Oooh a Bonus Word

imageI mean, who can resist a bonus? Actually, this prompt arrived just in time to help me avoid a bonus. As of 8:00 AM, Friday, November 28, 2014, Amazon had sent me no fewer than 10 emails telling me about Black Friday sales, sales where I was sure to save a few cents off the price of the same item at the local Target store. I’d much rather pour my thoughts out for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday Challenge than stand in line and fight the crowds (real or virtual). In fact, I’d rather do anything than shop today – well, yesterday but this is a Saturday challenge, so…

It’s not that I don’t have stuff to buy, I do. I have Christmas gifts to buy, a birthday gift to buy as well as the odd assorted stuff you need around the holidays. I need some blue, green and red wrapping paper to cover my office door for our annual wrap-your-door contest. Last year, I used blue ribbon on a red background to illustrate the Connecticut River between my house and our office. I attached photos that I’ve taken along the way during my daily commute.

I can share this idea freely because it wasn’t a imagewinner. This year, I am going to use blue ribbon to illustrate the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio rivers and I am going to decorate the door with pictures I’ve taken in Pittsburgh.

You might think that it doesn’t make any sense to try the same failed technique for a second time, but I have an ulterior motive. I’m not in this for the prize. The prize, by the way, is the opportunity to designate what local charitable organization gets the collected entry fees.

Yes, we pay for this opportunity – $10 a door.

Plus the cost of the wrapping paper, the ribbon and the ink/toner to print the photos, not to mention the time it will take me to cull the various photos out of the digital archive and plan the layout. This will be a lot of time and money to have spent with no chance of winning, BUT… I get to look at my door and I will enjoy looking at those pictures.

The winning door will no doubt be one of the ones decorated by the child of one of my coworkers. Children are better at this kind of thing. Adults are looking for an angle, calculating the odds of winning and planning an over-the-top-signature-element to make their door stand out. Last year, one person attached a basket of chocolate to their door – as if you could buy my vote with candy.

Yes, that’s how we determine the winner, we vote in an anonymous on-line poll.

Someone is talking about burying an iPod imagein the decorations and having it loop through a collection of holiday music. That’s a bad idea, especially for the nearby office dwellers. Sights, sounds and sweets have all been used to nudge an individual door into the winner’s circle. Hmm, nobody has tried to use the scents of the holidays, maybe I could try that. I could use the photo from Heinz Field shown at the right, and add a scratch-&-sniff BBQ sticker (seriously, you can buy those) or maybe a strategically located drop of BBQ sauce. Oh, I know that’s not a holiday smell (unless your team is playing nearby) but the smell has to fit the backdrop of the Three Rivers area.

Maybe I could have Santa flying over the Golden Triangle in a sleigh that has (unwrapped) candy cane runners. No, that would probably only attract bugs. Besides, last year’s winner was a life-size snowman that had been painstakingly made by a coworker’s daughter from a gazillion cotton balls and a bunch of glitter. Teenage daughters always have the edge for creating “awwww” inspiring stuff and they always have glitter.

The tickets remaining after winning no prizes at ADNET’s Chili Cook-off went through the wash with my jeans. Just inside the gate at Heinz Field is all you might ever want to eat. The prompt was to use “sense-scents-cents” in the blog and the bonus word was “sent.”


  1. A couple years back, my office had a similar contest. I work in Risk Mgmt so we took out a ceiling panel and jammed a boot in the ceiling (Santa’s boot, of course!) and put a ladder under it, and wrapped the area with yellow tape. We thought it was a riot! We won some prize but they stopped the contest after that. Evidently what we did was not ‘in the spirit.’ Oh, well.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love how you used the words – :) _ and I enjoyed hearing about your take on the door – such an enjoyment for life you have – and doing the door with your flair and style is way cool – and if a prize comes so be it – but I like how you do it for you – and it sounds like a fun holiday thing to do – :) peace


  3. “Teenage daughters always have the edge for creating “awwww” inspiring stuff and they always have glitter.” Often, the age is not an issue here :)
    Your work place sounds like fun. I am a part of a large organisation, fungible and invisible we are. Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. During my daughter’s High School years a few days before the first day of class of school she and most of the students would decorate the doors to the their lockers. She never won a prize but, like you had great fun planning and decorating her door. Hope you post photos of your door. It sounds neat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I have to go shopping soon. I waited too long last year and I couldn’t find blue paper. With three rivers, I don’t want to have to pay for wide ribbon again :)

      I’ve read about kids decorating lockers. If ever an item needed to be spruced up, the school locker is it.


  5. A fun read, Dan. All that door decorating made me think of Christo and his late wife, Jeanne Claude, the artists who wrapped large installations. Not artists who rapped, although if you stood behind your door and rapped Christmas carols your vote count might go up😊

    I still haven’t gotten one single email from Amazon. Most likely because they are too busy (w)rapping all my orders for shipping. The key to low email volume is dial up your purchases. Let me know if access to my wish list would help you out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sammy. You must be right, I must be on the “keep sending this guy emails until he buys something” list. I do have a book to buy but I don’t think that’s going to move me from naughty to nice. I won’t be rapping behind that door, I don’t want to scare anyone away. I’ll let you know if it gets bad enough to start looking at wish lists but hopefully I can create an email rule. BTW, I’ve already received two emails from Amazon about “cyber Monday”


  6. I enjoyed this post and how you worked in the SoCS prompts — never entered a contest like this but it sounds fun! Oh, and I got a kick out of you writing “‘awwww’ inspiring” — I want to use that in some of my Christmas cards this year. :) Thanks for the laugh, and good luck on your door!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I skipped SoSC for a few weeks but this one seemed to fit a bunch of snippets I had bouncing around in my head. I’m glad you liked it. thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. About that glitter comment… I agree with another earlier comment, the glitter isn’t always singly assigned to the teenage crowd… Sometimes the “herpes of craft supplies” is as easily found in a twenty-something woman’s box of random DIY crap. :)

    Good luck with that door! Just remember: all that matters is that you are your own winner. (I have discovered this myself, which I think you have also read about on my blog!)

    Loved the post! I think I’d like to join in on this weekly “Stream of Consciousness” fun! :)


  8. Hope you post pictures of your decorated door, Dan! It sounds like a fun project that will let you showcase your photos and your love of the area. Projects like that always eat more time and money than they should (I’m thinking of the many neighborhood 4th of July wagon “floats” I’ve decorated with my kids), but legitimate creative opportunities don’t come along every day; you have to seize them when they do :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sandi. I will probably have a post about the door, but if not, I’ll find a way to share the photos. Mine will be a “home for the holidays” theme (even though it hasn’t been home for almost 40 years).


  9. First of all, apologies for late comment on this one. I was kind of focused on my work last week. I liked the way you used words in this one, but to answer your very first question. I can resist bonus and I’m not just saying it here, but I actually can. I am more of a salary person, so when I go for an interview I am very particular about my salary (that also makes me sound like I am a money-minded person, but I give a damn about what employers think about me), but I am not really bothered about bonus, incentives, commission and other ways to make extra money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment Sharukh. I wasn’t thinking of the bonuses you mention, but you’re correct, they aren’t always a good thing. The best part about being in a community of writers is that I learn so much about other views, other customs, other countries and the way words relate to other people. At a time when our audience is truly international, these are good things to know.


  10. […] on the holiday door contest. I mentioned the contest in a Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) post a couple of weeks ago. As it turns out, the idea that I had seemed easier that it actually was. Having ideas like that is […]


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