Notes On Optimism

I once got completely suckered into one of those “you’ve won a free vacation” phone calls. It was about nine o’clock at night when my cellphone rang. “YOU’VE WON!” a man exclaimed.

“Not interested,” I interrupted, about to hang up.

“No, you’ve really won! You’d filled out a slip, last year at the Towson Spring Festival, remember?”

“Okay, what did I win?” I asked dryly.

“A Bahamas All-Inclusive! Do you like the beach?”

“What? Yeah. Who is this?” I asked.

“George P. Hamilton,” the man said.

Gee, he gave me his middle initial. That seemed important. Valid, even.

“Did I really win?”

My resolve was beginning to crack, and the man on the other end of the line could sense it. He could smell it, like a shark happening upon fresh dripping blood.

“The resort has everything! A pool bar! Hammocks! Tropical drinks with little umbrellas!” he said.

I peered out the window. It was blustery and cold and week-old snow matted the ground. I wanted to believe. Besides, I always fill out those little blank contest slips every time I see them. I do it all for the swag: the free pens, stress balls, and rubber frisbees advertisers give away at the street fairs. But I’ll also do it for a lot less: generic lollipops, Tootsie Rolls, or absolutely nothing at all. I can be a cheap date.

“We’re going to get so much junk mail,” the girlfriend says. “No one ever wins these things,” she’s always telling me.

So I couldn’t wait to strut upstairs and tell the girlfriend that I’d won. Yeah, I’d won other stuff before. One time I won a hat from a radio station. I won ten bucks playing Keno, too. And now this. This was the big one, the one I’ve been waiting for. It wasn’t even the prize that got me excited. It was the fact that I’d been right all along, that I’d proved her wrong. There’s no vacation trip as awesome as an ego trip. See? It’s not silly to fill out those slips! It was ME. ME. ME. ME.

Now the man on the other end of the line was giddy. I thought it was because he was excited for me; in truth it was because he knew he’d found a sucker. He even complimented me on filling out the slip thoroughly. Yeah, I know, right? God, I’m so freaking good at that kind of thing.

“And your handwriting was so neat! I could read every word!” he said.

Wait a minute. My handwriting sucks. A crippled-paw monkey with cataracts could do better, the poor bastard. I quickly brushed the thought aside and continued divulging all of my personal information to the man I didn’t even know. But I pictured he looked like somebody trustworthy. Like Chuck Woolery with pink cheeks and sparkling eyes.

Then I spelled out my address carefully to make sure he didn’t send my grand prize vacation to the neighbors. They’re sneaky. Well, I don’t even know them, really. They seem nice. Every time I see the guy, we’re always dressed the same, wearing a hoody and basketball shorts. I wonder if he’s ever noticed this. Awkward. The girl seems nice, too. She always waves first to me. I like her.

“You like her because she waves first?” the girlfriend asks when I explain this.

“Yes,” I say. Because waving is like Russian Roulette. It’s nerve-wracking. Who’s going to do it first? I hate it when you wave to someone and they don’t see it, and then you try to act like you were going to touch your head randomly the whole time. Wait, what if they were just pretending not to see it? Or what if they saw it in the last moment out of the corner of their eye, and then felt too ashamed to wave back after that? Ugh! I hate waving. It freaks me out. Anyway, the girl always waves first. Thank God.

But we definitely can’t risk my prize vacation ending up in their mailbox. I spelled out my address a second time for the man. “You’re going to LOVE the nightly luaus,” he said.

Then he asked me for my credit card number.

Oh. So it was that kind of gig. A shakedown. A sham. I looked at the snow on the ground outside, which was in that gross stage where it’s all grody and mixed with the mud. Better tie myself to a tree with roots. I ain’t going no where.

And that also meant—it couldn’t be. But it was true—all those nice things the man said were only a put-on. A lure. Lies! I wanted to run to my bedroom and sob and write all about it in my diary. But no. I won’t fall apart. I will grow strong. I will survive. Sing it, Gloria.

Instead of strutting back upstairs, I sulked.

