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February 19, 2015

There’s a sucker born every minute and I’m the one who was born at 4:17pm on May 15 many years ago. And as a sucker, the Monopoly Game being held at supermarkets all over the country has me by the short and curlies.

I am part of the first generation that isn’t suppose to do as well as their parents. That’s right. My parents always said they worked tirelessly day and night so that I could have it better than they did. You would think that the joke’s on them, but they’re the ones who bought a house in the sixties for $26,000 and sold it for a half a million and retired in Cape Cod years later.


(Listening to him talk, this is what I thought my father did at work.  He was a CPA)

Where has this left me? Making daily visits to the grocery story in the hopes of securing a future for my children. That means the narrative of what I tell my sons will be different than what my parents used on me with all their tireless work. I’ll have to explain to them, “I ate Oreos every day of my life just so you could have it better than me. And not just the regular ones. The Double Stuffs!!”


The Safeway Chain of grocery stores is running their Monopoly promotion.  It may represent my only hope of giving my sons a chance in this world.  What’s at stake?  Potentially one million dollars, a $500,000 vacation home, $35,000 toward a luxury vehicle, and a $100,000 in cash and that’s just the top line stuff.  I don’t need all of these prizes.  Just one or two of the biggies.  I mean I assume the $500,000 vacation home isn’t located in California.  Unless it looks like this.


(Sure it looks like a dump but if this was located off Mullholland Drive, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Beyonce popping out the front door)

There are plenty of smaller prizes as well, but winning a $200 Family Picnic at this point isn’t going to be much of a return on my investment. That isn’t the type of prize that will allow me to tell everyone I work with how I really feel about them, which is what I’m looking for.


(This is what my co-workers might see from me if I win big)

A supermarket sweepstakes is perfect for me.  It almost seems like my destiny.  I was one of the best bag boys in the history of Massachusetts.  I still consider bagging groceries as my greatest (and only) skill along with making fantastic toast.


(This is the statue of myself I proposed they erect in my honor outside the Star Market in Wellesley, Mass.)

Like all the other suckers I got all the tickets they handed me with my purchases and started putting them on the game board.  In just hours I was two tickets short of the Million Dollar prize and two away from winning the Vacation Home!!!  Now…I’ve stalled.  I keep getting tickets but they’re all duplicates.  The final two tickets are eluding me.  All I need is $613c and $618h.  Where the hell are those two precious numbers!   Just two lousy tickets. It’s a race and I’m desperate!


(Would I step on Charlie Bucket’s throat to get these tickets?  Absolutely!)

There’s still hope.  As an over-eater and over-drinker I pretty much find myself in the Von’s Supermarket every night on my way home from work.  But just buying the usual stuff isn’t enough.  If you check the game website you’ll find that there are certain products you can buy that will get you more tickets.  Of course each one of these items tends to be not only unhealthy but incredibly fattening.  Is it irresponsible to buy hundreds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and boxes of Cheez-It’s by the dozen?  Yes.  Is that exactly what I’m going to do?  Of course. $613c and $618h are within reach.  Nothing is going to stop me.  I love my children and this is for them.


Of course this is just what Safeway knew would happen with this promotion.  Ticket numbers $613c and $618h are probably tucked away safely next to Bigfoot and a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, set to hit some store in a Sunbelt State a week before the contest ends.  Damn you, Safeway!

But because I love my sons I continue my pursuit of the elusive tickets that will put us on Easy Street.  Every night on my drive home I stop at the Von’s and buy items I don’t really need and shouldn’t really eat.  I’m running out of room in the fridge for bags of Tyson Chicken Tenders, Banquet Frozen Entrees and Dreyer’s Ice Cream.  The cupboards are bursting with boxes of Triscuits, Chip Ahoys and Goldfish Crackers.


