What will ho­tel prize cost the win­ners?

Moose Jaw - - Puzzles & Games - Joyce Wal­ter can be reached at ron­[email protected]­

I might have just turned down the best Christ­mas present ever to come un­in­vited to our house­hold.

But then again, maybe this gift horse needed to be looked in the mouth.

It was a typ­i­cal day: do­ing pa­per­work, bak­ing a fes­tive cake in a dys­func­tional oven, catch­ing up on dishes wait­ing to be scrubbed, mak­ing to-do lists in my head. The tele­phone rang — the one that’s con­nected to land and whose num­ber is still in that thing called a “tele­phone book” —and I hur­ried to an­swer in case it was an im­por­tant call.

It wasn’t, but thank you to the man on the other end who so kindly of­fered to do what­ever he needed to make sure my Mi­crosoft com­puter worked to my ex­pec­ta­tions. I hope his ear wasn’t dam­aged when my re­ceiver was hung up with de­ter­mi­na­tion, af­ter a tiny white false­hood dis­claim­ing own­er­ship of a com­puter.

Then the phone rang again, with call dis­play show­ing a 693 pre­fix, sug­gest­ing it might be some­one calling from down the street or across town. It was across a town al­right, but the town wasn’t Moose Jaw and again I hung up on the caller who told me my Visa charge card needed at­ten­tion. I don’t have one of that kind but give her an E for ef­fort and for what must be ex­traor­di­nar­ily thick skin.

Some­time later in the evening an­other call came in. “Un­known name” was listed on the dis­play screen. Maybe it was the scam caller sug­gest­ing jail time from CRA if my taxes weren’t paid forth­with. Just what one needs to round off the day of an­noy­ing calls.

I an­swered and a lady’s voice on the other end pointed out that a friend who re­cently trav­elled with me had en­tered my name to re­ceive a Christ­mas get-away va­ca­tion at the ho­tel chain who hired this tele­mar­keter. I will not re­veal the ho­tel’s name so as not to com­pro­mise any pri­vacy laws and be­sides, I don’t want to give this com­pany any un­paid pro­mo­tional space.

The taped script said I would be able to pick the ho­tel’s lo­ca­tion of my choice and while in res­i­dence, I would be treated to all sorts of ameni­ties such a spa vis­its, es­thetic treat­ments, fine din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and dis­counts at nearby shops. Yeah, right.

There might have been some ex­cite­ment if the other side of the con­ver­sa­tion had been spon­ta­neous, and if the rep­u­ta­tion of this chain of ho­tels had not al­ready been tar­nished through past en­coun­ters.

I hung up be­fore hear­ing the whole speech so there­fore I won­der now if I weren’t hasty in dis­con­nect­ing the call. Per­haps I should have waited to hear how much this get­away would cost me, for cer­tainly there would be costs for be­ing se­lected for this pres­ti­gious va­ca­tion prize. For Moose Jaw Ex­press Sec­ondly, maybe a Christ­mas re­treat to a ho­tel by this name in Hawaii might have been a worth­while trip of es­cape from snow and freez­ing rain, even with un­spec­i­fied costs thrown in.

Most cu­ri­ous though, would be to learn the iden­tity of the so-called friend who had re­cently trav­elled with me and en­tered my name. My only travel com­pan­ion of any dis­tance has been House­mate and he knows bet­ter than to en­ter my name in such phoney con­tests.

Maybe the nice lady will call again and pro­vide an­swers to all those ques­tions and might even be able to tell me if tur­key is served on Christ­mas Day in this ho­tel’s restau­rant in Hawaii. Win­ning minds need to know.

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