Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: INDEFATIGABLE (02/11/16)
- TITLE: Publisher's Clearing House (PCH)
By M. C. Syben
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Usually, I’m attracted to the tireless, non-stop spirit. You know, the Type A’s who are driven to help the poor, educate, save animals, save anything. Unfortunately, other ambitious A Types become executives at big corporations like Publishers Clearing House and are relentlessly in pursuit of my attention.
Since I dislike frivolous spending and gambling, I, typically, ignore and delete their email—not this year. Was I motivated by stress? Did I have too much time on my hands? Had I reached a vulnerable age? Somehow, the daily broadcasts captured me. Who wouldn’t want to win a generous lump sum and $5,000.00 a week, for life?
PCH does clarify that “NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY” to be entered into the contest or to win. So, every day I dismissed their come-ons and scrolled past all the magazines and novelties to the submit-and-enter button—well, almost every day. Although I was there only for a chance to win, I began to think. “Surely, one acquisition should put me higher in the running.” That flaw in thought began the trickle of purchases.
Their ads provided an answer to my on-going dilemma of removing the shell from a hard-boiled egg without the egg breaking off in chunks with it. I ordered an “Eggstractor” that magically removes the egg from the shell. Of course, I haven’t made hard boiled eggs in the two weeks since I received it. I still don’t know if the gadget works.
Meanwhile, the next PCH email arrived, ‘YOUR NAME IS ON THE WINNER'S LIST. TO CONTINUE...'
Unable to find a flashlight during a blackout, I spotted lanterns, in their email, the next day. I ordered them. In my opinion, the plastic feels, well, chintzy. They came without batteries (of course). I haven’t used them yet.
'CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'RE A VALUED CUSTOMER! JUST SEARCH NOW FOR EXTRA CHANCES TO WIN...'
My extendable dusters are a great idea, in theory. What manufacturers added to the handle, in costs, to produce extra length, they subtracted from the amount of microfiber used to collect the dust.
Another purchase: a dog-bone-shaped placemat for under the pet dish—cute! Sadly, it looks like a cat sewed it.
'DON'T STOP NOW...'
Two tiny pill containers with “God Bless You” and “God Loves You” printed on the back, I put where? The storage bag to be hung between my SUV’s front seats is a useful idea. I have yet to install it.
'TWO DAYS TO STAY IN THE RUNNING.'
Finally, I ordered a microwaveable heating pad--a must for my back and not easy to find in stores. I love it. That is the one worthwhile purchase; the rest were unneeded.
Publisher’s Clearing House loves me. They must. Their attention remains constant, year after year, week after week, day after day—indefatigable. This year, they wore me down.
Still, the winner will be chosen shortly. “God, I’ll do a lot of good with five thousand dollars a week, I promise.” ('Sigh—as I should have done with the two hundred dollars I spent already.')
Next year, I’ll utilize the spam list for I know, although unwelcomed, Publisher’s Clearing House will continue to woo me like a relentless, obsessed, suitor.
(it is with regret the author admits, this is a work of non-fiction)
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