I fill out every contest form I can find.
I’m talking about the little index-card-size forms you see in magazines, at grocery store checkout stands, in gyms, at hotels, etc. You enter for a chance to win a vacation, a car, spa treatments, money, etc.
Of course, no one ever wins these contests. The only reason companies have you fill them out at all is so that they can put you on a junk mailing list that you will then stay on until long after you are dead.
You may say to yourself, why would somebody who hates all contact with the outside world do something like that? That’s where I should mention the following:
It’s not my name and address I’m filling in on those little cards.
It’s my cousin Louis’.
I don’t know when I started this quaint little Louis tradition, but I know it goes back a number of years. At least a dozen. And now that I’ve gotten the ball rolling like that, I think it would be wrong of me to stop. I feel pangs of guilt if I walk past one of those forms without putting Louis’ name on it.
The cards often ask for information regarding your income and career. I always give Louis the highest income possible, as I think this increases his odds of getting more junk mail. That’s always the goal. If it’s a contest in a hunting magazine, and they ask how often you hunt, Louis hunts every day of the year.
Louis has tried to win trips from Sweden to Thailand to Nova Scotia. Boy, has he tried. He’s tried to win living room furnishings, a date with Pamela Anderson, a trip to the Oscars, a boatload of DVDs, soda for life, pedicures, boats, weightlifting sets, encyclopedias, tropical fish and spa treatments. I can’t even count the number of trucks he’s tried to win.
And as far as I know, poor Louis has only won one thing.
A mailbox he can no longer close.
I know I should stop. But I can’t. I do not want to cut myself off from the joy I get from thinking of Louis’ face every time he gets to his mailbox and sees he signed himself up for another hunting and fishing catalog.
I’ve also never told Louis I do it. But I plan to one day.
That day will be when Louis calls me to tell me he’s won a vacation to Hawaii in a contest he didn’t even enter. And I will tell him for only one reason: He will owe me half of that prize.
Hey. I did all the work.