“Who were you talking to for so long downstairs?” the girlfriend asked, looking up from the television, an extra-special episode of Teen Mom 2, MTV’s groundbreaking foray outside the world of music videos. We pay $100+ a month for cable for the girlfriend to watch this and something non-specific on Bravo. Oh, and Jersey Shore. But that’s totally worth it.

I told her everything, about all the pretty lies. About the Bahamas All Inclusive. Six days, seven nights. The lines that man fed me. About how I was so smart to fill out those slips. About my beautiful handwriting. How I’d even filled out my email address. Most people never do that, he had cooed. And how he had looked just like Chuck Woolery, with those impish eyes…

“There’s something really wrong with you,” she said.

But, you know what, that’s okay. It’s just not my time yet. Just not my time. It will come. Oh yes, it will. One glorious day, I’ll fill out that slip so neatly, making sure not to miss a single line and to dot every last i. And it will be my golden slip that’s plucked out of the fish bowl of so many, as though it were chosen by the hand of God. One day.

I am prepared for incredible things to happen—though not necessarily something like aliens landing on the earth. Because that would be absolutely terrifying. I’m thinking more along the lines of standing in front an ATM somewhere, and suddenly it will just begin spitting one hundred dollar bills at me. I’ll be stuffing them into my drooping pants like a cartoon character.

Maybe I’ll just find buried treasure. First, I’ll have to find a map. I’d settle for that.

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116 responses to “Notes On Optimism

  1. I probably would have felt the same way. But as soon as they ask for a credit card number, you know the jig is up. One day you will win your major award Pizza, one day.

    We also pay $100+ a month for cable, and my wife watches those shows too. I shouldn’t talk though, our DVR is chock full of G1 Transformers, Unsolved Mysteries and Saved by the Bell. But G1 Transformers and Saved by the Bell look so nice in HD(there isn’t and HD channel for Unsolved Mysteries, yet).

  2. Good stuff, as always.

    Had a similar experience. Although I don’t think they positioned it as me winning. It was a three-day cruise for only the cost of customs tax or something. Like $79 each. Wife and I were going to be in Florida anyway. We knew there was a catch, but couldn’t figure it out and figured what the hell.

    The guy on the phone then offered me a 3-day stay in Orlando at a nice condo with nearby access to the amusement parks for like $100 more. (“Mr. Snacktastic, if you’re going to travel all the way to Florida, why not make the most of it, you know? The wife will love it. You said you have a child? She’ll love Disney. LOVE it. Only 1 years of age? Oh, trust me, even one-year-olds love Mickey.” )

    It had to be too good to be true. I had already said yes to the cruise, but to this… something felt wrong. So I told him I had family in Orlando (the truth) who have plenty of space for us when we visit. So I was in for the cruise, out of the condo. Something changed in his voice. He wrapped up the call rather quickly.

    We went on that mini-cruise. Had a GREAT time. The catch? Had we done the Orlando part of the trip, we’d have been forced to listen to speeches about buying a timeshare. We heard horror stories about it on the cruise from others who had done Orlando before the cruise – day-long speeches, refusals to let you leave early, trust falls, gnashing of teeth, Hall & Oates muzak.

    And with all that money I saved on the cruise? Paid for cable for a couple of months.

  3. And I’m glad you were nice to the salesman. I did phone sales in high school. It sucked balls. You get paid minimum wage to be the part-time, most hated life form on the planet. A simple “not interested,” was all I asked. But a surprising number of people wanted to stab you in the heart, slowly twist the knife and feast on your blood. That guy may have been happy just to find someone nice. I would latch onto the nice people and keep them on the phone just so I could escape the curses of angry old people for a few more precious minutes.

    Or he could’ve just smelled the sucker from a mile away and was thinking about scoring that 1-in-1,000,000 sale. I never made a sale. I eventually cursed out an old lady right back after I thought she had hung up. She listened to the entire mumbling, 45-second, free-style, curseword combo that I unleashed on her. And then she triumphantly said, “You know, I’m still on the phone. Can I speak to your manager?” I slammed down my headset and walked away from sales jobs forever.

    Keep filling out those slips, Pizza. You will have your day!

