2008.07.30 Has anybody seen the Prize Patrol Van?

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

It seems like almost every day lately, I’ve “won” some sort of contest. I answered the phone Sunday night, and was told I’d won a membership to the YMCA in a neighboring county.

The caller made it sound like it was a really special prize. She was supposedly calling local people, and the first one to answer their phone would be declared the winner. Unfortunately, I could hear about a dozen or so people talking in the background, probably all reading the same script. I wonder how many “winners” they actually ended up with?

Besides, about a year ago, I’d gotten an almost identical call from a health club in Wauseon. I was the lucky “winner” then, too. Do you suppose both places hired the same company to do their telemarketing? I was tempted to tell the latest caller that the last company to make me that offer went out of business, but I just passed on the opportunity and let her move on to the next lucky phone owner.

I also have been getting a huge number of emails announcing I’ve won some foreign lottery I’ve never heard of. Does anyone fall for these anymore? But why bother with overseas lottery scams when it looks like I’ve won at least $10,000,000 in the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes?

I usually ignore the PCH letters because you have to search through all their stamps and slips of paper to figure out and find what you need to enter the contest. But this one had a different twist.

It seems that the PCH people had already done at least some homework in preparation of bringing me my prize. 

They plan to alert television stations 13 and 24 in Toledo (apparently 11 and 36 are going to miss out on this story).

You always see someone in those “Prize Patrol” advertisements with a big bunch of flowers. My prize arrangements list says that flowers will be provided by the Village Florist. It’s nice that they’re hiring someone local.

Unfortunately, the Prize Patrol plans to stay at a motel in Wauseon. Obviously, PCH is unaware that Fayette has three fine bed-and-breakfast establishments to choose from, one of them just a few blocks south of my apartment. Maybe I can get Don or Jane Stiriz to call and convince them to change their reservations.

PCH also plans to go out of town for their “local gas station” choice. If anyone in Morenci happens to see the Prize Patrol van, it’ll be on its way to the Shell station for some gas. Since they’re going to be there anyway, maybe I can ask them to have Karma or Tanya make me a BLT. Once they arrive in Fayette, I’ll be too busy talking to the media to make something myself.

The biggest problem might be the fact that the sweepstakes entry is addressed to my post office box. Do you suppose the Prize Patrol will just hang out in the post office lobby until I show up to get my mail?

One of the many pieces of paper in the entry was a note from PCH Executive Director Dave Sayer, who asked, “Will you soon see me driving the PCH Prize Patrol Van in Fayette looking for your place?” Actually, I’m afraid that’s exactly what will happen, unless Rick Davis gets tired of them loitering around the post office and gives them directions to the apartment.

I know what you’re probably thinking—what makes me so sure I’m going to win the sweepstakes? I really didn’t until I saw the pictures of the previous PCH big prize winners. Their first names all seemed to be typos with winners named “Martan,” “Erelene,” and “Clemmie,” just to name three.

Somehow, PCH managed to mangle my own first name, spelling it “Ricahrd” on the envelope and in every reference to me in the letter and sweepstakes materials. I’m hoping they will pick me to continue their streak of winners with weird first names. How would you pronounce “Ricahrd,” anyway?

Perhaps I’d better warn postmaster Davis about the spelling discrepancy. But he did manage to deliver the letter in the first place, so I suppose it shouldn’t be a problem. But to avoid any trouble at the bank, maybe I should have PCH make out the check to “cash.”

Anyway, the winner is going to be announced on national television on August 27th. Either I’m going to be a multi-millionaire, or I’m going to be sorry I turned down that free YMCA membership.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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