Skolnik Page 19
morning he'd stink and feel even meaner and slam the door when he left the house and not come back till midnight and sometimes sit in the den all night drinking and cursing.
     The contest was sponsored by a beer manufacturer so that each entry form had to be accompanied by a great many bottle tops while TV commercials showed previous winners drinking the sponsor's beer. In this way the beer manufacturer hoped to increase sales and retrieve old bottle tops which could be reused in the beer manufacturer's bottling plants and therefore produce considerable savings in view of the tens of millions of bottles of beer that were consumed each day by consumers throughout the land and the tens of millions of entry forms that were arriving at the Coliseum. This ingenious link between the consumption of beer and the dream of winning millions and millions of dollars was mentioned by the President in his talks with the Russians

as an example of how a modern Western economy worked.
     People who did not consume the sponsor's beer or win contests were shown in an unfavorable light. They were never seen having a good time or surrounded by beautiful women. They drove battered cars and had bad posture. Often they were seen being searched by state troopers or the local police. They had low credit ratings and were turned away at the better restaurants. This made more and more people enter the contest and drink beer, further stimulating the economy, though for reasons the President couldn't understand the dollar kept dropping against all known currencies.
     John seldom saw his family. His sister had three kids but she was living in Pittsburgh. Her husband was managing a supermarket there and they were doing fairly well. His folks had retired to Orlando. It seemed to him that they had more or less written him off. His folks had