  4. Loved it. So like myself it scared me. I’ve learnt over the years to spot those types calls right off. By the way, those ATMs have sneaky little cameras. They’ll catch you. You’ll be on the news.

  5. I have actually gotten lucky with a couple of those so far. I won box seats to a concert from one. They needed your e-mail address so I signed up for it with my “spam” account. Went to check it and found out I had won tickets for the night before. Sent them an e-mail back telling them my computer was on the fritz and I missed the e-mail and the gave me tickets to another show of my choice.

    I also recently won a hotel stay from one of those time share gimmicks, except we got out of it easy. My wife told them she was unemployed, I told him I work retail and he just looked at us and said “I am not going to waste either of our time here, I will go get your prize.” A few minutes later it was in our hand and we were free.

    Keep the faith, one day you will get lucky and revenge will be yours.

  6. My husband said we got a 3 night stay in a hotel in Lake Havasu, AZ, they said we had to just go to a sales pitch about a time share. We thought what the heck and went. The time share was nice but who wants to go the Lake Havasu to a time share every year. We didn’t buy it. They changed the hotel that we got for free to a dump. We stayed one night. It should have been condemed. My husband went to take a shower and he got all latherd up with soap and then the water started coming out brown, solid brown. I think it was sewage. I think we could not get out of there fast enough. If you ever win a free stay in a hotel to see a time share….run away…Fast.
    Oh and I am sure that you put your address on the drawing slip, if they have to ask, they should already have it.

  7. The only thing I ever won was a red Donald Duck wristwatch from a Mickey Mouse magazine (16 years ago!). I had that watch for about three weeks, then I lost it. Never won anything else again.

  8. I was going to congratulate you on winning a free subscription to my free blog, but then it got “disabled” so I can’t even do that. Oh shucks.

    But hey, I won two free movie tickets from a radio station for knowing which country has the most coastline. (Chile.) I mentioned to the lady on the phone that I’d seen that question on Tic Tac Dough a week earlier and knew it then too. She mentioned that she was no Wink Martindale. And if you know Chuck Woolery you know Wink Martindale, am I right? We rock!

  9. I’m always filling those things out. Lately my obsession is the surveys on the back of Fast Food receipts. “WIN $10,000 IF YOU COMPLETE THIS SURVERY!” Those words fill my heart with joy.
    I told my mother about this and she told me “Well, someone has to win.” And now she hands me all her receipts with the surveys on them. And for the record, every Panda Express one I do, I get a free entree.

    Also, last year I didn’t do phone sales but I did do political surveys over the phone. Which I feel is almost worse, because people have a personal vendetta against everyone you talk about. So calling someone in Colorado and hearing them cuss about some official I have never heard about was the highlight of my day.
    The Happy Ending is that when they were yelling “F@*(# HIM! I’M A DEMOCRAT! PUT THAT IN YOUR F&@# SURVEY!”
    SURPRISE! I did! Every single one of your opinions on last years election were really mine.

  10. I almost never fill out those cards. My wife loves to though. She has an email address specifically for those cards. I always tell her not to, but she just can’t help herself.

    I once succumbed to her pressure and sat through a timeshare presentation (while on our honeymoon no less). We ended up getting a couple hundred in spending cash for our time and a really cheap Mexican vacation out of it so it wasn’t all that bad, even though in return for the cheap vacation we had to sit through ANOTHER timeshare presentation when we were on that vacation. We got suckered into another timeshare presentation the next year in Orlando. They dangled 2 free nights stay and passes to Universal Studios and Islands of adventure in front of us and she (we) caved. When we went the following year to get our free vacation we had to sit through another timeshare presentation at a better timeshare. But they screwed us out of one of the days passes to Universal. Even after we eventually bought a week at this really nice timeshare near Disney.

    Each time we sat through a timeshare presentation we said “never again”…yet we kept doing it over and over…and they eventually wore us down. But I’m glad we bought the one we did. It’s a nice place, and we got a great deal.

  11. This is such a fun post — your writing is inspired.

    I love the “creepy” neighbor description. I’d be alarmed to always see my hoodied doppelganger, too!

