My ship may be coming in soon

Published 7:04 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You’ve heard the saying, “My ship is just about to come in.”

It’s a hint that something good, many times financial, is right around the corner. I’m getting some very strong vibrations that my ship may be coming in soon.

In the past, my ship coming in might have been like that Carnival cruise ship named the Splendor. Yeah, my ship’s a-coming in all right, but it’s going to have to be tugged in by other boats, limping to the dock. As the saying goes, if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

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Really, I’m just joking because I have lived a life of many blessings and my ship, so to speak, has come in pretty regularly.

It’s just that a few months ago, I began getting these very positive letters from the Publishers Clearing House. They didn’t actually guarantee me a lifetime Life of Riley, but they came pretty close. It made me take a keen interest in Washington’s decision to extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest of Americans.

Currently, Donna Sue and I are not in the top 3 percent of the American population that brings in over $250,000 each year. I’m sure that is not surprise to any of you. However, when this ship of mine that may, and I emphasize “may,” come in, we could be.

What interested me most was that this Publishers Clearing House letter knew my house address and ZIP code. It seems that they had chosen my name, my ZIP code, and, even my home address, for inclusion in their latest prize offering.

The letter was very specific up to a point. It said and I quote, “We are pleased to inform you that the Lynn Roberts (that’s me) Prize Number has been added to the Winner Selection List.” That’s pretty specific, wouldn’t you agree?

What would I win? Right off the bat a cool million dollars! Then, as if that was not enough, I would get $5,000 a week for the rest of my life. Happy days are here again.

I appreciated the honesty of the people. They advised me that this list is provisional only. What does that mean? It was temporary, dependent upon my acceptance. I needed to act immediately. No problem.

I began to look through all the little, colorful pamphlets that had accompanied the letter. It looked as if they wanted me to order something. Ah-hah! There’s the catch. This was nothing but a come-on. It had looked so convincing and, then, I saw this fine print. “Whether you order anything, or not, will have no bearing on your chances of winning.” Good.

The most important thing I had to do was to respond on a timely basis. If I did not send in my official reply form, my precious number and opportunity would be gone forever. That was scary, so I sat down immediately and tried to find every sticker in all that mumbo-jumbo that I had received and put it exactly where it was supposed to go.

I did all of that and felt quite proud of myself. I could have asked Donna Sue to check my work, but I decided against that. It would be so much more exciting to let her answer the door bell when the Prize Patrol came by in just a few weeks.

That was just the first letter. I have received more confirmation that my ship is sailing. For instance, a few weeks later, I received another bit of correspondence. This time, there was an announcement that the Prize Patrol had the directions to my house. They had used the Internet site Mapquest to derive the most accurate way of arriving at 1209 Loblolly Lane.

Not only had they gone to the trouble to write down and record my house address they told me that someone with the initials LR would be a winner. I know that I am jumping to a conclusion, but what would you think?

A winner will be in my ZIP code. That winner will have the initials LR. They have directions to my house. Wouldn’t you be excited?

I had to respond again or else I would lose my eligibility. This letter included a spiffy, shiny, silver label that really looked authentic. Any company that would go to all that trouble to print my specific Prize Number on such an expensive label must be serious about putting me on Park Avenue.

They reminded me that I had not ordered anything the last time and sort of begged me to choose something this time. I could even have it with nothing to pay. They would bill me later, but only if I really liked it. Once again, I saw that my odds of winning did not depend on ordering anything, so I stuck on the label that read “not this time.”

I haven’t won yet, but I’m getting closer to the date when I will. In fact, I just got another letter from Publishers Clearing House (PCH) and this time they have even upped the prize. The initial prize is still a million. But, after that grand prize, PCH has been authorized to issue someone whose initials are LR (I can’t think of anyone else with those initials) $10,243.99 per day for an entire year!

The letter asks me, “Can you picture the excitement of opening your mailbox to find a $10,243.99 prize check every day for an entire year?”

I can’t. About the only thing more exciting would be if Ed McMahon, who’s been dead for over a year, knocked on my door one day and surprised me with a million dollar check!