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I Might Already Be A Winner!
From The Desk Of Drumlin S Boulder
What I'd really like is the chance to prove that a sudden lots of money cannot make me happy, but sometimes you just have to pass on that. I just got a phone call from a Neumordan (he spelled each letter individually in his exuberant intro) deGrifter who told me with an excited tone in his voice "congratulations, you have won two million dollars. Isn't that wonderful! Now imagine all the things you can do with all that money"
I don't normally pick up the phone at night, but the call came in on our special night line, the first of six sequential phone numbers we owned, and known only to company employees and a few insiders, so I'd picked it up. I was catching up on some paperwork and I was expecting a call from Carrie Balance, our accountant, who'd gone home earlier in the evening. So I needed to pick it up.
First off, I have to tell you all I've never won anything big. Sure I've bought lottery tickets and won the odd few dollars here and there, but I never seem to be one of the lucky ones whose ticket gets drawn for anything big and grand. Even when I get a letter from those magazine clearing houses that tell me I could already be a winner, and they make me paste a number and a big gold seal on a postcard to return to them, somehow the prize patrol never gets to my house. Maybe its because I never send them any money or buy magazines. You got any idea?
I have won a golf tournament, but then only with the help of my buddy Geldmus who's a scratch golfer and Joe the animal eye doc and another scratch golfer, two great assets to any foursome determined to snatch a coveted annual cup away from those guys who'd been winning the last few years in a row. The fourth guy didn't show and I can't even remember his name. Kinda like a hole in my memory. Anyway the two of them won for the three of us foursome, and they graciously allowed me in the picture of three of us hoisting the Flintercorn Cup
So I know I'd remember entering a lottery I was supposed to have won. deGrifter mentioned the name of our local newspaper which also wants to be our national newspaper to try and add credibility but I continued to be suspicious. I really couldn't believe it was true. I guess its part of my nature. I'm always wary when something sounds too good to be true.
For example, I've never been
tempted by letters from the likes of poor Mboke Saloma, the child of a
former Nigerian general, politician, bureaucrat, presidential aide or
some other Salami who'd somehow managed to scam his government out of
millions of dollars and then promptly passed away. The son, daughter
wife, and friends of the recently whatever generally find my name via
the International Chamber of Commerce, embassy, or consulate, and just
know I'm an honest man can be relied upon to secretly move their
whatever's purloined millions out of Nigeria for a healthy commission.
No I've learned to be skeptical, because as much as it is true that there's a sucker born every minute, there are two born to take him.
So I'm also wary of new business opportunities. My favourite non starter involved the sale of breeding snails that promised fast profits. According to the company's sales literature, farming snails is the latest, fastest growing, and most financially rewarding businesses in the world that just anyone can do in their spare time or less. Supposed advantages are that snails breed easily and prolifically and they're easy to sell to neighbours, local restaurants, and to local garden supply centers. I guess too they don't need enclosures or pens because they don't get very far too fast. ... kind of like the business itself.
And though I consider myself a
pretty publicly spirited business owner, I'm always on guard when I get
a pitch to advertise in publications such as Area Snack Drug Abuse,
Child Safety And Shoe Dyeing Guide and Fire Prevention And Bad Painting
Review, especially because there's always someone who just happens to be
in the neighbourhood who can pick up a check right away.
False invoices too are a problem. Luckily Carrie Balance has trained her staff well and we always match invoices with purchase orders, and ensure someone has authorized the transaction.
We've also trained our staff not
to respond to phone calls and letters request us to call 900 or 809
numbers because both will cost you money. At least 900 numbers tell you
in very tiny print that the call will cost so many dollars per minute.
The 809 number is located in some dumbsinning republic and good luck
ever getting your money back or even lodging a complaint. The complaint
line is just as likely to be another 809 number and you rack up $25
dollars per minute being on hold for an hour.
And as much as it appealed to my vanity, I even ignored the letter from the International Who's Who of Holes who asked me to accept their congratulations for being chosen for the coveted honour of a listing in their publication. It was only going to cost me $250 US dollars, and I'd get a 20% discount on every copy I purchased. And they just knew how much I wanted to share this with all my friends and contacts, and if I purchased twenty copies at $30 a piece, I'd get a free handsome imitation leather bound copy for my own library.
Yes, I admit, I've become a pretty jaded, skeptical guy....but there was an off chance I was lucky this time, so I asked Mr deGrifter what I had to do to claim my lottery winnings.
All I had to do, he said, was pay for certain administrative prize distribution and currency exchange costs, which amounted to a measly $17,000. I should wire him the money via Western Union immediately, or the prize would be forfeit. I asked him if he could simply take the cost off my prize and send me the difference. He said they didn’t work that way and what was I waiting for. He called it a measly $17,000 against a $2,000,000 windfall.
I told Neumordan no more dumb deals and hung up to go back to work.
Now for every credibility gap there is a gullibility fill, which is why its a numbers game, so I was not surprised when five seconds later, the next number on our phone display lit up. Before the familiar voice finished spelling Neumordan I hit the disconnect button. I figured I already was a winner.
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