My (brief) summer vacation

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 29, 2002

I always try to keep abreast of current events. Like most parents, I never really get a chance to sit down until about 8:30 p.m., which is too late to catch the 6 o'clock news and too long to wait until the 10 o'clock news. In today's day and time, it would have been a lot easier to sit down to CNN to get my daily dose of woe, but I decided to venture into the world of cyber news. Why wait to see the footage when I can read about it as soon as someone can sit down to a keyboard and give us the scoop?

While surfing the net, what to my wondrous eyes should appear? Not a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, but something for me that could equal Christmas in July, a small instant message box with the magic words, "You're an instant winner."

News? Who cares about the news? This is news. I won something. Me, who never, ever wins anything, has actually won something. Visions of new computers, MP3 players, digital cameras or even, dare I might say, money fill my head as I eagerly open the window to my dreams.

Bronze bodies lay on the white sand in front of an emerald ocean. "You have won a four day/three night Caribbean cruise," flashes brightly against a sun kissed sky. (Not quite what I had in mind, but who's complaining?) "Call 1-800-555-5555 in the next four minutes to claim your prize. Confirmation number: 555555."

Boy I tell you what, I snatched the closest pen and whatever I could lay my hands on that would suffice for paper. No way on God's green earth was I going to let this opportunity pass me by. No siree.

Ring, ring, ring. "Please stay on the line and our agent will be with you shortly."


Okay, so I apparently was not the only instant winner. I can wait.

If I listen closely enough, I can almost hear the waves gently lapping against the shell-scattered shore while the ocean breezes carries the smell of coconut oil to my nose. My hope, however somewhat diminished, only dwindles as time passes with each "Please stay on the line and our agent will be with you shortly."

After 30 minutes of Mr. Recorder Man, I finally come to realize it's over.

I am never going to get to travel into the Caribbean sunset on a fun-filled four-day/three-night extravaganza. Unfortunately, my dream of Broadway musicals, fine cuisine and slot machines is only that, a dream. And basically, it's one that will not see fruition in the foreseeable future.

Even though, I didn't get to leave shore in a huge ship, I would like to thank Mr. Recorder Man for this opportunity. He allowed me to have a mini-vacation, even though it was only in my mind.

Stephanie Nelson is a regular columnist and the former Lifestyles editor for the Andalusia Star-News.