Lucky at Last!
I used to be one of those people who never win anything. But my luck finally has changed. Almost daily I receive at least one notification that I may have won a million dollar dream house, a six-month around-the-world cruise in the QE2's penthouse suite, a $100,000 Mercedes ...... it's mind boggling.
I did worry how I was going to pay the taxes on all these goodies; but I don't any more because yesterday I learned I'm a front-runner for a million dollar tax-free award! Hopefully, that will cover the tariff on my other prizes.
Even more amazing is the fact that all these riches are coming my way with little or no effort on my part. For example, just today I found out I'm tied for a $25,000 first prize in a word puzzle contest that I had never even entered. How lucky is that?! Accompanying the announcement of my good fortune was an offer to sell me — for a mere five bucks — a list of high-scoring words to help insure my tie-breaking victory. Could I refuse to spend five dollars to win a practically guaranteed $25,000? You betcha.
Another offer I found easy to decline was a "gemstone" I had won. To claim it I had to send only $5.95 to cover postage. But first I glanced through the company's catalogue that accompanied my "prize" announcement. Incredibly, it offered similar gemstones to the general public at $5.95, postage included. They're not even subtle. Wouldn't you think they'd at least mail the catalogue separately?
I also receive, at least once a week, scratch cards offering three possible prizes, ranging from paltry to priceless (or so they imply). I'm instructed to scratch the circle on the card to reveal which of these awards I'll win, simply by ordering a useless, overpriced thingamajig. Invariably, my circle always reveals not only the top prize, but all three! What are the odds?
In addition, I have become a magnet for prestigious organizations one of which recently wrote, "Frankly, MS. MULA... "(yes, large bold capitals to make me feel important) "... you're the type of successful person we want as a member of our exclusive club ... " Me? Successful? What great news! Enclosed with the letter was a list of several annual earnings ranges. I was supposed to check the one that applied to me. None did. In fact, my lifetime earnings to date don't match any of the annual earnings choices. Apparently their computers had mistaken me for some other MS. MULA, one who actually is successful. Since I was too embarrassed to admit that — and since I did not want to "invest" a thousand dollars to cover the admission dues, I declined the invitation to join their select society.
They must be devastated. I would have added a ton of class to the organization because last week I received a postcard from the principality of Hutt River Province in the South Seas notifying me that I have been nominated for a Royal Award. It seems that their search through the Mula family tree found noble blood indicating that I have "High Principles." The note promised me the same fame and fortune enjoyed by others who have received this Royal Award. Furthermore, His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, Prince Kevin, would personally approve my Award. Give me a break.
In order to claim this honor (of "incalculable value," they assured me), all I had to do was sign an Oath of Confirmation and return it, along with a statutory investiture fee of $10. A bargain, right? Unfortunately, there was a catch. The Oath affirmed that I would not misuse or abuse the power and influence of my new Royal Award. Alas, since I truly do have High Principles, I could not in good conscience sign such an affirmation. After all, unaccustomed as I am to power and influence, how could I be sure it would not all go to my head and that in the time it would take to say "Prince Kevin" I would be misusing and abusing my power and influence all over the place. I regretfully tore up my nomination.
Besides, I wouldn't have time to perform my Royal duties. I'll be too busy pursuing my email request from a high-ranking official in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation who begged for my help since he had somehow learned (maybe from Prince Kevin?) that I am a reputable individual. He asked permission to secretly deposit into my bank account fifty million dollars that the Nigerian government overpaid on a procurement contract. He is seeking a foreign haven in which to hide the money rather than returning it to the government. (Obviously his own principles are a bit questionable.) If I assist in this transfer by divulging my bank account information, he will pay me a commission of 30%, or fifteen million dollars. Since that sum would just about cover the cost of some periodontal work I need, I am sorely tempted. However, the plan requires me to travel to Nigeria immediately to complete the transaction; and there's no way I can leave town right now. I have been practically assured that I'm a winner of a fifty million dollar lottery I entered (for a mere ten dollars), but I have to be here to claim the prize in person.
Maybe you can help out the Nigerian. May I give him your bank account number?
Editor's Note: Rose Mula's most recent book, The Beautiful People and Other Aggravations, is now available at your favorite bookstore, through Amazon.com and other online bookstores, and through Pelican Publishing (800-843-1724), as is her previous book, If These Are Laugh Lines, I'm Having Way Too Much Fun.