    Good luck on the treasure hunt… :)

  12. The supermarket chain often has contests that you are entered in when you use their loyalty card. One night, we stopped at the store on our way home to pick up ice cream for dessert – we had a friend coming over.

    Halfway across the lot, my spouse said, I forgot my points card and she insisted on going back to the car to get it. I teased her all the way through the store for increasing the time of the trip for the one item.

    The next day, we got a phone call – we had won the summer BBQ contest. We went to the store to collect the prize, both of us convinced that we were being set up by someone – but, as it turns out, we had won the contest and the winning purchase was the ice cream.

    We won a propane BBQ valued at $250 (tank not included) and a $250 shopping spree – there was also supposed to be a party where the store staff came to your house and that was too weird for us and we explained that we had a small apartment, and while the manager was keen, the staff was clearly not into partying with each other or coming over to a stranger’s house – I also said that was weird, since we’d be required to throw said party, which made the shopping spree part a little pointless – so he canceled the party and gave us an addition $200 worth of meat on top of the $500 in prizes.

    We posed for a picture with the BBQ and some staff and it ran in a flyer.

    So, people can and do win contests – it’s just that the few legit contests are outnumbered by the fake ones who play on people’s trust and optimism.

  13. Haha! I stopped filling those things out when someone stole my identity and tried buying workout equiptment and a stove.

  14. Hey, you’re freshly pressed. That’s like winning at blogging, right?

  15. Hilarious, your girlfriend sounds smart. Could’ve been worse you didn’t give up your digits.

  16. Love this post and your humorous writing style!

    Congrats on winning Freshly Pressed! You’ve “won” the lottery that all of us fellow bloggers hope to at some point. The lottery that involves being noticed and given kudos by WordPress! :D

  17. Funny, funny, funny! I’ve never come that close to buying into the “Free Vacation” scam but, I can painfully relate to evertything you said. You made my day. Thanks!

  18. Oh, what a let down. Everything is a scam nowadays. Sucks, man.

  19. Oh how funny. . .great writing style. Good luck on your treasure hunt! I hope you win something big…but be careful out there as you’ve found out the world is full of creeps!

  20. HA!! Fantastic post! Darn that man with his Chuck Woolery pink cheeks and sparkling eyes. They’ll get you every time.

    At least you were man enough to admit the mistake and not give him your credit card info. You were, right?

  21. Haha! This was a really funny and fun post. When my husband and I were engaged, we attended all these crazy bridal expos to learn about the business of getting married (since we’d never done it before and all). And I filled out all kinds of things. If there was a clipboard thrust beneath my nose, by God it would soon have my personal information on it. I was so taken by the promises of free tuxedoes and cakes and flowers that I really did just apply for everything.

    And then. A year after we were married, I got a series of phone calls. Some company said they wanted to give me champagne flutes that I had one for our “special toast.” That had already happened. I had apparently won a honeymoon. That I had already gone on. My flowers would be half off. Which were already dead and long gone. I started to toy with these people. I got a cruel joy out of stringing them along, making them believe that I was a sucker, and then WHAM! I dropped the hammer on them. “Fool! I’ve been married a year now! Why are you calling me eighteen months later anyway?” The reason? Well, one sheepish woman did respond. She said, “Honestly…you weren’t the first winner. Your name came up in my database after the prizes were rejected from the other winners.” The other winners didn’t want a free honeymoon? Where was the resort? Greenland? Yeah…her admission really made me feel like a special snowflake.

    I vote you keep on filling out those forms. Amuse yourself the way I did by toying with the con artists. It’s wickedly fun! ;)

  22. A beautiful and heartwarming tale. And exactly what I’d expect from optimism.

  23. Oh, my bad..I thought this was a food network blog…..You had me at Pizza…

    Nice post..very funny.

  24. I have won many things — tickets, gift cards — so I am always an optimist.
    I enjoyed this post, and I will subscribe because I am optimistic that all of your posts may be this good.

  25. YOU’VE
    REALLY
    WON
    !

    but we all still need to find a map somehow.

  26. very entertaining read – i love freshly pressed for finding humorous people like you :)

  27. i once won a turkey. of course i *was* seven, so the thrill of it was just a bit lost on me.

