Thursday, November 6, 2008

A little inspiration goes a long way.

My friend Tracie Harris and I were at the grocery store purchasing the following items (as part of bigger scheme): a box of condoms, a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, a jar of vaseline and a roll of duct tape. When we got to the check out line the cashier (a girl of about sixteen) asked if we found everything okay. I asked her if they sold gloves - the big yellow disposable kind. "Aisle 16," she said, and never flinched.
Tracie has a very mischievous sense of humor and at work we were always coming up with interesting ways to keep ourselves entertained. Actually, she came up with the 'ways' and I just followed along for lack of anything better to do. Most of them were pretty benign and some were even officially condoned by TPTB. We held a raffle, an auction, an easter egg hunt, and a poster coloring contest just to name a few of the more 'tamer' ones. All the contest/events ended with some kind of awarding of prizes. The prizes were usually things such as stickers, candy, squirt guns and other items obtained from the Dollar Store. However, once our coworkers learned of an event I was amazed as to how many would volunteer or donate items for the bigger prizes. One would contribute a (nice) bottle of wine, another would offer an 'undistributed' gift that never quite made it to its intended recipient (a birthday party never attended, a christmas present never shipped to a relative, etc.) It was really like the modern version of making 'stone soup'. There was usually some good loot involved by the time it was all said and done.
The poster contest surprised me the most. It was Easter and we had copied a couple of like-wise themed pages out of a child's coloring book for everyone to take. The posters were done and everyone got to vote on their favorite with prizes awarded for various places, runners of up, etc. What amazed me the most was the creativity expressed and the way many people think out of the box. Most people colored theirs with crayons/markers, but some were painted, one was done with painted macaroni, another was done with balsa wood cut-outs to fit the sections (also nicely painted) and glued to the paper.
The reason we were in the grocery store check out line buying such a strange assortment of items was the 'Romantic Weekend Getaway' prize that was the grand prize to one of our events (no not the Easter thing - that would have been sacreligious). In addition to the condoms and duct tape we also included a pair of handcuffs, a toilet plunger and a couple of other interesting 'items'. Of course, we rigged the deal so that the guy in the office with biggest sense of humor would win. BTW, the prize also included some kind of hotel accommodations at a Marriott or some equally nice place (which was the 'real' prize).
Those were the days...

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of contests, and really sort of "fell into" the Bad Bad Poetry one. And it was fun, too. The world needs waaaay more Tracie Harris and sidekick types, more contests, and LOTS more prizes!