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But I never win anything!

I won a trip to England

I didn't know any other clever way of letting you know that, so I just blurted it out there. I suppose some sort of explanation is in order.

You may have noticed an over abundance of golf references here lately. Well, as you may read about in this entry, my brother-in-law Bill is somewhat addicted to golf. And after he took me out to play golf for my birthday, my interest in golf grew somewhat. And, as coincidence would have it, the British Open was on T.V. two weeks later. And, as further coincidence would have it, I was setting up a new computer for my wife that weekend. I know that fact doesn't seem related but all will be made clearer. Ordinarily, I would not be watching golf on T.V. but I was trying to figure out how one can actually swing at that little white ball and not look like a total tool. While I was updating Claudine's ISP information on her new computer, a commercial come on for the local news. At the very end of the commercial was a small tag with a voice over announcer saying "Enter the British Airways "Club-to-Club sweepstakes at "Hmm...", said I "I need to test the dial-up settings on this system and see if I can connect to the Web.... why not?". So with one click, the system dialed up and made a connection. Off I went to the web site. It was nothing special, just the local New York affiliate sight for ABC. I clicked the icon for the contest and filled out the form. I didn't really even pay attention to what the prize was. I just figured it was golf related. Maybe a set of new clubs. Besides, why pay attention to that, it wasn't like I was going to win or anything. I closed the browser and promptly forgot about it.

Four days later, I was in Rhode Island on business. Claudine called me on my cell phone. Something she rarely does.

Did you enter any contests lately?

Of course not

Well, some woman called here saying that you just won the Grand Prize for some contest. A trip to England. But she said that you had to speak to her today or the prize would go to someone else.

Sounds like some kind of scam...

That's what I said to her. I told here that you never told me about entering any contest. She said she was calling on behalf of British Airways or something.

(to myself):
Hmm... British Airways... that's a coincidence. That's the second time this week I've heard something about British Airways.

She left her number if you want to bother checking it out.

(slowly starting to put thing together):
...Ya know... I think I may have entered a British Airways contest. WAIT A MINUTE, I DID enter a contest... I guess... I think.

So I called this woman back and it turns out she works for ABC National Television Sales. She sets up all of ABC's contests (among other things, I would guess). The coolest thing about her job is she gets to make these kind of phone calls all the time. She tells me that the contest ran in 5 different markets; New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco and I am the single Grand Prize winner. Here is what I won:

    Round Trip business class airfare for 2 on British Airways Club World to Manchester, England.

    4 day/3 night hotel at the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel and Country club in Lancashire, England

    1 round of golf at the Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club, home of the 2001 British Open

    1 round of golf at the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel and Country Club

    3 day/2 night hotel at the London Marriott Marble Arch Hotel

    1 rental car for duration of stay.

So as you might image, I have become a little bit more obsessed with the game of golf since then. I'm going to be playing on the fantastic, historic, golf course. I don't want to be hacking up chunks of their grass and showering people with sand from the sand traps. I'll never get the chance to play on a course that good again, I'd like to at least be competent. I realize I'll never be good at golf in such a short time (if ever), but I think I owe it the myself to try to get a little better before flying over there.