Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)
TITLE: Appeal or No Appeal
By Betty Castleberry
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The expectant mother smiled hesitantly into the camera. “Yes, I think so.”
“Good, then let’s get started. In front of you are 15 nannies holding 15 diaper bags. You must select the one you think holds a coupon for the Perfect Child. This coupon is redeemable at the delivery room of your choice. Marie, please make your selection.”
“I think I’d like my lucky number. Diaper bag number three, please.”
“Ah yes. That’s Anna holding diaper bag number three. Anna, would you please bring the bag to Marie?”
A trim young nanny with shiny black hair delivered the bag to the stage. She charmed the studio audience with her smile, placed the bag on the table, and made her exit.
“All right Marie, you must now open three diaper bags. Stay away from the one containing the Perfect Child coupon. Please select a bag.”
The audience began shouting out numbers. Marie turned to her husband who was seated in the crowd. “My husband says eleven, so that’s the one I want.”
The host pointed to a lovely nanny holding diaper bag number eleven. “All right, Julie, open the bag. Julie peeked into the bag, then beamed and nodded. She opened it wide for all to see. The card inside read, “Rebellious Teen.”
The audience burst into applause. Tommy, the host, faced Marie. “Please select another bag.”
“Tommy, I’ve always liked the number five. Let’s go with diaper bag number five.”
A tall redhead with a dazzling smile waved at the audience.
Tom motioned to her. “Leslie, open the bag.”
Leslie opened the bag just a tiny bit, then smiled. She threw open the bag so all could see its contents. The card read “Throws Temper Tantrums.”
The audience roared to life.
Tom turned to Marie. “All right, Marie. Just one more bag to open. Which one will it be?”
“Number nine, Tom.”
The attractive brunette holding diaper bag number nine winked at them.
“Sharon, open the bag.”
She inched the bag open. Her face fell. She was reluctant to open the bag for the audience to see, but did so anyway. The card read, “Picks Dandelions for Mom.”
The audience groaned.
Marie shook her head. “That’s okay. At least it wasn’t the Perfect Child card. It’s all right.”
“Well Marie, you know what happens now, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do. The midwife will call and offer me a deal.”
“That’s right. But first, maybe you’d like to have your husband join you on stage. And let’s have your mother come on up, too.”
Marie’s husband and mother ran up onto the stage, clapping and cheering. They hugged Marie and took their places behind her.
The phone rang and Tommy answered it. “Hello.” A brief pause followed. “All right.” He replaced the receiver and looked intently at Marie. “The offer is for early potty training. If you don’t accept it, you must open two more diaper bags. Marie, I must ask you, does this deal have appeal or no appeal?”
The spectators yelled. “No appeal, no appeal!”
Marie slapped a strategically placed rattle down on the table. “No appeal.”
“Okay Marie. Please make two more selections.”
Marie continued to make wise selections, while the crowd cheered her on. Finally, there were only two bags left, the one she selected, and one the only remaining nanny held.
Tommy approached her. “You had the guts to go all the way. Let’s see if you made the right choice. I’ll now open your diaper bag.”
He cautiously opened the bag. To everyone’s surprise, there was no card inside. Shocked, he looked at the nanny holding the last diaper bag, and instructed her to open it. It too, was empty.
Tommy’s jaw dropped. “ I don’t understand. There must be a Perfect Child card in one of these bags.”
Marie stepped forward. “I think I can explain. Those of us who choose to be parents know there is no Perfect Child. We decide to be parents anyway, because we want a child to love and nurture, whether that child is perfect or not. Actually, there was a perfect child born a long time ago. He is the only one the world will ever see. With His guidance, we will manage to be the best parents we know how to be.”
The audience applauded wildy.
Tommy nodded in agreement. “There you have it, folks. This deal certainly has appeal!”
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