Well, well… you didn’t think I’d make it, did you? I know it’s a little on the late side, being after 7pm ET as I am posting this… but surprise! I’m here for Storytelling Sunday! And today’s tale is about my Big Win!
What?! Can you believe it? The Mega Millions was Just. Won. and Kai is going to tell us about her big win? Could it possibly be…?
I could come here and tell you I won the Mega Millions, but after last year’s post on this date, I’m sure many of you would guess, quickly, that I was just foolin’ ya. Instead, I thought I’d tell you about the time I won something… and it made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
When I was a child, I remember feeling like my family was so unlucky. Things were always breaking down, we couldn't have anything new (I lived on hand-me-downs), and it just always seemed like one more thing went wrong. I remember often looking up at a horseshoe that was nailed to the wall of our back porch and thinking that the luck had all run out of it because it was nailed arch up, ends down (upside down). I hated that horseshoe.
But that's not what this story is about.
One day, while I was riding my bicycle back from the corner mom-n-pop store, I looked up from eating my forbidden candy bar to see one of my sisters running down the middle of the road. I don’t know why, but it made a huge impression on me that she was just wearing socks on her feet. Immediately terrified, I casually dropped my hand to my side and dropped the candy-bar-that-I-knew-was-getting-me-in-trouble to the ground. I slowed my bike as I reached her. She was yelling at me, waving her arms and pointing toward home, but the fear that I was in trouble roaring in my ears kept me from hearing what she was telling me. Finally, as I nearly came to stop beside her I heard, “TV Powww! On the phone! You don’t have time! Go!”
My eyes flew open and my feet started pedaling as swiftly as they could. TV Powww! Was she serious? Could Ranger Bob REALLY be calling me??
Let me interject here to let you know how important TVPowww! and Ranger Bob were in my life. After school, I would come home and watch the Ranger Bob cartoon show, featuring TV Powww!. Ranger Bob was some funky cowboy guy and one portion of his show was when lucky kids, who mailed the TV station their name and phone number to be entered into the drawings, were called and they could play the TV Powww! game. This was a game similar to Asteroids, but the trick was, the kids would trigger the gun in the game by shouting POW! into their phone. Three kids would compete each day and whomever shot the most asteroids (or whatever it was) won!
Now, back to my story.
Pedaling as fast as my legs could carry me, I skidded on the turn into the long gravel driveway leading to my house, nearly wiping out. That would have been bad. Gravel embedded into your skin isn’t pretty. I already knew that from experience.
As I reached the back door, I hopped off my bike, letting it finish the ride without me, crashing into the yard. I ran up the two steps to the porch, through the porch and up the last step into the back of the house. Another sister was holding the phone out to me.
Breathless I said, “hello?”
Ranger Bob said, “Well, hello there! Are you ready to play some TV Powww!?
I think I said yes. I’m pretty certain I said yes, but I have no idea what I said, in all honesty. All I could think of was, “OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!”
Ranger Bob said, “Okay, can you see your TV?”
I panicked. Could I? It was in the living room and I was in the kitchen… and (here I go dating myself, as if the game show already hadn’t)…and…and… well, the phone was attached to the wall of the kitchen! Could our super-long cord reach far enough for me to see the TV?
I stretched it out making it to the living room doorway. I angled myself so that my ear and mouth were somewhat facing the kitchen but my eyes could peer into the living room. My sisters tried to move the (gigantic console) TV to an angle so that I could better see the screen.
“We’re going to have you test it so I can make sure you’re loud enough,” said Ranger Bob. “Okay… ready? Say, 'pow'!”
“Pow!” I said.
“Louder!” Ranger Bob coaxed me.
“POW!” I shouted.
“Good, just like that. Okay, are you ready?”
I could barely breathe. The commercials on TV segued back to the Ranger Bob show. I could see him on the TV announcing me… ME! He showed the previous two contestants scores. That meant I was the last to compete today! It was all or nothing!
My vision sharpened as the TV moved to the game screen. I vaguely heard the 'ready-set-pow!' from Ranger Bob. My sisters were kneeling on the floor in front of the TV (but not obstructing my vision) and I started yelling, “Pow! Pow! Pow! POW! POWPOWPOWPOWPOWPOWPOW!” I had to find the right timing… I could see there was a delay between when I wanted it to shoot and when it was actually shooting so I started shouting early. “POW! POW! POW! POW!”
And then it was all over. Ranger Bob came back into my vision and excitedly said that I was the winner, with the most points!
I. Was. The. Winner!
My sisters were jumping up and down, and I was giddy with excitement. I don’t remember thanking Ranger Bob (although I’m sure I did, the well-mannered kid that I could be) and then the conversation was over.
A few days later, my winnings came in the mail. A check for thirty-one dollars (the channel number TV Powww! was on was Channel 31). The not-yet-knowing, but budding scrapbooker in me pleaded with my mother for a copy of the check before we cashed it so I could have some memento (read: proof) that I won something in my life. I remember watching her make the photocopy, muttering that it was probably illegal to do so, but I didn't care. I was just so ecstatic that I had that copy to put away as proof... *ahem*... a keepsake.
If I could ever find the old-school scrapbook I taped it in, I know I would be just as thrilled to see it today.
Thank you for joining me on my visit down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed your stay. Please come back again soon but in the meantime, enjoy some other stories here…