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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Search Engine (10/06/11)

TITLE: The Bet
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


My daughter looked up from her book, “What does insidious mean?” My husband glanced at me then turned his body toward the living room while I simultaneously rotated towards the bedroom.

I eyed him while he rocked on his toes, “Ready? The bet is on. I know I can find the definition faster in my dictionary than you can using Google. Remember loser makes dinner for a week.’’

Nodding, his muscles twitched with anticipation, “Bring it on. I’ll have the answer before you even find your dictionary. Go!”

He raced to the computer desk while I darted to the bookcase. I grabbed the red dictionary as other books tumbled to the ground. Singing off-key, “A, B, C, D, E, F, G…” I flipped through the pages.

Just as I found the I section, I heard my husband groan from the other room. “Why is the computer off? No fair! You have to want until it powers on.”

Laughing hysterically, I plopped to the floor. “I told you the electricity went out today just long enough to turn the clocks and computers off. And it is fair, when we made the bet you told me that you weren’t going to wait for me to find the dictionary so I don’t have to wait for the computer to boot up. Ha, I found it. What’s for dinner?”

Standing over me scowling, my daughter mumbled to herself and rolled her eyes, “Well, what’s the definition?”

I closed the book and handed it to her, “Look it up yourself.”

She tossed the dictionary on the bed and trotted into the living room. “Da-a-d-d-dy!” My husband catered to his little princess and got a chance to use Google after all, but I had a delightful laugh and the most delicious hot dog for dinner.

In the end, the whole situation made me stop and think how wonderful God is. My husband is a computer geek. He thinks Google is one of the greatest inventions ever. He uses it quite efficiently while I prefer my good old-fashioned books.

Sometimes our differences are so vast; I wonder how we managed to stay together all these years. However, at other times, I see how well we complement each other. The computer tends to break down in an almost suicidal way whenever I am near it; in contrast, my husband is like an artist when it comes to that frustrating machine. I do well with people; talking comes easy to me. Therefore, if there is a discrepancy on a bill, first my husband will do a search on the computer. If that doesn’t produce results then I get on the phone with customer service.

God created us differently so that we would work well as one. On the days when I’m not frustrated by these divergences, I say a prayer of thanksgiving for my lovable computer geek, who is so wonderfully antithetical from myself.

Later that night, while watching TV, I poked my husband in the ribs, “Who is that actress? I know she was in some other show.”

Smiling smugly, my husband handed me the laptop, “Look it up yourself.”

Grrr, husbands and computers, I guess I have to love them. And I do.

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This article has been read 592 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 10/21/11
I enjoyed this, smiled the entire time. I assume it was nonfiction. I loved the battle between dictionary and Google, and between husband and wife. Fun and entertaining.
Patricia Protzman10/22/11
Delightful and believable story. Well-written and flowed smoothly from beginning to end.
Linda Goergen10/22/11
What a fun and lighthearted story you have woven around the topic! Well written and I enjoyed the read!
Cheryl von Drehle10/23/11
Practicing critique ļ Just my opinion as a reader:
Very strong beginning that caught my attention and kept me reading. Spot on topic, and creative treatment. I think these three categories are your strongest. Plus, the humor is excellent. I thought some of the dialog could flow a little more naturally¡Ktoo much explanation seems to crossover into telling instead of showing. The transition to a spiritual application seems forced. I think if you omitted ¡§made me stop and think how wonderful God is,¡¨ and started with ¡§my husband is a computer geek,¡¨ your application would be much stronger. 2nd to last sentence is a great finish, but the very last sentence seems tacked on. Could probably be worked in better to bring it home.
Overall, very strong and enjoyable read.
Cheryl von Drehle10/23/11
sorry for the weird symbols...I wrote this is word and then did a cut and paste into the comment box...that didn't work out very well! :-)
Tom Parsons 10/24/11
Excellent. I loved it.
Edmond Ng 10/27/11
An enjoyable read! Obviously, the difference between a print edition and an online dictionary is the dependency on power, even when using wireless or a smartphone. Modern conveniences seldom are as reliable as the good old print, and you have put across that point in your story very well. I guess the best way forward is to strike a balance and love them both. Good job on a well written piece.
AnneRene' Capp10/27/11
Creatively excellent take on the topic. I too, chuckled throughout this entertaining story and especially enjoyed the unexpected "look it up" to your daughter after all that work! The ending was adorable and well-deserved. :)
Colin Swann11/01/11
Cute story which I thoroughly enjoyed - took me back to my work days when I raced to get information from my old fashioned filing cabinets and often beat the computer staff I was surrounded by.
Kara Dunham 11/01/11
Really enjoyed this. Found it to be really funny, love the competitiveness between the spouses!
Leola Ogle 11/02/11
Delightful story! Great perspective on how our lives are dependent on computers (as long as the power is working lol). Godbless!
Shari Armstrong 11/03/11
Fun story! I love the ending where the tables are turned.
Beth LaBuff 11/03/11
You brought a smile with this husband and wife duo. I could see this play out. (I hope this is a true story.) :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/05/11
This is based on a true story. My husband and I had the bet but we never played it out. But if we had this story is likely what would have happened. I'd have won the bet for sure! :) And my daughter would have gone to Daddy if I told her to look it up and he would have given her the answer. Sometimes real life is the best humor.
Amy Michelle Wiley 11/07/11
You should add some verses and send this to Jewels of Encouragement in a few months. Good job!