Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Isn’t it weird that, in spite of so much screeching from our television sets urging us to buy this or that and go in the draw to win some amazing prize, we never hear of anyone winning anything?  Is selling stuff so difficult that they have to bribe us to buy? Wouldn’t you think that there would be trumpetings as each winner was handed a year’s supply of petrol vouchers, free house insulation or a new car?

There must be thousands of lucky people who have won prizes big and small just for buying something, signing up for something, or joining something. Imagine it: there could be a 24-hour TV channel solely devoted to the prize-giving ceremonies. Wonderful publicity, if you like that sort of thing. No, come to think of it, it wouldn’t.  It would be a colossal bore.

Such idle musings have arisen because I have here in my hand, addressed to me personally, a piece of paper from a mail order company assuring me that the enclosed ticket is guaranteed to be a winner. Yes! I have definitely won! It’s a promise! But wait, there’s more. I can’t have my prize. Nope. To get it, I would have to send an order to these people, and then they would decide which one of several prizes to send me.

I was content with my previous dealing with this particular company. I ordered, and received, several items that I needed – oh alright, fell for – and received the “prize” of a watch which, in spite of not being the $25,000 top prize which I really, really wanted, was acceptable. Indeed, I ended up wearing the watch all winter because my good one was stuck in summer time (long story, but it’s fixed now). So, it was a fair result and I had no complaint.*

The company is still trying to tempt me with catalogues though. In the latest one the top prize is $20,000 cash, which would be very nice, thank you – but I don’t rate my chances. The other prizes are of no interest, and I’m not falling for the hype. I’ve cottoned on to their cunning scheme. They are dangling glittering baubles in front of my eyes to tempt me into the never-ending, circular process of buying, and receiving a little something extra, but never getting my sticky paws on that magic pot of big money.  

But isn’t it weird that it’s OK to tell someone, by name and in writing, that she has won a prize but, essentially, that she can’t have it unless she buys more stuff?

* I blogged that story on 28 January and 14 February, 2014, for anyone who wants to wander back and have a look.

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