It took me a minute to realize my cell phone was ringing. I was enthusiastically crunching the results of some market research I’d been working on, turning them into pretty pie charts and listening to the story they tell about the great big world out there. And it is a fascinating story, full of twists and turns, heroes and villains.
I reached into my purse, feeling around until I found my phone. The screen showed an unfamiliar number with a single word beneath: Nevada. I admit, as I swiped the screen to accept the call, the motto “What happens in Vegas…” flashed through my mind.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hi there,” replied a distinctly American voice. “Can I please speak to Nicky the Cheese Lady?”
“This is she, in all her cheesy glory,” I answered.
“Hi Nicky, my name is Sherry, how are you today?” she asked.
“Awesome. My pie charts are confirming that the full value of the functionally branded product only exists within a population characterized by a discriminating knowledge of the brand, enabling an evaluation against competing alternatives. Obviously. How ‘bout you?” was my rejoinder.
“Um… uh, good. So, uh… Nicky, you were in Las Vegas last year, right? Do you remember filling in a contest form when you visited the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, as seen in the A&E television series Pawn Stars?” she queried.
“Well, of course I remember! What do you mean, do I remember? It was a Sunday morning, Shirley. It’s not like I was drunk…or that drunk. Do I strike you as the kind of person who would be so drunk on a Sunday morning that they wouldn’t remember filling in a contest form, Shirley? Because I can assure you, I am not such a person. No matter what you may hear to the contrary. Or what you may have seen on COPS. ” I replied, with only a touch of defensiveness.
“Er, it’s Sherry and um, no, that’s not what I… um, well, I’m calling you today because… I mean, it’s my pleasure to inform you that you won!” she said.
And then I said, “Shut up!”
And then she said, “Um…”
“No, not SHUT UP but shut up! I won something? Seriously? Whadiwin, whadiwin, Sharlene?” I badgered her.
“It’s Sherry and we’d like to give you a $150 dining voucher, $100 in gambling credits, 3 days and 2 nights in a hotel on the strip, two tickets to one of the hottest shows in Vegas right now and finally, two VIP passes for a private tour of the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop that includes meeting the stars of the show.” She said, almost managing to keep her annoyance in check.
“Wow! That’s amazing,” I gushed. “You know, Sheryl, I was a little worried this was a scam when you told me I won a contest. A contest I entered in the parking lot across the street from a pawn shop. I’m sure you can understand my concern. I thought for sure you’d hit me up for money.”
And then I said, “Sheryl? Are you still there?”
And then she said, “Well, um… see… that is… I mean… um, we’ll need a deposit. You know, a security deposit. Of $199. Also, there’s um… a Travel Club seminar you would have to attend.” Her voice started to trail off, “But you’re under no obligation to purchase.”
Then it dropped to a whisper, “And it’s Sherry.”
“So I gotta pay $200 as a security deposit – security for what, I wonder – and I have to go to a ‘seminar’ where I’ll be pressured to buy into a time share for – what? – maybe a thousand bucks? Maybe two thousand. That’s quite the prize I’ve won.” I chided, “Do you see what I’m getting at, Cherry? If I have to pay for it, I didn’t win it. If I have to pay for it, that means I’m buying it. And I’m not buying it, Cherry.”
“Yeah, I get it,” she said sullenly.
And then I said, “You know, Sherry, you should really think about a new line of work. I highly recommend marketing research. Pie charts are fascinating.”
And then she didn’t say anything anymore.
Welcome to Day 24 of the Second Third Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing. Today’s prompt was And Then She Said and it was brought to you by the Queen of Crazy, ME!
Please click on the links below to visit the other people participating in this challenge. Statistically, they’re all potential winners.