At 12:30 p.m. Wednesday my desk phone rang.
The caller I.D. said, “Private.”
I picked up the phone and the foreign caller with a thick accent said I won $7 million in the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes!
And, get this, I also won a brand new Mercedes Benz!
“I didn’t enter any Publisher’s Clearing House contest,” I said, and hung up.
He called me back!
“What’s wrong with you, Shelley?” he said.
“I didn’t enter any contest,” I said, again.
He challenged my memory, insisting I did.
I may be befuddled but I know I didn’t enter any contests.
“Why are you calling me at work?” I said. “If I did enter a contest, I wouldn’t put my work phone as the contact number.”
He insisted I did.
“So when are you going to deliver my new Mercedes?” I said, deciding to play along.
“Tomorrow at 8 a.m.,” he said.
“I’ll be there, waiting,” I said.
But he didn’t know my address or home phone number.
“Doesn’t the Prize Patrol surprise winners at their front doors with balloons and TV cameras?” I said. “That’s what I’ve seen on TV. What happened to the Prize Patrol?”
He ignored me and started demanding I give him my address and phone number. I repeatedly refused, so he hung up on me.
Darn! I already had big plans for all that cash.
My first purchase would be a home in Hawaii, overlooking the ocean.
Then I think I’ll travel to Europe, maybe buying a third home in Italy.
Handsome Son loves southern Spain, so I might spend a month or two there.
Come to think of it, I might spend a month or two with Handsome Son and Lovely Daughter-in-law in Copenhagen! I know they would be thrilled to have me. Don’t you think?
Dear Daughter and I could go on that around-the-world cruise we often dream about. Think of it — a whole year without having to do anything for ourselves, visiting foreign ports, lounging by the pool and getting pampered in the spa.
After all, the sky is the limit when you win $7 million.
Of course, I’d give some money to charities.
My home church in Vero Beach, Florida, where my children grew up, would get a chunk of cash. Maybe they could install reclining seats with the money.
I would give money to the Animal Protective League, the Humane Society and all the local cat rescue groups so our furry friends can await new homes in luxury.
I wouldn’t forget my own sweet pups — Darwin, the one-eyed Jack Russell terrier, and Britney, the squirrel-crazy border collie. I would buy them luxury dog beds, regular visits to the doggy spa and a subscription to Dog TV.
As for my Mercedes, I would drive it all around Jefferson and Ashtabula showing it off to all my family and friends. When the novelty wore off, I would trade it in for a red sports car.
Of course, I would buy Delightful Granddaughter a sporty new car, pay for her to go to the Cleveland Institute of Art and whatever else her little heart desires.
I would have a swimming pool installed in my back yard before next summer. Then I would hire the Beach Boys, or what’s left of them, to play at my first pool party.
I would hire Bobby Sherman to sing at my next birthday party. I don’t care if he’s 78 years old. He’s still my teen idol.
Of course, I would buy season tickets to see the Cleveland Browns play — and not just any seats, but rather, the best seats in the house. I would look up Bernie Kosar, too. Why not?
I’m sure I would eat crab, lobster and steak more often. I might hire a personal chef, just like Oprah!
Last but not least, I would buy my own personal Dairy Queen, so I could enjoy ice cream treats year round.
What about Hubby, you ask?
He could quit his job, buy all new camouflage clothing, a brand new truck and finally take his dream vacation — an Alaskan hunting trip for moose and bear.
Let’s all hope the bear doesn’t first get Hubby!
Staff writer Shelley Terry reminds faithful readers that Publishers Clearing House does not notify big winners by telephone, email or bulk mail. It was a scam, so she’s left to dream of endless ice-cream treats, luxury vacations, Bobby Sherman and Hubby bringing home more dead animals.