Monday, August 24, 2009

Winning is for Losers

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful Queen who had lost her sense of humor. She looked everywhere, but just couldn't find it. The everyday foibles of the peasants around her just didn't amuse her anymore.

She still dispensed driving advice from her royal carriage. But her heart just wasn't in it. She still had trouble finding just the right glass slipper to wear with her ball gown. But instead of pitching a royal hissy, she quietly submitted to the geriatric loafers without the stroke-of-midnight clause. Many, many, many times her fashion police and grammar police alarms went off. But instead of cutting the offenders down to size with a snarky remark, she merely sighed and went about her royal business, not even bothering to refer to it as "bidness."

Then one day she registered for a prize drawing because one of the prizes was a free latte. "Free" and "latte" are two of her favorite words. Put them together and how could she resist?

Flash forward to after the drawing. Much to the Queen's surprise she won the Grand Prize! At first the Queen was disappointed because she really, really wanted a free latte. Then she decided it was rude to look a free gift horse in the mouth (carelessly disregarding the hard-learned lesson of the Trojans). Besides, it was a "Grand" prize, and she really should cut back on the caffeine, anyway.

So the Queen started to get a little excited about the Grand Prize. (This is where the Greek Chorus hiding in the horse whispers "wait for it, wait for it.")

"Guess who's a Grand Prize winner! Woo Hoo!" the Queen asked the Little Princess. There may have been some car-dancing, singing, fist pumping, and gloating involved. Just enough mayhem to mask the sound of the trap door opening in the big wooden horse.

"This certificate expired last month," the Little Princess said. Oh yes, the Greeks had most certainly arrived in the center of Troy. That's right, the certificate had expired about three weeks before it had been awarded.

The Queen, who had lost her sense of humor, did not find this funny.

So she sat, prize-less, latte-less and humorless, brooding and moping in a most un-royal manner. She wondered WWDAALD? What would Dear Abby and Ann Landers do? Nothing, that's what, because they are both dead! She was going to have to figure this one out on her own.

She thought about calling someone, but who? And asking for something, but what? Because every time she played the conversation in her head the words FREE and GIFT kept coming out in ALL CAPS, and it always sounded RUDE and GREEDY. Especially since what she really wanted was a free latte.

Then she finally smiled. Because in a really twisted, sick, perverse, it-could-only-happen-to me kind of way, the whole thing was sort of funny.

Sort of. Not much, but a little.

To recap: The Queen did not get the Grand Prize. She did not get a free latte. But she may be on her way to finding her sense of humor.

So maybe she did get the Grand Prize, after all.

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