You know those people who say, "I never win anything?"
I'm not one of those people. I win things.
It started when I was 14 years old and one of my friends had her own telephone. ("Huh?" you say? Don't all 14-year-olds have their own phone? It's called the Family Plan, right?)
Okay, don't get smart with me. (Har har. Get Smart**, remember? The spy who had a telephone in his shoe?)
I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but kids these days just don't know how lucky they are.
But I digress.
See, I wasn't allowed to have my own telephone and certainly wasn't allowed to use the family telephone (party line -- know what that is, kids?) to call radio stations.
Anyway, my friend Dee had her own telephone and I used to spend a couple of hours every day at her house calling radio station contests. One day I won two tickets to see the Ice Capades in St. Louis (the nearest big city, 20 miles away).
I thought my parents would be furious. After all, 1) I wasn't allowed to call radio stations; 2) someone had to go to the box office to pick the tickets up; 3) there were only two tickets so my parents would have to spring for a third if we all wanted to go, and on and on.
But since there was no way for me to collect the tickets at all unless I told them, I stiffened my upper lip and told my mom.
Who was just pleased as punch!
"I have always wanted to go to the Ice Capades!" she gushed.
"But" -- sputter, sputter -- "there are only two tickets and we have to drive all the way to St. Louis to pick them up!" I moaned.
I was so struck dumb that I hadn't been struck dead that I forgot to say, "Gee, I never win anything."
Since that fateful day I have lost count of the number of things I won, but here are a few:
A number of record albums (kids, picture CDs only much bigger, black and not digital) ranging from blues to Anne Murray
("I just love Anne Murray!" gushed my mom.)
An untold number of door prizes and centerpieces.
A trip for two to San Francisco, including air fare and hotel. (Before I lived here....)
The California lottery -- 5 out of 6 when the odds were much better. (I think my share ended up being about $3,000 or $4,000.)
A $2,500 shopping spree at a huge shopping mall in Los Angeles.
And only today I was the right caller at the right time on my local Classical radio station with the answer to the question: "What was the name of the cat in the 1950's Dick and Jane readers?"
I was so excited! Luckily, I remembered to ask the DJ when the tickets were for (I hadn't heard that part). They're for the night DD is going to be here and we'll be in San Jose at the theatre (see Everyone's Favorite City Disappoints MOI, herein).
I had to pass the tickets to the next caller.
Murphy's Law strikes again.
**When I originally wrote this, I did not know that the star of the show, Don Adams, had passed away a couple of days before. I was amazed to find he was seven years older than my own mother. In my mind, he was still younger than I am now and still cracking me up with his silly antics. Well done on a life well lived.