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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)

TITLE: Appeal or No Appeal
By Betty Castleberry


“Marie Benson, welcome. You do know how the game is played?”

The expectant mother smiled hesitantly into the camera. “Yes, I think so.”

“Good, then let’s get started. In front of you are 15 nannies holding 15 diaper bags. You must select the one you think holds a coupon for the Perfect Child. This coupon is redeemable at the delivery room of your choice. Marie, please make your selection.”

“I think I’d like my lucky number. Diaper bag number three, please.”

“Ah yes. That’s Anna holding diaper bag number three. Anna, would you please bring the bag to Marie?”

A trim young nanny with shiny black hair delivered the bag to the stage. She charmed the studio audience with her smile, placed the bag on the table, and made her exit.

“All right Marie, you must now open three diaper bags. Stay away from the one containing the Perfect Child coupon. Please select a bag.”

The audience began shouting out numbers. Marie turned to her husband who was seated in the crowd. “My husband says eleven, so that’s the one I want.”

The host pointed to a lovely nanny holding diaper bag number eleven. “All right, Julie, open the bag. Julie peeked into the bag, then beamed and nodded. She opened it wide for all to see. The card inside read, “Rebellious Teen.”

The audience burst into applause. Tommy, the host, faced Marie. “Please select another bag.”

“Tommy, I’ve always liked the number five. Let’s go with diaper bag number five.”

A tall redhead with a dazzling smile waved at the audience.

Tom motioned to her. “Leslie, open the bag.”

Leslie opened the bag just a tiny bit, then smiled. She threw open the bag so all could see its contents. The card read “Throws Temper Tantrums.”

The audience roared to life.

Tom turned to Marie. “All right, Marie. Just one more bag to open. Which one will it be?”

“Number nine, Tom.”

The attractive brunette holding diaper bag number nine winked at them.

“Sharon, open the bag.”

She inched the bag open. Her face fell. She was reluctant to open the bag for the audience to see, but did so anyway. The card read, “Picks Dandelions for Mom.”

The audience groaned.

Marie shook her head. “That’s okay. At least it wasn’t the Perfect Child card. It’s all right.”

“Well Marie, you know what happens now, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do. The midwife will call and offer me a deal.”

“That’s right. But first, maybe you’d like to have your husband join you on stage. And let’s have your mother come on up, too.”

Marie’s husband and mother ran up onto the stage, clapping and cheering. They hugged Marie and took their places behind her.

The phone rang and Tommy answered it. “Hello.” A brief pause followed. “All right.” He replaced the receiver and looked intently at Marie. “The offer is for early potty training. If you don’t accept it, you must open two more diaper bags. Marie, I must ask you, does this deal have appeal or no appeal?”

The spectators yelled. “No appeal, no appeal!”

Marie slapped a strategically placed rattle down on the table. “No appeal.”

“Okay Marie. Please make two more selections.”

Marie continued to make wise selections, while the crowd cheered her on. Finally, there were only two bags left, the one she selected, and one the only remaining nanny held.

Tommy approached her. “You had the guts to go all the way. Let’s see if you made the right choice. I’ll now open your diaper bag.”

He cautiously opened the bag. To everyone’s surprise, there was no card inside. Shocked, he looked at the nanny holding the last diaper bag, and instructed her to open it. It too, was empty.

Tommy’s jaw dropped. “ I don’t understand. There must be a Perfect Child card in one of these bags.”
Marie stepped forward. “I think I can explain. Those of us who choose to be parents know there is no Perfect Child. We decide to be parents anyway, because we want a child to love and nurture, whether that child is perfect or not. Actually, there was a perfect child born a long time ago. He is the only one the world will ever see. With His guidance, we will manage to be the best parents we know how to be.”

The audience applauded wildy.

Tommy nodded in agreement. “There you have it, folks. This deal certainly has appeal!”

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This article has been read 1280 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg11/23/06
Cute take on the reality games on tv these days, but I was confused about how many bags were opened - three? or more? Overall, I like the idea.
Helen Paynter11/27/06
Very funny, although I also found the rules a little confusing - lucky I wasn't playing LOL! Good message at the end. Very creative piece.
terri tiffany11/27/06
Great spin off from one of may favorite shows! I loved the ending - loved how you described your action- kept it moving along - not boring at all! And you wrapped it up with a good ending. Very nice job!:)
william price11/27/06
You kept my interest from beginning to end. Very good writing. Loved the concept. God bless.
Shanti Singh11/27/06
This piece was great fun. You really caught me by surprise at the end -- I guess I was expecting the perfect baby to show up somewhere. I should have known better! LOL.
Bonnie Derksen11/27/06
Wow. Talk about creative. Great way to say that we definitely need to be prepared for anything and we actually don't have control (though, as parents, we like to think we do!) Love the way you tied our Heavenly Father, as the greatest parent, in at the end. Thanks for this.
Jan Ackerson 11/28/06
Very clever--I love the way you substituted characteristics for the "cash", and I positively grinned at "picks dandelions for mom."
Joanne Sher 11/29/06
Clever and cute! I also found the rules a bit confusing - but, then again, I've never actually watched shows like that - so maybe it's normal LOL. Still, it was definitely clever! Loved the ending too!
Donna Haug11/29/06
I haven't seen the original show either, but it's almost as if I could see it happening before my eyes. Loved that there was no perfect child. Good work.
Sara Harricharan 11/29/06
Cute! A very fun read. I loved the ending and Marie was a very delightful character. Good job!
Debbie Sickler11/29/06
Deal or No Deal is one of my favorite game shows. I loved how you substituted the midwife for the banker and the line about dandelions to indicate a bag 'on the right side of the board'. :) It made me picture all the times that my own kids have done that for me.

My only criticism would be about the ending. I know others have said they really loved it, but to me, it just didn't fit. You took a light hearted piece and stuck a message onto it, which can be a good way to get a point across.

The complaint comes in with the fact that you have the mom making the point. I just don't see that the person playing the game would be the right one to say they knew it was in vain. Maybe it would have been better for the midwife or Tommy to give us the message?

Although it took me a lot of words to say all that, it really is a small comment on a great entry that made me laugh. Very creative and fun. :)
Lynda Lee Schab 11/29/06
As a fan of Deal or No Deal, I found myself smiling throughout this delightful and creative piece. Well done!
Donna Powers 11/29/06
This one definitely had appeal for me! This is one of my favorite shows, too and your version of it was very enjoyable! I smiled and laughed through the whole thing. Excellent. Thanks for sharing this. !
Birdie Courtright11/29/06
How cute! I felt like an audience member holding my breath--waiting as each bag was opened. Very, very creative approach--nice job!