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Thursday, January 26, 2006
The dodgiest coloring contest scam in the history of dodgy coloring contest scams
I was flipping through last Friday's edition of the Portland Tribune when I discovered the following announcement on page A6:
Last month I lied about my age and entered the paper's "Winter Wonderland" coloring contest. A few weeks later, my efforts earned me a free subscription (for some reason) to the Lake Oswego Review.
As the announcement reveals, my entry eventually landed in the winner's circle. In addition to the subscription, I also apparently won not only a free trip for four to the Washington Park Zoo but a $10 Toys 'R Us gift certificate as well.
So there it is. I've scammed a children's coloring contest and, while I won all sorts of fabulous prizes, a number of kids came in ahead of me. I knew I was born with limited artistic skills but still...eight year olds? I paid forty grand and wasted four years of my life to earn a University of Oregon arts* degree only to be beat by eight year olds in a coloring contest?!! My entry should have come in at number one, dammit! I've got way more experience with colored pencils than these brats! AND I stayed within the lines**!
They probably bribbed the judges. Yeah, that's it. Those little $@#$! con artists.
Anyway, it was never my intention to cheat a random Portland second grader out of toys and a trip to see Packy the elephant. I merely wanted to cheat a random Portland second grader out of the opportunity to have their drawing appear in the Tribune. Instead of filling valuable ad space with children's coloring contest entries, the paper instead decided to hand out prizes.
What have I done? Yep, I'm a regular monster.
So the blood, er, red Magic Marker ink is on my hands and, quite frankly, I'm riddled with a small but substantial amount of guilt. The Toys 'R Us gift certificate arrived in my mailbox over the weekend (I still have yet to see the zoo tickets). While I could try to restore some lost karma by donating it to a local charity, I've decided to make things more interesting by setting up a poll and letting y'all decide for me.
So what should I do with this ill-gotten Toys 'R Us gift certificate?
As a wise man once said, "Choose but choose wisely." My karma is in your hands.
* A liberal arts degree but an arts degree nonetheless.
** For the most part.