Every night this week I’ve bought a package of Hillshire Farm Kielbasa, an item I probably have once or twice a year.  I’ve also brought Kraft Cheese to the register on every visit and as I result I’ve been putting cheese on everything I cook at home.  I plan on eating nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches this week.  I figure the cheese will go bad before the kielbasa.  Of course Safeway’s helping me out a little in the cause and effect department.  Angel Soft toilet paper will get you bonus tickets and that’s come in handy.  It’s also a product I don’t mind buying every time I’m at the store.  Stocking up on toilet paper makes sense, unless of course we make some unforeseen societal advancement where we never have to go to the bathroom.

You've Been Sitting On The Toilet Wrong Your Whole Life. This Is How To Do It Right.

(Please ever evolving world.  Don’t mess with my ME time.)

Still with all these purchases I come home, open my tickets, and $613c and $618h are no where to be seen!  How many bottles of Nivea lotion to I need to buy?  Last night I bought ten cans of Fancy Feast rationalizing that we’ve had a cat before and maybe we’ll get one again.  Am I going to wind up buying a cat as part of my Don Quixote windmill quest for these goddamn tickets?

I’m trying to think positively.  I’m visualizing $613c and 618h. I’m imagining winning the Vacation Home or the Million Dollars.  I’ll have a huge celebration.  I’ll invite all my friends over for a cookout where they’ll enjoy piles of grilled kielbasa along with a wide variety of ice cream and Nabisco brand cookies.  People can bring they’re cats. I’ll have plenty of food for them too. And if anyone’s chaffed or raw I have plenty of moisturizer.  We can go wild and TP all the houses in my neighborhood with my thousands of rolls of Angel Soft.

My family can live in our moderately priced Vacation Home and I can put the million dollars in a college fund for the boys.  And then I can tell them how hard I had to worked so they could have it better than me.  And if I find $613c and $618h this week I’ll still look acceptable.  Of course if it takes another month I might look like this.



Monopoly is a game where suckers fall victim to those who make shrewd, calculated and cold moves.  And the people at Safeway are laughing at my pursuit as they stand next to a team of an armed security team tightly guarding the vault that holds tickets $613c and 618h.

If anyone has doubles of these tickets please let me know.  I’ll be happy to host you regularly at my $500,000 Vacation Home or give you a little piece of my million.

**Terms and conditions may apply

Least Favorite Child Results

February 13 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Charles may have figured out I’m writing this blog because he has a favorite and it definitely isn’t Daddy.  Mommy can make all sort of funny faces and sing lots of great songs with the result of huge laughs and grins.  Daddy does the same song and dance to a blank stare.  Touche, Charles.  It won’t get you any points from me though.

February 14 – Least Favorite is Charles.  His first word is definitely going to be “mama.”  He’s already saying it without putting together just who Mommy is, but he’s close.  His next word after that will probably be “Winston.”  Winston is our dog.  Charles is playing games with me.

February 15 – Least Favorite is Arthur. While changing him on the bed late at night (never change a baby on your bed) not only had he pooped but he rolled over, leaving some of the poop on the comforter.  Let me ask you this.  At 9:30pm would you wash all you bedding or would you just sleep on a little poop?  I chose the latter and I’m a little bitter toward Arthur.

February 16 – Least Favorite is Arthur.  I took them on a nice walk and while encountered by strangers, Charles had plenty of smiles and Arthur had just looks of disdain.  That left me to explain to them that he had just woken up from a nap.  He hadn’t just woken up from a nap however.  Arthur just didn’t like them.  Stop making me lie to people Arthur!

February 17 – Least Favorite is Charles. Charles likes to pull my chest hair which is painful.

February 18 – Least Favorite is Charles.  Getting a new diaper or a set of clothes on this little bastard has become a two person job.  That’s a lot of man hours spent working on someone who’s only a little over 20 pounds.

Total Days As Least Favorite Child

Charles – 106

Arthur – 97

Days Tied – 1

Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 199


Wouldn’t it be weird if Neil reached out to me and said he had the tickets I was looking for?