Contest – What About My Beer?

3old bootThis is a true story. Catch up here: The Contest.

Well I had to do that. Talk about a disaster. I was not kidding about “tired”. The last thing I needed to do was drive three hours, fly six more, then check into a hotel just to eat dinner with someone I didn’t want to know. My husband got home and I told him the news.

“Well, I gotta admit, that’s pretty cheap,” he said. “But you can go by yourself. I don’t mind. Would have been nice to meet, Tommy, but you won. I still think you should go.”

“Are you kidding? What is the last thing I want to do? Meet an NBA guy? Probably! It’s exactly what I don’t want. Oh please, no. Never mind, drive and fly all that way, just to come back the next day and go back to work. It’s a bullshit prize. If they can’t do better, I’m going to tell them to cram it.”

“Cram it?” He laughed. “Well, I’m sure they didn’t mean for it to suck, Peewee. Someone just wasn’t thinking very well.”

“Yeah. Well you have to wonder how people with no brains get jobs. I do. I wonder that. Anyway, if they don’t fly both of us, then I’m going to pass.”

“Are you sure that’s what you want to do?”

“Are you kidding? I told you I did not want to meet that guy and I don’t. There is no way in hell I am going to take this punishment, I mean prize. Fuck it. I have to work. I don’t have time for a crappy prize like this.”

“What are you going to tell the customers? They’re going to wonder why you aren’t going.”

“I’ll tell them the truth. I’ll tell them that they gave me a crappy prize so I turned it down. Everybody knows, I deserve a good prize. I won didn’t I? And they know I don’t want to meet that guy.”

“His name is, Tom Heinsohn. Can you at least call him Tommy? He deserves that much respect. Just take my word for it. He deserves, respect.”

“Okay, Tommy. I don’t want to meet, Tommy,” I said.

“What about, Boss? What do you think he’ll say?”

“I don’t know. He can give my prize to one of those NBA fans he was so worried about. I don’t care. I’m not going to fly across the country to meet someone… uh, I mean Tommy, who I don’t want to meet, and then fly back the next day. They can just forget about it.”

He laughed. “Well it does sound like an underweight fish, Peewee. I’d probably throw it back too.”

“Right. First they wasted all this time waiting to call and now this. I think they need to hire me to tell them what a prize is.”

“Well I agree. You’re doing something wrong when a person wins your contest and they are unhappy about it. It’s not even a low weight fish, is it? More like an old boot. Well, you threw your bottle in the water and you got an old boot back, but it doesn’t mean you have to wear it.”

“Right.” I shake my head. I don’t want to talk, anymore. I want to brood.

dark beerBack at work the next day, I gloated. I had to. I was invested. I’d started the story and I had to finish it, even if the ending sucked. I said I would win and I won, so I took credit for that, anyway.

Response to my reaction to the lousy prize was mixed. There were plenty of people who thought that I should have been happy with what was offered. I told them, it just showed how little they knew about how hard I worked. Okay! So maybe it is possible to travel twenty hours in a thirty hour period, but crap. Just to meet someone I don’t want to meet? What about my beer? I told them I would rather get a six pack, and go to Boston in my mind. Fuck it. Let Tommy get his own date. I was livid.

My boss calls.

“I heard you won.”

“I did. They called me, but it’s a crappy prize. I’m not going to go.”


“Boss. It’s a trip for one. They’re flying, just me. Not my husband. And they want me to drive all the way to the city, get a plane, fly six hours, get a cab, get a hotel and meet this guy, Tommy, that I don’t want to meet, for dinner. I won’t even have time for a shower! Then I’m supposed to fly out at seven in the morning. Uh, Boss. There is no way I am going to do that. And look at the mess I will have when I get back. I will have to catch up on the route. Do these bastards have any idea what we do out here?”

“Probably not. So you told them you didn’t want the prize? You actually refused it?”

“No, I didn’t refuse it. I told them to get me a prize that I do want, and call me back!”

He laughed. “And they said they’d do that?”

“No. No, she didn’t. She just stuttered.”

“I bet. Well I doubt they’ll do anything, but I understand what you mean. That’d be a tough trip to take. And about taking your spouse, it probably never occurred to them that a woman would win. There are not that many women working…”

I interrupt, “Well, I am not going to take it. I told them to hold on to their cheap trip for one, and I’d win again next year and then we’d go, because trip for one, plus trip for one equals trip for two.”

“You told them that?”


He smirks. “Okay, Elsa. Well this is between you and human relations, I guess. Just let me know if you’re taking off.”

“Okay, boss.”

“And Elsa. Good luck. You deserve anything you can get out of them.”

“Thanks Boss. I’m playin’ my cards the best I can. The game’s not over.”

“If anyone is going to talk ‘em into anything it’s you.”

“Right. I’m working on it.”

Two days later, the call came. My husband would be traveling with me and we would be staying in Boston for four nights. We would be flown on a commuter flight to the city and to Boston from there. She apologized, she could not arrange for a limo to take us to the airport. Seems our town didn’t have a limo.

I laughed. “Oh yeah. We don’t, do we? Well, thanks for checking.”

My in-laws? Yep. They were invited to come to dinner. She said, she’d called Tommy about this and, he had said, “The more the merrier.”

“Well, yeah baby!. That’s more like it!”

boston trafficI thanked her, and I complimented her on her gracious handling of the situation. I apologized “if I was rude” and she apologized for the initial offering and said that they’d learned a lot. She said that they would not be awarding trips for one, ever again, and I smiled. She said, in the future, when there was going to be a national contest, they would offer a prize worth having.


A week later, we flew out. I hit it off with my in-laws. There was an easy mesh. They were terrific hosts and we had a lot of fun. I had several dark beers in the bar across the street from, Boston Garden, and I was not disappointed. Still, the best beer I’ve ever had in my life. Sure, I have only had three or four, but you know.

It’s the air. I liked everything about Boston, and I mean everything. I even liked the traffic, and especially listening to my brother in law bitch about the it in his Boston accent. This kind of thing is high comedy, if you’re from the desert.

rowes wharfOur last night in the city, we walked into the restaurant to meet, Tommy. “Rowes Wharf,” for the locals. Chosen for the view. I was not looking forward to dinner, but it’s the price I’ve got to pay, isn’t it? I didn’t want to meet him and he surely didn’t want to meet me.

This is the part that killed me. Just think about it. He was being PAID to eat dinner with me. How gross is that? How do you think that feels to eat dinner with someone who is paid to be there? It’s pretty gross. It was humiliating.

I was very much in a “let’s not and say we did” frame of mind. Outside the restaurant, I made a last ditch effort. I asked my husband, “Can you think of a way out of this?”

“No. No I can’t. I think you’re stuck. But don’t worry about it. You’ve got three people here to run interference for you.” He turns and asks his brother and his sister in law. “Right? We don’t mind talking to Tommy?”

There was agreement. Matter of fact, all three of them couldn’t wait to meet, Tommy.

“Well thanks. I’m going to need you guys. I definitely have nothing to say, and besides that, I feel like I am going to puke.”  Seriously, I was swooning.

My husband assured me that it would be okay. “C’mon. Tommy’s waitin’!”

He laughs and I swear under my breath.

We head into the restaurant. Me, with my stomach in my throat, thinking, “Oh, just kill me now.”


4 thoughts on “Contest – What About My Beer?”

  1. Fantastic! Elsa, if you could take charge of all international relations, peace would break out world wide!

  2. Love the story so far. Looking forward to the rest of the event. Boston is very near to my home base.

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