  28. Phone calls like that are like a Nigerian e-mail scam come to life and TALKING AT YOU. THEN AND THERE.

    I don’t even answer my cellphone anymore unless it’s someone from work or someone I share DNA with.

  29. I just won a bottle of Sparkling Grape Juice today! Woot! Not to rub it in… Once I entered two giveaways for the same book just in case I lost one of them. So of course I won both of them. Now I have two copies of the same book sitting around. At least it was a good book. If you send me your Credit Card number though, I can hook you up with a free book and a free vacation… just sayin’

  30. The husband and I once sat through a great presentation of time shares in wisconsin so we could have a night at a water park with the kids. Great post!

  31. Hey, if he sends me his credit card number, I can hook ME up with a free book and free vacation … and probably a couple other free things … free for me anyhow …

  32. My wife gets all excited when we get offers like this. She thinks we should “seriously consider” them. They’re a complete rip-off. If not an identity/credit scam, then definitely a lousy sales promotion for something you don’t need. The real vacation places don’t need to advertise because there is a natural demand..anything less is, well, less.

  33. Even better….some guy called me for WEEKS to come and be on his TV show and talk about my book and get lots of free publicity. When I finally spoke to him — and he drilled me for an hour about why or how I would fit their needs — he informed me I would be paying my own way (from NY to Florida, as if) for the privilege of being on a show that was super cheesy and had very few viewers.

    Um, no thanks.

    But I am still (a little) optimistic.

  34. Haha. Awww.
    I’m a sucker for giveaways, raffles and all things free (HEY, I’m a student. It’s a built in thing!) I live in constant hope that I will receive a phone call/email (which is NOT spam from a Nigerian prince) informing to come and collect my free i-phone.

    One day, ONE DAY.

  35. I NEVER fill out those forms for just this reason. What if i DO win? I’ll never know! I’ll never believe whoever calls me to tell me I’ve won, I’ll just treat them like any other rip-off from the other side of the world and slam the phone down.

    • Yeah, there’s a sketch from David Mitchell and Robert Webb (If you’ve not heard of them look up ‘That Mitchell and Webb Look’), where they’re phoning up people to offer them fabulous prizes. Their voices sound exactly like those recorded messages you get… and they’re always really surprised, hurt and confused when everybody hangs up on them. “Maybe no-one wants a FREE Yacht… *sad face*”

      Yeah – my description doesn’t really do it justice… it’s funny though and your comment made me think of it. Thanks for making me smile…

      Also, great post Pizza – congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  36. I fill those things out too, especially if they are giving out candy or some kind of cheap plastic costume jewelry. Plus, I see those documentary-style shows on TV about people that have won the lottery, and a lot of them seem like d-bags. So I figure, why not me? Keep the faith, dude!

  37. Fantastic post! Great writing! Just the right amount of off-on-a-tangent-but-I’ll-be-right-back! Okay, too many exclamation points, but I really enjoyed this. Oh, what the heck, I really enjoyed this !!
    You must have felt like you won something when you saw your site stats this morning?
    congratulations on the FP

  38. Hilarious and awesome post, I felt like ,that it was me, right down to the cable, teen shore bravo comment, lol, love it

  39. Hahaha this is soo funny! Not to laugh at your misfortune, but this happened to me once too! haha.

    It could be worst. You could be looking for a job and applying to craigslist only to get scammers there too. “You’ve won the job of your dreams!”

    Yea, ok…

    http://1ldroppout.wordpress.com

  40. I won something once.
    I was driving to meet someone for sushi (I think it was my sister), and I heard the radio guy ask the question, “75% of women would miss _______ the most if they were deserted on an island?” I had this in the bag! I called in and actually got through! Before the dj could even finish asking me again I screamed, “Chocolate!” only to have him hang up on me. So he comes back on the radio and explains that the answer is not Chocolate or Coffee and that he’s still looking for a winner. I figured I would never get through, but tried again anyway. I was shocked! I got through again! First try! No busy signal! How could this happen?!?! I was on fire! Woot! So, again, before he can even ask, I scream out my answer, “SODA!!!” Silence, I’m pretty sure I had scared him. But, after he gathered himself he finally responded with a “YOU are our LUCKY winner!”
    So, I hung on the line, waiting for him to take my info and tell me what I had won. I mean, I didn’t even know what they were giving away but oooooh it had to be good! I guess I waited for about 2 minutes. The guy comes back and is like, “So do you have a little girl that you’re going to take with you to see Nancy Drew, the Movie?”
    *Sigh. No wonder it was so easy to get through. $5 movie tickets to a low rated kids movie. yay?

