You may already be a winner

 I got a call from a man claiming to be from Publisher’s Clearing House. They had my name and address. The man said I’d won the jackpot, but I didn’t believe him.

Here is an “artist’s conception” of the caller, (my husband made it) and following that is a transcript of our conversation.

  • Him: You’ve just won 3.5 million dollars!! How are you feeling right now?
  • Me: I’m fine. How are you?
  • Him: Um…
  • Me: So what’s the catch?
  • Him: Oh no, ma’am! There’s no catch; there’s no trick. This is serious business here.
  • Me: Okay. Well, I don’t think I entered the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes.
  • Him: You don’t remember filling out an entry?
  • Me: No.
  • Him: Well…. Have you shopped at Wal-Mart recently?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Him: Okay then! You entered!
  • Me: Really.
  • Him: Oh yes! Now get some paper and a pen because this is important. You need to write this down.
  • Me: Okay.
  • Him: Do you have the paper? This is serious business here!
  • Me: Yes.
  • Him: Well, write this down. You have won THREE POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS. And a Mercedes.
  • Me: Uh huh.
  • Him: Are you writing this down?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Him: Now this will all be delivered to your home there in Hawaii. And of course you’ll be responsible for the taxes on that money. but not until you receive it, of course!
  • Me: Uh huh.
  • Him: Now this is serious business here. Do you know what a bar code is?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Him: Well, your check will have to have a bar code on it, since it’s for such a large amount.
  • Me: Okay.
  • Him: And so you’ll need to pay a small bar code fee of $250 so that this check can be delivered to your home there in Hawaii.
  • Me: I need to give you $250?
  • Him: Well not ME of course! You just need to go down to your local CVS drugstore and send that fee to prize headquarters.
  • Me: $250.
  • Him: Yes. So you need to go right now. Is there a cell phone I can call you on so we can keep in touch while you’re on the way?
  • Me: Um, no. I don’t think so.
  • Him: But you need to go right away! This is serious business!
  • Me: Okay. Here’s the thing. I know that legitimate prizes do not require me to pay money. So I don’t think you are from Publisher’s Clearing House.
  • Him: (silence)
  • Me: Okay. So I’m hanging up now. Goodbye.

Well, this was a couple of weeks ago, and I still haven’t  received that big check he promised. Good thing I didn’t pay that “Bar Code fee.”

And I didn’t get a Mercedes, either.

Buttons I wish I had on the GPS

FEATURE #1. This route ain’t gonna fly, cowboy. Give it up.

gps1You know how sometimes a certain route has been blocked by a traffic jam, or a closed road, or maybe your ex on a rampage, but your GPS won’t accept that you can’t go that way? It just keeps saying “Recalculating. Make a U-turn when appropriate.”

Or “Recalculating. Make a right. Make a right. Make a right.” ACK! I just went in a circle! Stop trying to force me to take that road, electronic voice!!

I want to press a button that says, “Recalculate THAT!! We CAN’T GO THIS WAY!!!”

FEATURE #2. This road is dead to me.gps2

Sometimes there are roads I hate permanently. I don’t want to go on them if I can help it. EVER.

Like 280 in Birmingham. (Sorry to everyone not from Alabama who doesn’t understand what I mean. That road sucks.)

So if I could enable this feature, the GPS would always take me another way. Or, if it was unavoidable, it could say, “Sorry, but you must disable the Dead To You Road in order to reach this destination.”

So at least I’d know it TRIED to avoid the hated route. You know?

FEATURE #3. Can I get a little sympathy here?


I really hate it when I keep missing turns or whatever and the electronic lady starts to sound both annoyed and patronizing.

I mean, I know that all she really says is, “Recalculating,” but she has a TONE.

I’d like for her to start to sympathize with me. Maybe she could say, “I’m sorry; you seem to be having trouble. Don’t worry. I’ll help you.”

Or she could dispense a little emergency square of chocolate and say, “It’s all right. You’ll get there eventually. No one will mind if you’re a little late. Have some candy; you’ll feel better.”

I definitely think these buttons would enhance my experience with the GPS. Don’t you agree?