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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Strike Two
By Sheri Gordon


The buzz of the alarm clock startled me from my thoughts. Though the clock read 6:55, I had been awake for over an hour. This was a big day, and my emotions were flip-flopping from excitement to dread. Some people dream about this all their lives; others never get the chance to experience it. Today, it was my turn.

I knew I had to be at the top of my game to be successful. Well, that and a whole lot of luck. At t-minus two hours, I launched into my pre-game routine. First, I hit the treadmill for some power walking. I read somewhere that aerobic exercise increases oxygen levels in the brain. The frenzied pace of the upcoming activity required that I have all the extra brain oxygen I could accumulate.

Next, I ate a protein-packed breakfast, followed by eighteen vitamins and supplements taken in various forms. I took three times the daily recommended requirements of everything, just to be sure. Finally, I jumped into the shower – very hot, followed by very cold – to ensure blood was flowing freely to all areas of my body.

Thirty minutes before the official starting time, I was in position. Two computers sat in front of me, both on the designated web site. I diligently practiced my typing skills, and could hit every key I needed – blindfolded.

Fifteen minutes to go, and I checked in with my teammates. My sister was at her computer, my brother-in-law at his. (Though he’ll deny it if his boss asks.) My husband, while on the road, was ready with his cell phone. (I briefly contemplated trying to simultaneously manage two computers and two phones. However, after a quick risk assessment analysis, I decided the increase in potential error on my part was too much of a gamble.)

The game plan was simple. ‘Take what you can get, and we’ll figure it out later.’ No time to think – it had to be gut reaction only.

The official web site clicked over to 9:00 a.m. PST, and the race was on. The goal? Anaheim Angels World Series tickets. I started stroking the computer keys and clicking those mices (what is the plural for more than one computer mouse?) as fast as my vitamin/supplement-enhanced, oxygen-boosted, cold shower-invigorated body could go.

Sorry, no tickets available. Sorry, no tickets available. Sorry, no tickets available. Back and forth I went, sick and tired of seeing that message, until finally …

We are holding 4 tickets to Game 1. You have 3 minutes to complete the transaction.

“Oh, shoot. I didn’t want Game 1, but I’ll take what I can get.”

With expertise finger movements, I started typing in my information. Name, address, credit card – ooh, more expensive than we talked about, but hey, how often does this happen?

Final step. These seats are classified as ‘partially obstructed view.’ Please click to confirm that your information is correct, and to acknowledge that you have read the above statement. If you do not complete the transaction within 2 minutes, the seats will be released.

“Oh, no. Now what do I do? I don’t want ‘partially obstructed’ seats. And what does that mean, anyway?”

I tried to call my sister to get her input, but she didn’t answer the phone. I tried to call my husband – no answer there either. I was on my own.

The rule was ‘take what you can get and we’ll figure it out later,’ -- except we hadn’t discussed ‘partially obstructed’ seats. If I accepted these tickets, I could not try for more. Seats were limited to four per customer.

Okay … at least I had seats. No one else had called to say they scored. But … if I got lucky once, maybe I’d get lucky again. Or … maybe someone else was in the middle of buying tickets, and that’s why they hadn’t answered the phone. But … I did have tickets, and they were really hard to get. Then again … I didn’t really want ‘partially obstructed view.’ I let them go.

Sorry, no tickets available. Sorry, no tickets available. Sorry, no tickets available.

A few years later, and the Angels have a new system for buying playoff tickets -- email lottery.

Ding. You’ve got mail.

Congratulations. Your name has been selected in the Angels’ lottery. You have the opportunity to purchase 4 tickets for Game 3. You must act quickly, as there are a limited number of tickets available.

“Game three? I don’t want game three.”

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This article has been read 807 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 01/18/08
Hee hee...I think I know who wrote this...and I can empathize! I wouldn't take the "partially obstructed view seats" either. Can you imagine having to sit behind a pole for a whole game? You make me long for spring training, and sun, and warmth! Just right for this topic.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/19/08
Interesting take on the topic. Go ahead...take the seats. You can sell them later if you don't want them.
Joanne Sher 01/20/08
Fun and creative - enjoyed this. At first I thought you'd be shopping the day after Thanksgiving or something - but this sounds realistic. Cute.
LauraLee Shaw01/22/08
I liked this story very much, and it was a good illustration of the topic. This is a line I relate to: This was a big day, and my emotions were flip-flopping from excitement to dread.

Great picture!
Hanne Moon 01/22/08
Good story! I enjoyed the preparation she made for the "big event!" (I wouldn't have taken the tickets either!)
Holly Westefeld01/22/08
I like the mis-direction at the beginning, and the double entendre of the title
Yvonne Blake 01/22/08
(smile) I think the plural is "mice"...although is sounds funny to me, too.
I think it would have been a stronger ending if you stopped earlier.
good writing
Jan Ackerson 01/22/08
Clever, light, and fun--my favorite bit was your warmup...really cute!
Karen Wilber01/22/08
Oh no! I don't even know what I would have done. This was a great example for the topic. I see the point about ending it earlier, but I like the "here we go again" ending.
Sara Harricharan 01/23/08
ROFL! I was laughing out loud here at this. The humor inside is just the boost I needed for today. I like the light dialouge and especially the detailed preparation for this transaction. A favorite of mine this week! ^_^
Lisa Graham01/23/08
This is such a fun piece and right on topic. Loved it.