story in rtf format
First prize was an all expenses paid trip to Hollywood with the woman
of your choice and as much money as any man would ever need. That
meant you could just pick a woman, any woman you wanted, even if she
belonged to someone else, and you could have millions of dollars and
your picture would be in all the papers and they would interview you
on television and everyone would listen to what you said and you'd
get invited to the White House and then you'd live in a mansion with
thirty-six rooms and have a staff of twenty people and your own plane
and a dozen cars. Everyone entered the contest. You'd have had to
be crazy not to.
John entered the contest. He was a short
order cook in a greasy spoon in Brooklyn. He lived in a rented room
seventy-five dollars in the bank. He liked action movies and popular
music. He was a high school graduate and had served in the Navy. His
parents were still living and he had an older sister.
Charlie entered the contest. He was a used car salesman in Memphis.
He was married and had two children. His wife was a receptionist in
a dentist's office. They had a dog. He subscribed to Reader's Digest
and was a Titans fan. On their twentieth anniversary he had taken
his wife to New York, where they had gotten mugged.
Joe entered the contest. He was a laid-off
welder at Ford Engines in Cleveland. He was divorced. His wife had
run off with his best friend. He bowled and drank a lot of beer. He
weighed 325 pounds. His nickname was Tiny.
Tom entered the contest. He was a bellhop
at a downtown Boston hotel. He had a season ticket to the