    • awesome story — I too always call into the radio stations trying to be the 10th caller, no matter the prize. I’ve never gotten thru though. Nancy Drew movie tix is a particularly terrible prize!

  41. Love your post and your humorous.I think you are really won. hahaha!Thank you for your sharing.

  42. I loved this post, I like you positivism and humor. I think this was the perfect post before I go to bed!!

  43. Hey, you had me with the line, “There’s no vacation trip as awesome as an ego trip. ” Great writing. Was checking out how to start my own blog and your writing sucked me in.

  44. You’re funny. I really like this post. It was one of the great reads I stumbled across in a while! And I totally agree on the waving thing. It’s more nerve racking for me than hearing the result of American Idol. Congrats on getting freshly pressed!

    http://hindsightnotes.tumblr.com/

  45. Oh heck. I was really hoping it was . . . but knew that it couldn’t be . . . real.

    Poop. But it was funny, in a sort of dammit, I wish it were true way.

    Better luck next time. Maybe the Universe has in store a big lottery win for you. It’s just saving all the good winning mojo for one big payoff. I hope so!

  46. congratulations for being freshly pressed. I totally can relate to your experience. my wife and i at one time attended this time share seminar because they told us that we need to do so to get our vacation prize. It was a trap! I don’t answer my phone now if it’s any 1-800 as well entertain the instant winnings in the mail. I still buy the lotto once in a while which I believe I may win if the heavens hear my prayers! thanks for sharing the post .

  47. So many people fall into the same trap all the time- lucky you were the lucky one who got out of it without running up billions on your credit card bill. But then again, it doesn’t kill to be optimistic. i mean that’s the only thing which we have left …

    http://lilandar.wordpress.com

  48. we fill out those slips with some hope to win something at least and forget about it the moment we go back to our car…. but i sure do agree that it would be just awesome to win something some day, even if it requires us to find that treasure…:)

  49. I think there is not even one adult person all over the world that didn`t got once such a “surprise”‘ via phone call or anonymous letter, announcing you that you are the only one winner.
    Me also got such a phone, and the swindler asked me for my card number “explaining” : “we need it only if the winner will make an incidentally unusual exceptional order of somthing” .

    Yes, and we also won a “Gourmet lunch in a nice hotel” . But actually , it was a terrible suffering evening of time-sharing appartments sale, with other hundreds people , that Fell into the same trap.
    And so , million over the world. Each country with its swindlers.

  50. As the resident PollyAnna, there is nothing wrong with optimism until your credit card becomes involved. But! You certainly turned lemons into lemonade with the very funny post.

  51. Where’s the “like” button? :)

  52. There’s no vacation trip as awesome as an ego trip.

    LOL!

    Great piece.

  53. Great post! I laughed out loud at the waving part…I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

  54. Ice Cold Alex

    Keep the faith, you will win one day. Then everything will be justified.

  55. This is the first time I read a post in WordPress because of the tittle. Really the
    “I am prepared for incredible things to happen—though not necessarily something like aliens landing on the earth. Because that […]” part made me laugh! Great post!

  56. Great writing, man.

    Kudos. : )

  57. Great post!

    It’s amazing how quickly those bastards can reel you in when all it takes is a little bit of enthusiasm.

  58. Funny! First blog I’ve read here so far; very relatable!

  59. I miss *Unsolved Mysteries* and *SIGHTINGS* backfrom when SyFy was still the “Sci-Fi Channel…” annd irt played actual sci-fi…including the original Dr. Who.

