Thursday, February 07, 2008

Winning Ticket

Emmett won his first raffle last Friday. The prize: a laundry basket filled with cars and trucks, and puzzles and games of a related theme. It was a monster pick. The raffle was sponsored at Jackson's elementary school, so there was a swarm of hopeful kids in and outside the library when the principal called out Emmett's name.

I didn't expect to win anything because we had been through this drill twice before in years past. I was sitting in the cafeteria with a friend when a mother raced around the corner and hollered the winning news. Taking the prize basket and negotiating my way back to my seat, I felt like a scantily clad woman suddenly dropped in the midst of maximum security prisoners. Lifers. These kids, and their parents too, stared at me like I was a grade A prime cut of meat. Who am I kidding though? I had to refrain from sticking my tongue out and chanting nanny, nanny billy goat!

Suddenly Emmett was a celebrity. Every kid his age has a built-in urge to fit in and play with the older kids, and the older kids know it. Thank goodness I was there to supervise. There were some duplicate Matchbox cars that I allowed him to give away to one of Jackson's friends. Other kids I didn't even know were begging to "borrow" certain items, like a little Hot Wheelz scooter (if you can believe it). The kid's mother put the kibosh on that. It's hard to imagine a parent that wouldn't, but such do exist in shockingly large numbers, parents that can't bear to tell their little angel no.

The experience reminded me of the time when Jackson was Emmett's age. We were at Marine World in Vallejo, California. It was one of those low-probability games where you purchase a bucket of plastic rings and try to loop them over the top of a bottle. It seems easy at first because of the sheer size of the tightly packed grid of bottles. We had nearly gone through the entire bucket, and Jackson wanted to throw the last one. He over-handed it, a fast ball right down the middle, and it stuck as if he had thrown a dart. The prize was an enormous red Chihuahua dog, which I had to carry to the car in the parking lot far far away. Same thing, all the people staring and I thinking eat your heart out, as if this monstrosity I held aloft was the Holy Grail.

There is just something about winning a thing that makes it special. It's attached to the end of an inexhaustible string, a tether that leads across time to wherever and whenever you are.


Alan said...


What's that smell?

Is it ... by Jove, I do believe it's ...


Sweet Success. :-D

Make sure Emmett accepts no poseurs! Cast off the hangers-on trying to ride his coat tails! Take a good look, babies! This is what it's like to be a STAH!


Good on you and your boys, buddy!

Tee said...

LOL! I love these descriptions. I can image you carrying that big red Chihuahua toy out to the car, held on your shoulders like the Super Bowl trophy. Hee hee...

Congrats to Emmett. He must have been so thrilled.

Sarah Hina said...

Great post, Scott. And congrats to Emmett! You're right: it's a big deal to win something like this when you're young. Hell, when you're old, too.

Where's that Holy Grail today? ;)

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

This makes me think of the time I managed to clamp a five pound note wrapped around a block of wood in one of those vending machines squatting in a deserted airport departure lounge.

I whooped and punched the air to a chorus of stone wall silence from rank upon rank of empty metal chairs.

Scott said...

Alan, I definitely do that.

Tee - You know it!

Sarah - Funny thing, but when we moved from California to Massachusetts, it was just too big to justify bringing, so we have it to a friend who had just had a little girl. When I reminded Jackson of it after the raffle, he told me that he still misses it. My friend called me recently and asked if it was ok to give to a friend of hers, giving me the right of first refusal. What could I do so far away now?

Toast - I know just how you felt.

Jada's Gigi said...

How cool is that?!? It is fun to win things..we once won a HUGE California Raisin in Atlantic city..had to carry that monstrocity around all day...:)
How bout them Giants??? what a game!

Dixie Belle said...

Congrats to Emmett!!

Beth said...

Congrats to Emmett! I think that's wonderful news.

Kathleen said...

Woohoo!!! That's so cool. And how nice that the kid's mother stopped him from borrowing the scooter. You're so right that too many don't seem to know how to raise their children properly these days.

Toni Anderson said...

That's nice :)

I never win anything. Maybe I'll go for that a million a year for life lottery, and get the kids to pick the numbers :)

mr. schprock said...

So is he really using the Hot Wheelz scooter? Can I borrow it?

magnetbabe said...

Loved the description, you nailed how proud we are to win something we have absolutely no control over. Congrats to Emmett! Hope he enjoys his spoils!

Alan said...

Wishing you and your bride a Happy Valentine's Day, Scott. :-)