Wednesday, November 21, 2012


  I took three days off this week and along with having Thanksgiving and the day after off this will be my second week off this year. My last week off was spent in New Jersey but this week I have nowhere to go and nothing to do but relax and take lots of walks with Baxter and Daisy for beef stick treats.

A winning scatch off ticket led to a midweek trip to Clemons Chevrolet in beautiful southern Marshalltown...

  This vacation came at a great time for another reason. Last week in the mail, I received a notice from the local Clemons Chevrolet dealer that I may have won a prize. All I had to do was to scratch the number off the ad and if it matched, I would definitely win one of the prizes. I scratched the number off and what do you know, the numbers matched and I was a WINNER!! All I had to do was go to the dealership and pick up my prize and since I had the week off I didn’t even have to spend any of my weekend to do it.

  Now that Clemons Chevrolet of Marshalltown, Iowa had certified me as a WINNER, it was time to find out what I’d won. According to the large print on the ad, I could have won $10,000 in cash (or a used car), a Wal-Mart gift card worth from $5 to $2500 dollars, a new iPhone, or a $100 Visa gift card. Then I looked at the smaller print. There were 45 thousand prizes in total, 44,996 $5 dollar Wal-Mart gift cards and one each of the $10,000(or used car), $2500 Wal-Mart gift card, iPhone, or $100 Visa gift card. Long odds, but somebody had to win the ten grand, so why not me? I had until Tuesday to pick up my prize and decided so I decided that would be the day I’d get it.

...but not before a side trip for Broaster chicken at Haley's grocery!

  I decided to have an early celebration of my being declared a WINNER so after taking Daisy and Baxter to the Kum & Go for beef stick treats, Kathy and I stopped at Haley’s to pick up a ten piece pack of broaster chicken. It may have been luck or the people at Haley’s knew I was coming, but as soon as I came to the deli counter, there was a giant bowl of fresh broaster chicken waiting for me. The deli lady put 10 pieces in a box, I paid my 11.74 at the counter, and had no trouble getting Daisy and Baxter to hurry home and help me eat some broaster chicken. I got home and checked out the chicken.Would I get a mutant chicken that was all wings and legs or a complete chicken with 2 wings, legs, thighs, and breasts in addition to the two bonus pieces? . The answer was somewhere in between: 3 legs, 3 wings, 3 thighs, and 1 breast. Obviously a genetically modified chicken bred to be a track star. I can say that the chicken may not have been Olympic quality on the track, but on my dinner plate it was worthy of a gold medal.

Gary from Georgia on the left, Gonzalo the car salesman on the right.

  After days of anticipation, Tuesday finally came and I was on my way to Clemons Chevrolet to pick up my prize. I was greeted by Gary from Georgia. Gary took my name, address, and phone number. He also asked me if I wanted to buy a car today. I said I might be interested depending on what kind of prize I won. Gary told me that I won the $5 Wal-Mart gift card, but that I was very, very close to the number that was the $10,000 winner. The winning numbers were on a poster in the dealership and Gary told me that I probably lived only a few blocks from the grand prize winner.

  After taking my information, Gary walked me to the used car lot and left me there to wander around while he got my $5 Wal-Mart gift card. While I was looking at the cars, a man came up to me and asked if he could help me with a car. His name was Gonzalo and he was the car salesman. Gonzalo tried to sell me a new car but lost some interest when I asked him for the cheapest new car he had. The cheapest car on the lot was a $16,600 car called the Sonic. I told him I wasn’t interested in a $16,600 car and tried to see if we could cut some costs. I asked Gonzalo if I could get the Sonic with a stick shift and he showed me one that cost $16,800. Gonzalo told me how nice the Sonic was and that it had cruise control, power locks, and power windows. I asked Gonzalo if I could get a car without all that stuff and he said that those features were standard on Chevrolet cars. I then asked Gonzalo if the car had air conditioning and he told me that it did so I asked if he had any cars on the lot without air conditioning. Then Gonzalo told me that air conditioning was a standard feature on Chevrolet cars.

  At this point I realized that the Chevrolet brand had passed me by and was starting to get depressed, but then Gary came by with my $5 Wal-Mart gift card. This brightened my spirits and I said good bye to Gonzalo, Gary, and Clemons Chevrolet and headed home.

If you only have a $1 Wal-Mart gift card, I hope you like sugar and water.

  Last night, Kathy and I went to the Wal-Mart to spend my $5 gift card. I walked all around the store trying to decide what to get. I’ve been buying coconut juice with pulp at the local Asian Grocery store lately so I thought I might get a few cans, but to my dismay the Wal-Mart only carries flavored coconut water and no coconut juice.

  At the Wal-Mart, most items that aren’t food cost more than five dollars, so after a quick pass through the store, I concentrated my shopping search in the food department. Even a little brick of Velveeta cost more than five dollars. I was going to get a half gallon quart and a half of ice cream but Kathy said we already had some at home so I settled on getting a pound of frozen berries to go along with my ice cream. I had a little more than a dollar left so I got 3 tangerines. We got to the register and the total was $5.32. I used my gift card (which I was happy to see worked), fished the 32 cents from my pocket and we were on my way.

A $5 dollar gift card doesn't go as far as it used to. If you want some Velveeta you'll need at least a $6 gift card. If someone on your Christmas wants to get themselves 'Buty Pant' a $10 gift-card won't do the trick.

  It was good to be a WINNER for a change. The berries and ice cream will taste great on Thanksgiving if I can hold out that long. I would rather have won the 200 MILLION dollar Powerball jackpot, but we all have to start somewhere.

What WINNING looks like!