    The one time I can remember winning anything was I won the equivalent to a $10 gift card to a local video store back in 2009 AND an NAU SPRING FLING t-shirt for just getting to the microphone before anyone else did my Freshman year of college. GO LUMBERJACKS!

  60. I enjoyed reading the story – just goes to show us that bigger isnt always better.

  61. I’ve been snagged into a couple of those scams…hopefully I’ve learned my lesson

  62. Ha. This made me laugh so much, My girlfriend is a bit like this she buys all those scratch cards and I moan at her and tell her, “Your never going win, its stupid”. But once she won 2 pound, so I told her excitingly, “go buy another one”. However, she didn’t win anything, well at least she called it even! :)

    Her optimism is rubbing off on me!

    Hope you win something one day.
    Jessie.

  63. Wow …I got one of those calls more than 20 years ago. Are scammers still using that tactic?

    Once or twice, I’ve fallen for something that didn’t involve a credit card. Just a couple years ago, I got a call from a man who claimed he lived in my building, had seen me in the lobby, and wanted to meet for coffee. I was intrigued and agreed to meet him at the local Starbucks … and of course, he never showed up. Here’s what I suspect happened: some guy had made a bet with a friend that he could open the phone book at random, call some woman, and get her to go to Starbucks thinking she’s having a coffee date. Of course, how would he know that he had succeeded if he didn’t actually show up himself? Easy: he called again the next day, and said, “We were supposed to meet for coffee at Starbucks …” and I answered with, “But I was there!”

  64. Ahhh, glad to see someone else has handwriting just as bad as mine ;)

  65. You’ll get that golden ticket one day, my son, you’ll get it!

    Been scammed by a ‘prospective employer’. You know the one where you turn up to an interview, though at the time, you don’t notice that there are quite a few young hopefuls there too.

    The actual interview itself seems all hunky-dory, even though you sense something is not quite right, but you can’t put a finger on it. Then, hey presto, they really like you, blah blah blah. But- you have to pay for some dodgy sounding course. Curses.

    Ok, maybe this is just my experience.

  66. At least you were doubtful from the start. It was just a few cracks on your defense, and it was good that you realized that it was a sham.

    Too bad, though. You’ll win someday! Surely.

  67. My son-in-law, who lives in a different country, filled out ONE of those at a boat show once when visiting here years ago. We STILL get junk mail with his name on it. So now you know what you win each and every time you fill one of those out…………a lifetime supply of things with which to fill your recycling bin.

  68. I would’ve said the same thing to my fiance. We sarcastic, honest women are rare gems. Muahaha.
    But you’re on Freshly Pressed! So yay you won!…

  69. hahaha so funny!
    That blog had me hooked – I wanted you to win that holiday so much!!
    Oh well, stay optimistic, one day you will ;)

    http://urbanoptimist.wordpress.com/

  70. Really enjoyed this, thank you and well done on Freshly Pressed. I know it’s not a prize as such… but it’s a start!

    http://www.bearcat8.wordpress.com

  71. I like believing people, but when someone’s claiming I’ve won something, I get sceptical. I do not win stuff. And if I do, the person telling me will probably have squeezed in the phone call between writing thirty boring e-mails and fifteen boring phone calls. Giddiness doesn’t fit into that picture.

    Okay, I’m probably not an optimist. But I believe in the pure awesomeness of existing at all. And I believe I can find a way to go wherever I want to go.

  72. Because waving is like Russian Roulette. It’s nerve-wracking. Who’s going to do it first? I hate it when you wave to someone and they don’t see it, and then you try to act like you were going to touch your head randomly the whole time. Wait, what if they were just pretending not to see it?

    Happens to me way too often. I know how you feel? Usually when I realise I have been ignored I flick my fringe or pretend to fix the back of my hair (who am I kidding? my hair is too short to have anything wrong with it). I guess it works for us girls.
    I also try and wave at my neighbours. Unluckly for my ego, I live in the city, so usually when I bid ‘goodmorning’ to my neighbours they are too busy drinking coffeee to wave back, and when I bid ‘goodevening’ they are too zombie-like to notice my presence.
    -.-‘

  73. always felt the same, until Jeni won a radio station contest. no, really. legit. finally believed it was for real when we deplaned in Paris. keep the faith.

