I'm probably unusual. My mailbox is more likely to contain a long letter from Ed McMahon than it is letters from friends and relatives.
Or it may contain any number of other sweepstakes offers. There are so many that they blend together. As exciting as they are, they are also incredibly bulky.So I confess that I don't return every one of the entries.
But the other day I received one that seemed a cut above the others - maybe because it was written by a man named B. Griswold, director of special events for Reader's Digest.
The reason the name Griswold jumped out at me is that it was the same name Chevy Chase went by in that insane spoof that depicted an arduous family "vacation" trek to "Wallyworld" in California.
Since Wallyworld was closed, the Griswold trip was disastrous.
I couldn't help but think of that as I read Griswold's enthusiastic letter saying he had been appointed to write to me about the itinerary he would set up for me in case I am selected as the Grand Prize winner in the $10,250,000.00 sweepstakes.
If I win, he said, he will meet with me and my wife in New York.
Griswold said that he had been informed that I and "certain other fortunate people from Salt Lake City are passing through Stage Two of our Sweepstakes." Not only has my name been "computer-screened and processed on an IBM 3090 Computer at Stage One," but official Sweepstakes Entry Documents bearing my name are "in transit" and will arrive at my address with my next issue of Reader's Digest.
It is important, said Griswold, that I return the "time-sensitive entry documents" immediately so that I will have a chance to be "chosen the next five-million-dollar Grand Prize Winner."
By the time I read that my blood pressure was off the charts.
But I was also slightly depressed over the potential of filling out the documents. My dad would have said that you have to be a Philadelphia lawyer to do it. And it takes time too.
Griswold also announced that following a Nov. 12th deadline for returning documents, I will be eligible for the FIVE MILLION DOLLAR Grand Prize at the Stage Three Drawing.
If I win, a "special courier" will be dispatched to my home to notify me. The courier will instruct me to call Griswold for an appointment. So I have to be careful to keep Griswold's business card in a safe place so I will know what number to call.
Apparently the courier is not willing to give me that information.
Griswold also said that it would be very exciting for him if my wife and I won, and to convince me of just how incredibly real the whole thing is, he enclosed a computerized customized itinerary for "MR. AND MRS. DENNIS L. LYTHGOE."
The itinerary covered the days from Thursday through Sunday and each item began with the word "LIMO."
To the airport, to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, to the Four Seasons Restaurant, to a Broadway show of our choice, to the world headquarters of Reader's Digest for a meeting with the chairman of the board, luncheon at the Guest House, meeting with employees, and photo sessions.
Then to World Yacht for dinner/
dancing cruise of New York Harbor, to our location of choice for entertainment, champagne breakfast, sightseeing, to another Broadway show, to Central Park for ride in hansom cab (horse and carriage with bottle of champagne), and finally dinner and cocktails at Tavern on the Green or other beautiful locations such as the Rainbow Room.
On Sunday, the last day, the itinerary will be developed to suit my wife's and my personal taste. Then a limo to the airport and the return flight home.
Be still, my heart.
And just when I thought I was getting over these sweepstakes documents.
There's only one thing that bothers me. When I meet him, what if B. Griswold turns out to be the spittin' image of Chevy Chase?