversation be advised that I had potentially won one.

I am always intrigued by the coincidences in life.  Plus I'm a romantic so the notion of this happening because it was meant to, ensured that I arrived at the location on the date and time that had been arranged and no matter how much I told myself it was a scam to sell me timesharing or something else; I could not stay away.

The conference room just off the lobby was filled with people sitting at tables talking to one another.  A gentleman announced that the presentation would begin in a few moments.  I was given a form to complete and told to wait until someone came to get me. 

Within seconds of handing my completed form in, a young woman came and called my name.  I stood up and she started to walk away from the conference room.  I was waiting for her to tell me to take a seat in the room and that I would be viewing an hour long presentation.

She did not.  Instead she advised me that because I was a guaranteed winner, I did not have to sit through the presentation but I could go to the Prize room to draw a ballet and see what I won.

I was impressed.  The guy on the phone kept telling me that I would not have to see a presentation and that all I had to do was draw a ballet and claim my prize.  Maybe he wasn't lying after all.

Ha!  Well he was.  I am sure that all the ballots in the cylinder were all the same prize.  The same as the prize I won, which was the Mini Vacation to Florida or Mexico without the air fare and with so many restrictions and rules that I can't even be bothered to complete my name and address on the front in order to get the prize.

So it's true.  A sucker is born every minute and I'm one of them!