  74. just keep swimming, just keep swimming. :)

  75. I remember when I was about nine years old and my home phone started tp ring. My mom was to lazy to get up so she told me to answer.
    When I answered there was a robotic voice on the other end of the line saying:
    “Congratulations! You have just won a all inclusive trip to Disney world!”.
    I fell to the floor amd started to shout, “We won! We won a trip to Disney world!”.
    My mom looked at me and told me, “Honey, it’s a scam. There is no trip to Disney World. There only trying to steal our money.”
    I was so depressed for the next couple of hours thinks of what “could have been”. Now I hate those phone calls and Immediately hang up.
    Such a Buzz Kill.

  76. I love this. it was quirky and funny. I’m always trying to remain optimistic about winning, but usually it fails and just get a “Sorry you didnt win this time!” Drats.

  77. This is why I don’t even own a cellphone!

  78. There’s no vacation trip as awesome as an ego trip.

    This is the funniest line I’ve read in weeks!

  79. When you finally do finally get that big win, it will only be sweeter because of the “almosts” of the past. A positive attitude will only bring good things your way.

  80. Great post! Cracked me up, reminded me of myself! Optimisim can take you so far, to the extent of denial haha that’s what happens with me.. Loved it!

    Wordsae.wordpress.com

  81. Loved this! Very amusing. Great blog!

  82. Bravo for staying strong! They are TRAINED to get to us! Loved the post.

  83. icanwritesomething

    Great post! :))

  84. I have the same dream about ATM’s and money and travel and adventure! Who knows, dreams are the seedlings of realities. Keep dreamin and movin, mate.

  85. Genius. Hold tight to your optimism. If there is any justice in the world, one day you will triumph.

  86. haha, I like this one.. a lot goes on like that where I live, but I never believed any of them, but meh, it’s good that you stay optimistic.. I’m a self proclaimed “realist” but my friends see me as a pessimist. haha whatever.. good post!

  87. shekharonline

    interesting

  88. Hi, Nice read! :)
    I have never won anything and don’t believe that I will. The luckiest thing ever that happened to me was meeting good people in my life who have made an impact :)

  89. Xaxa nice story :P

  90. Very interesting read. Colorful words and so much truth in those amazing vacation phone calls!

  91. OMG, great story … great storytelling. I only comment on “Freshly Pressed” stuff when it makes me laugh hard enough to cause snot to shoot from my nose. So congratulations! And let me just be the buzzkill that gets you ready for next week when your numbers hit the fan. The day after fame can really suck. I wrote about it here: http://wittylittlesecret.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/freshly-repressed

  92. Deyra Fontaine

    oh, those fraudsters can really woo the unexpected. i’m so utterly pessimistic that i hang up the moment anyone says, “may i speak to ms. so and so.”

    this is extremely funny. you have a really witty way of writing – makes me feel like we’re having a conversation. i’m definitely subscribing from now on.

    deyra

    ps. yes, jersey shore is definitely worth the cable bill.

  93. It should be a crime to mess people with people like that – not the stealing their personal information part – the part where they mess with your optimism.

  94. Fun post … so entertaining I had to read it twice. I’m an optimist, too, but sadly have had had to learn the hard way that “if it sounds too good to be true … it is {{not true}}.”

    Cheers! MJ

  95. I´ll never fill out any of those cards. This helps to unmask these tricksters!

  96. dreamxingdong

    Uplifting!
    <a href=”http://www.p90x-dvd-workout.com”>p90x home fitness </a>

  97. Lucky you for being so smart.. My mom has the same experience when she was trying to sell our house. Instead of transferring the Down Payment, the caller asked my mom to go to the nearest ATM machine and send him something.
    What a lie :|

  98. armandpolanski

    Cool and Funny! Me too have been trying to make things happen so that I could have that moment that I ever wanted.SIGH!

  99. Great post! I’d’ve believed him too, right until he asked for money. Then I might have got a bit suspicious…

  100. Pingback: the week that was « khulikitaab

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