(continued from Wednesday’s post)
“I…I…I…CAN’T!” It was just too much for Kenny’s little Asperger-trending social fears to overcome. He just didn’t have it in him to go up in front of all those people. I was sad. But I also totally understood.
Our dear friend Allyson was right behind us, and had witnessed our entire exchange. “Send Preston!” she offered. “You’ll go! Won’t you, buddy?”
I handed our five-year-old his big brother’s ticket, and he bolted full-tilt for the aisle, waving his treasure over his head. He charged the stage and proudly handed it over. The number was verified, and we were off.
Pastor Scott said, “Come spin the wheel, buddy!”
Like one of those testosterone-high guys spinning The Price Is Right showcase wheel, little Preston cranked that sucker as hard as he could. The crowd of thousands fell so silent, we could actually hear the rapid-fire clack-clack-clack-clack-clack of the snapping pointer from our seats, even though we were probably 200 feet from the stage.
Slower. Slower. Ever slower. Clack…clack…clack….clack….clack……clack……clack………CLACK! And something magic happened: Smack dead-center on the GameCube.
The sound was like a collective gasp, a punch in the stomach, as everyone in the crowd drew in their breath at once, just like when the tide sucks away every drop of water in the instant before the tsunami crashes the beach. A deafening, simultaneous ROAR swept over us all. I screamed perhaps louder than I ever have before. It felt like I had won a Nintendo GameCube!
The moments which followed were a surreal blur. Incredible euphoria. And Kenny felt almost instant despair at his profound loss: “It was supposed to be MEEEEEEE!”
I tried to console him: “Aw, Kenny… Even if you had gone up there, that still doesn’t mean your spin would have landed on the GameCube. Besides, it’s going home with us to our house! It’s not like you’re never going to get to play it.” Astoundingly, my flawless logic seemed to have the opposite of its intended effect.
Meanwhile, Kendra was trying to convince Preston that it just wouldn’t be right for him to keep his prize, since she worked for the church, and people would think for sure it was rigged. But he was having none of it. Besides, Pastor Scott insisted it would be a greater tragedy to take it away from him. We all knew the truth: Preston had won it fair and square.
That GameCube has quite a few miles on it now, but literally every time they take it out of the closet to play it, when I see it, it transports me again to that flashing, brilliant moment, which will probably be one of the happiest memories of Preston’s life, and by extension, mine.
Have you ever won anything? What’s the greatest prize you’ve received? Why does it seem like people always spin those wheels so flippin’ hard?!?