Recently, at least twice a month it seems I get a letter that has on the
envelope in thick block letters, "URGENT! - OPEN IMMEDIATELY!" So I rip the
envelope open and read . . .
"MR. THOMAS HALL of _____________,
if you’re standing up, you may want to sit down
because you may just have won $10,000,000,000."
Last count, I had won six Mazda Miatas, three Caribbean cruises, one
in-ground swimming pool, $14,000,000 (to be paid in $1,000 monthly allotments
for the rest of my life) and a lifetime supply of cat food. These letters are
personal, too. They actually know my name and its spelled correctly in
bold-faced, capital letters. And it sounds so official. "Mr. Hall,
congratulations! You have made it into the final sweepstakes drawing for
$1,000,000,000! Yes, Mr. Hall, this may be your lucky day! And then comes the
"imagine-with-me type questions: "Have you ever wondered how you would spend
that kind of money?" Must be something to this because as I scan the page I see
color photos of boats, motorhomes, cape cods, beaches, and pictures of smiling
winners--one from Cincinnati, another from New Mexico, and would you believe it,
one even from my town!
Yet, sadly, nothing has arrived on my door step except the magazines to which
I subscribed in order to enhance my chances of winning. Scam artists who know
the legal loop holes are pretty slick.
A couple of summers ago, my wife’s father and his wife from Montana were
visiting us eastern seaboarders and so we spent one day in New York City. There,
during a traffic jam, our Montana couple came upon the buy of a lifetime.
Someone on the corner was selling an expensive CD/Radio boom box that retailed
for over $250.00 in their home town in Montana, but at streetside in NYC is was
going for only $70.00. Such a buy! Back at our home they opened their treasure.
What had they paid seventy bucks to buy? Why, three of the nicest red bricks
you’d ever want to see wrapped in a New York Times and stuffed inside a boom box
package! Montanans are so trusting.
I'm sure you could tell me of your own experiences of being swindled. Your
used car flat lines four days after the ninety day warranty runs out. Your
timeshare dream turns into a nightmare. That pocket trumpet you won on Ebay
can’t even stay in tune with itself
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