This week’s embarrassing admission happened about 30 seconds ago. I reached in the fridge to get a Pepsi, but the box was just sitting on the shelf completely empty. (A common occurrence in our household… I often will think we’re good on groceries for a few days, only to discover that about HALF of all the boxes in the cupboard are, in fact, completely empty.) We just happened to have an unopened liter of Coca-Cola sitting in the fridge from a dinner party we had a few days ago, so I grabbed that instead and unscrewed the lid.
Like the good little merchandise-trained American I am, I subconsciously checked under the cap to see if I’d won anything. This is like a reflex for me. Second nature. Drilled into my brain from the age of 6. Instead of a “you’ve just won!” message, I found a jumbled mass of numbers and letters printed on the cap. A secret code of sorts. Normally, I would just ignore these numbers and pour my drink and forget all about it. But today was a completely different story. I got a feeling in my gut that said, “this could be THE ONE!” I could win 10 million dollars or something just by plugging these numbers into the Coca-Cola website and then, voila! We’re rich! We build Chris a recording studio and move into a big ol’ house and we’re set! For life! Yeeee haw!
While picturing this glamorous lifestyle, I headed back to the office to enter the code into their website. I thought it would be a quick, easy process, you know? Like, type code in this box and we’ll tell you if you’re a ga-jillionaire or not.
I was wrong.
First I had to register. Now, most normal people would decide that Coca-Cola didn’t deserve to suck up the amount of personal time it would take to go through this registration process and they would just drop the whole idea and move on with their lives. Me? I took the time to register. WITH THE COCA-COLA WEBSITE. Not only that, I had to fill the whole page out FOUR times because I kept forgetting to check a box here or there or I had entered the scrambled code in wrong at the bottom… All in all, I spent way too much time doing this. But I couldn’t stop because of that pesky ‘gut feeling’ I had that I was about to be a millionaire. What if I had given up and been THAT CLOSE to an instant fortune? Oh the irony!
So, after I registered, it asked me a hundred more questions and then FINALLY took me to the box where I could enter my lucky secret code. I licked my lips and began to type the numbers in slowly. No room for mistakes. MUST BE ACCURATE. Sweat formed on my brow. The world grew silent. The computer hummed softly.
After I punched in the last number, I hit the submit button and awaited my fate.
“Thank You!” The page said. “You now have 3 points!”
Huh? Points? *blink blink* Where’s my money?
Turns out, each time you enter a code, you get three points. And then, when you’ve amassed a huge wealth of thousands upon thousands of points, you get to chose from the prizes. (Chuck-E-Cheese arcade flashbacks, anyone?)
I disappointedly click on the store button to see what the store holds. Ooooh! I can download a ringtone with 16 points! (wait…thats an EXPENSIVE ring tone…) Or, for only 26,000 points, I could win the hood of the coca-cola NASCAR driven by Kyle Petty! (I’ve always wanted a NASCAR hood!) OR, I could win a walk-on roll on a Hollywood movie or TV show!
WOW! thanks, coca-cola! All of this and I’d only have to buy 8,660 liters of Coke! You’re too generous!
PS. In the last 20 minutes that it has taken me to type this post, I have received 5 new junk e-mail messages in my inbox. And they are all from Coca-Cola.
*heavy sigh* I’ve brought this upon myself, haven’t I?