Yeah, yeah, I’m alive, and working on that Macy’s Review. It’s long, it’ll take a while. Meantime, get a load of this here that. Last night, as has been tradition since I was a child, we hit this Christmas fair at a local church. There’s never anything good there, but I have to go. Tradition, see. They’ve been hocking the same gross cupcakes since before I was confirmed, and their white elephant table (like a yard sale of donated crap) is always out of the good stuff by the time I get there, but whatever, if I can kill an hour in God’s house watching all the kids beg their parents to buy them that one bunny from the pet table that’s always present for no apparent reason, that’s good enough for me.
The biggest aspect of the fair? Raffles. They get all of the neighborhood folk and schools to donate various baskets full of gifts, toys, doodads and whatnot, and all visitors find themselves sucked into buying multiple tickets for them. The larger raffles were for 400 dollar TRU gift certificates, a six foot stocking packed with toys and games, DVD/VCR/TV combos, game systems and so on. The rest of the raffles weren’t crappy, either — I had my eye on a wicker basket full of really strange DVDs that I couldn’t believe made their way into the place I usually see babies baptized at, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I wanted a whole lot of stuff, and I bought a whole lot of tickets.
No, I mean, A LOT of tickets. To put things into perspective, I found myself to be such a compulsive gambler that, even after casinos in Atlantic City were throwing hundreds of comp dollars, free rooms and meals and all that other shit my way, I couldn’t bring myself to go back in fear of what I’d do to my bank account. I’m really, really bad with this kind of stuff, and the amount of raffle tickets I bought last night is too embarrassingly high to admit. Point is, I totally should’ve won everything I went in on. But there was one little catch…
The especially large prizes were raffled off singularly, and no, I didn’t win any of those despite having more tickets in those jars with my name on them that the total sum of tickets without my name on them. The smaller baskets, which were still generally filled with awesome stuff and very, very numerous, were raffled off in groups. So, like that basket full of DVDs I wanted? That was one of five baskets in “Group U.” At the end of the night, they pull five names out of the “Group U” coffee can, and the prizes are assigned in accordance with whomever they pick first. It’s kind of a crapshoot — your chances of winning something are in theory increased, but your chances of winning what you’re actually trying for are criminally decreased. Still, with the amount I spent, I just wanted to win something, anything.
And, I did. Since you write your name on phone number on each ticket you enter, there’s no reason to stick around for the five-hour drawing ceremony at night. We headed home, and sure enough, I get a call an hour or so later. “Hello, is this Matt? Your name was drawn for basket ‘U2.’ Please pick it up tonight if possible.” Obviously, we zoomed back over there salivating at the opportunity to fetch this esteemed major award. I couldn’t remember the basket titles, of course, and had no idea what wonderful gifts “U2” would bring. But it was a prize. My prize.
Click “more” to see the contents of Church Christmas Fair Raffle Prize Basket #U2.
Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.
“U2” was easily the most laughable raffle prize of the bunch. I was embarrassed just carrying the thing out of the church. I still can’t believe someone put this hideous basket together and thought there might be a person on the planet, much less in our city, who would get a kick out of it. Don’t let the brouhaha and pretty ribbons fool you — this is complete and utter crap. A breakdown:
Two plastic coffee cups. Stains indicate: two plastic used coffee cups.
A box of various cocoa mixes. Ah! Now the used coffee cups make sense. They’re cocoa cups! Yahoo!
Even the bargain bin won’t touch these books. “Cosbyology?” What kind of a sick joke is this? Cocoa, plastic cups and Cosbyology? The other books are similarly obsolete and/or completely worthless, but as a concession, they were sure to add in a “Smile! God Loves You!” bookmark.
Believe what you hear about organized religion, folks.