Want to enter a contest?

“Sure!” Chris said.

I reluctantly followed, filling out my own form. I don’t remember what I was entering in the contest for, but I thought Chris had made a good judgment.

As we stood there filling out the form, she asked us where we were from. I said I lived in San Francisco. Chris said that he lived in Mountain View. Then she made small talk about the A’s. How long we had been going to the games and how often we went. I said I hadn’t been to an A’s game for more than 10 years. She paused for a second and went to get a binder.

“Because you haven’t been to a game for awhile, I am going to offer you a voucher,” she said excitedly pointing to the dates left in the season. I threw an indifferent look because I have to admit that baseball games themselves aren’t my thing…but going with people is.

Chris peered at the dates, intrigued. She awkwardly asked, “Are you married?”

I was slightly startled and quickly said, “No!” while Chris gave a cringing expression. Didn’t she see that I lacked a ring? She corrected herself and asked if we were at a couple. At that moment, I didn’t want to say anything, because it seemed like it was irrelevant. I simply stayed quiet waiting for Chris to answer. But he didn’t. Probably thinking the same thing…what was this girl trying to get us to do.

Then somehow at this moment, she decided to launch into the real core of the whole conversation. She opened the binder and said that we could come in…get a free lunch…and talk about things. She started showing us a hotel in Napa that had wine tasting. And other things that appealed to a demographic that was not me.

I was disinterested, but Chris encouraged her to speak more. In the benefits of a timeshare, being able to walk away from a pushy sales pitch and get the free gifts. My parents had done it. Chris had done it too. But I had never done it, having a weak compassionate soul for sales pitches.

Somehow I was curious as to how these things worked and agreed to meet up. She first showed us an available schedule. I couldn’t do weekdays and that particular weekend, Chris might be out of town. Then she said that she’ll bring up a calendar. She pulled out her Motrola Razr and showed us the calendar on her phone. How tacky.

“I suppose the following weekend may work,” I started slowly. “11?”

Then she said that she just need a small deposit to hold our place in line. $20 either in cash or credit card. That she would give it back to us once we arrived to the meeting. That’s the moment that I wanted to walk away. And perhaps Chris did too, but I wasn’t sure what he was thinking. I sent brain waves toward his direction saying “Walk away.” but nothing happened.

Finally, I said that although I trusted her, I didn’t like the idea of my money floating in space…almost in purgatory. It was an awkward pause as she tried to come up with a rationalization for that. Then Chris smartly said, “I think we’ll have to talk in private about this.”

She resisted, knowing she was losing her sale. “I am not trying to trick you,” she attempted in vain. Seeing through the thinly veiled lie. And we started walking away. “Don’t! I know you won’t come back!” she called to us.

And to which I turned back for one moment and said loudly, “I know, because we won’t!”

Fortunately Chris kept our contest forms with our contact information.

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