Did you ever do something that you knew was stupid, but you did it anyway?
Yep, that's me. I entered the Publishers Clearing House contest to win $1,000 A WEEK FOR LIFE!!!
Now my mail box is jam-packed with e-mails promising me excitement and major prizes. Look at these subject lines:
"HIGHEST LEVEL OF URGENCY!"
"FLAGGED COMMUNICATION re: your final step…"
"Elaine, we recommend IMMEDIATE action."
You don't just enter a PCH contest. It requires more attention than a nest of hungry baby birds.
I get e-mails like these:
"WINNERS FILE ALERT: Approved by D. Holland for 8/31 Prize Event!"
"About our upcoming delivery . . . " told me what route the Prize Patrol would take to my house and what florist they would stop at to buy my winning bouquet on August 31.
Publishers Clearing House makes it very clear: "No purchase or fee necessary to enter. A purchase won't improve an individual's chance of winning."
But in order to enter and re-enter and enter again, I have to wade through thickets of what I call Grandma Gadgets. That's because I can imagine my Grandma -– and women like her -– buying them. Sweet women who enjoy cooking for their families, keeping their homes spotless and their gardens perfect.
Thanks to PCH, I'm offered deep discounts on Butter Applicators.
I can get TWO indoor-outdoor thermometers.
I can clean hard-to-reach places with odd dusting gadgets.
And after all that work, I can buy support wraps for my aching wrists, arms and knees.
After a few days, I became addicted to these emails. PCH promised, "Our Customers Mean Everything to Us!" But still I resisted the siren song of the Hutzler Pot Lid Holder & Utensil Rest.
I refused to Unleash the Cleaning Power of Enzymes! With EZR Drain Cleaner. Even the Heavy-Duty Hedge Shears Plus Free Pruner didn't tempt me.
I breezed on by and entered the contest, never buying.
Sometimes I got a pat on the back: "Nice job this week, Elaine."
Why? Beats me.
This weekend, I felt overwhelmed and quit opening the PCH e-mails. I immediately got this disappointed email. "Elaine, your inactivity could really cost you!"
On Monday, with book deadlines looming and work piling up, I went back to looking through the PCH emails. I was welcomed back:
"Elaine, Approval Happened Quickly!"
"You’re SO Close to VIP Status, Elaine!"
"Elaine, we’re waiting to grant you VIP Access!"
"You Did It, Elaine -- Welcome to VIP Status!"
Yes, folks, now I can win $1,000 a day for LIFE! Why, that's enough to buy the Clorox Scrubtastic Power Scrubber with all three brush heads.
And a maid to use it.
Win the new e-book version of Murder with Reservations, my sixth Dead-End Job mystery, set at a hotel. Helen Hawthorne's co-worker winds up dead in a Dumpster, and Helen's awful ex shows up at the hotel. If Helen doesn't find who killed her colleague and shake off her ex-husband, it could be checkout time for her. Go to www.elaineviets.com and click Contests.