My son won the world’s lamest lucky dip prize today. Unfortunately for him he seems to have already inherited his parents’ stupendously poor fortune at games of luck and skill.
We were at the local fete today and Mr Zilla took Mr 3.5 over for his first ever Lucky Dip, a big box full of newspaper-wrapped, gender-specific prizes. Once he explained the concept to my son his eyes lit up and he couldn’t wait to thrust his greedy little paw into the pile of packages. He pulled one out and tore straight into it with glee, all four of us keen to see what mystery prize he had won.
Watching his expression change from extreme excitement to a poignant combination of extreme bewilderment and complete disappointment after he ripped the wrapping off his prize was priceless though, I have to admit.
This is what he “won”:
1. A flimsy foam glider with detachable plastic tip at optimal size for oesophageal lodgement in toddlers, which we know because we had to fish it out of my 16 month old’s mouth earlier tonight. It glides as gracefully as a duck that has been shot in mid-air, which is to say that it doesn’t glide at all. It just falls out of the sky. Abruptly.
2. A blue rubber band in the shape of what I think is supposed to be a bear. Or a cow. Or a marsupial foetus. Whatever the hell it is, it’s a rubber band. A. rubber. band.
Practical value: nil.
Entertainment value: nil.
Aesthetic value: nil.
3. NFI what this bizarre object even is. Orange round plastic thing threaded on a string with two yellow round plastic things on each end. Possibly some kind of sex toy. Or part of an airplane life jacket.
Between us, Mr Zilla and I have never really won anything in our lives. Whenever I enter any kind of raffle or buy any kind of competition tickets I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that I’ve just swapped cold hard cash for a palm-sized piece of paper with zero potential for conversion to money, goods or services.
Except for that one time.
That one time we WON.
We not only WON, we won FIRST PRIZE in the Carols by Candlelight raffle last year!
I got a very unexpected phone call from the organisers of the competition, who promised to drop round our prize the next day. In my shock and excitement I rather stupidly failed to ask what the prize actually was. Mr Zilla was the one who purchased the tickets and he had no idea what any of the prizes were either, given our policy of total Zen acceptance that we never win these things anyway so it simply doesn’t matter, because those details are only relevant to the kind of people who possess the good fortune to actually win them.
This was unprecedented. I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep that night, my mind racing in anticipation of what we had won. Cash? Vouchers? A holiday? An OVERSEAS holiday? Expensive consumer gadgets? White goods? A big-ass hamper full of chocolate? Or wine? Whatever it was, it HAD to be good.
I have to admit that the excitement of winning had made me giddy. First prize! With euphoric visions of plasma TVs and iPads dancing in my head, imagine that excitement turned to disappointment when we realised that we had in fact won the LAMEST 1st PRIZE EVER in the history of raffles: a random selection of outdated toiletries from the local chemist – including shampoo and hair gel for my BALD husband – a vibrating razor, a box of soap and a 2-piece wooden owl puzzle.
I reckon my face probably looked a lot like my son’s did today when he unwrapped his lucky dip. We clearly only won because we were one of the tiny handful of people benevolent or stupid enough to enter a raffle with such a monumentally abysmal selection of prizes.
I often wonder what second prize in that raffle was, and who it was that won it.
They must have even worse luck than we do.