April 24th, 2009

Charmed or Scammed?

The Cabbage Patch craze of the 1980s was far-reaching enough to even hit the tiny town I’m from, and oh, how Small Rebecca wanted one. This was not going to happen, however, as my parents refused to buy me an expensive cloth-bodied doll when, not knowing me very well (we’d only met 5 years prior, and hadn’t spoken much the first couple), they assumed I just drop it in the dirt or get juice on it.

They did, however, agree to front me a dollar so that I could enter a Cabbage Patch Kid raffle at the local fair (told you it’s a small town). “I’m going to win that doll,” I told my mother, and my mother, with adult logic, explained that that’s not how raffles work. You don’t win because you decide to, you just put your ticket in and see what happens, and mainly you don’t win.

But I did, and I named that doll Caroline Jane and I never ever got dirt on her because I loved her too much.

This, of course, taught me a terrible lesson about how raffles work.

Or, it would have if I didn’t continue to win raffles. I mean, not always, of course, but often. I’ve never won more than $7 in the lottery, or anything at Bingo or at a casino, but raffles are a sport at which I excel (I know it’s not a sport). Throughout my career (I know it’s not a career), I have received from the raffle gods:
–assorted Gund animals
–a My-Little-Pony salon
–trucker caps (more than one; not all at the same time)
–fish and chips
–gift certificate to online bookstore (I bought this)
–gift certificate to actual bookstore (I bought this, among other things)
–several dinners in fancy (and not so fancy) restaurants
–floral arrangements
that poem on Tuesday
–a used Mac 8600

I have come to accept that one of the many good things in my life is that I win a lot of raffles. What a strange little blessing! But anyway, this makes me oddly vulnerable to scams, as when the gentleman allegedly from [redacted reputable hotel chain] calls me at eight in the morning to ask if I remember entering the hotel’s raffle over the winter holidays? Because, well, he reassurred me that I might not it was a long time ago (I don’t), but it turns out I’ve won one of five great prizes (then follows detailed and confusing description of trips and appliances it would, admittedly, be nice to receive).

All I have to do is journey to Woodbridge to “draw by my own hand” (sounds ominous) which one of the prizes I will receive.

My ostensible reason for not doing this is because the TTC doesn’t go to Woodbridge, and therefore neither do I. The fellow on the phone was incredulous that I would pass up such an opportunity for logistical reasons–surely I could take a cab or find an automotive friend–but I held firm. In truth, I have a taxi phobia (what was I just saying about the TMI posts? oh well) and I try to never ask anyone for a ride, as I am saving all my potential vehicular favours for the day I finally trip and break something while running for the bus and have to be driven everywhere for six weeks.

The other reason I said no is because it sounded like a giant scam, one that could possibly lead to me never returning from Woodbridge.

But it is? A little part of my wonders if I really did just miss an all-expensives-paid trip to South Carolina for myself and a “partner”… It’s too late to take anything back, but do you think any of this could be possible? Because really, I am a person who wins a lot of raffles.

And the eyes were / a colour I can’t remember

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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