Have you ever won anything?

I was wondering if anyone here has ever won anything. What was it? Were you happy about it?

When I worked in advertising, my company had a contest to see who could write the worst first paragraph to a non-existent romance novel. The paragraph had to be really horrible, and it had to include a local landmark. I worked long and hard at writing my paragraph, and I won! I succeeded in writing a paragraph that was so terrible that it beat all other entries.

The prize was dinner for two at one of the most famous elegant restaurants in the city. My girlfriend and I didn’t like elegant dining very much (at least not THAT elegant), so I gave the gift certificate to a man I worked with. I just wanted to win, and I didn’t care about the prize.

Hi! Who thought of that contest? He must have had a lot of sense of humor. Anyway, I didn’t win anything in spelling bees or writing contests. I was chosen to represent our class in oratorical and impromptu speaking contests in high school, but I didn’t win. I don’t even know why my teacher thought I should do it. :oops:

We frequently had contests like this at that company. The reason was that the company’s suppliers often brought various little gifts. If the gift was food, everybody just ate it. If it was something more expensive, such as a gift certificate, a walkman or something even bigger, it was immoral to accept it, but the supplier refused to take it back. We therefore took those gifts to the human resources department, and they figured out a way to get rid of them. Usually they made them a prize in some funny contest.

There are many, many things I consider to have won in my life. Materially speaking, though, there’s only one, as far as I can remember: a bottle of Kirsch at a party!

We had been playing the following game: one of the guests had to strum the introductory notes of a long list of popular tunes on a keyboard and the rest of us had to guess the most tunes. Guess who won?

That game is called “Name That Tune”. It was a show on American TV in the 1950s and was then revived in the 1970s. Not only do the players have to guess the songs, but they have to bet how many notes need to be played before that can guess correctly. We say, “I can name that song in 4 notes.” The objective is to recognize the song based on a smaller number of notes than the other people do. And there’s no song list.

My younger sister and I enjoyed playing our own game called “Sister Mary Edith”. At the elementary school where we had weekly catechism classes, there was a nun named Sr. Mary Edith who had an amazingly high voice and a strange way of talking. In our game, the contestants had to blurt out the words “Sister Mary Edith”, “Jimmy’s toasty peanuts” or any phrase with the same number of syllables and a similar sequence of vowels. The trick was that the phrases were said very fast and in the way we thought Sr. Mary Edith might pronounce them. The other players had to guess which phrase you said.

This game could be good practice for (advanced!) English learners – and fun, too! We could try to do something like this online – minus the guessing part! How about ‘Give the money ‘n beat it’?

Isn’t it a pity that this kind of entertainment, as well as board games and traditional toys, are being relegated and replaced by electronic and other technological games? I also fear that real books are in the process of becoming obsolete, too. :frowning:

Well, we thought of this as a rather wicked game. We had other strange games, like one we called “Hold It Nice and Snug”. In this game, two people would lie on the sofa, and one would put his head between the other one’s knees. The latter person would graduallly squeeze the former person’s head between his knees, harder and harder and harder. The objective was to be the one who bore the most pain the longest without screaming.

Of course, there is a very well-known game called “Bloody Knuckles”, which is just a type of gin rummy. At the end of each round, the loser gets hit hard on the knuckles with the full deck of cards. So, yes, in the old days kids didn’t need computer games to have fun.

We also had a form of soccer in which a light plastic ball was not kicked, but propelled by being whipped with loose coils of clothes line. Of course, to survive a game like this, you needed to wear jeans. Kids who played it with shorts on were in for a lot of pain.

Anyway, I disagree with you that board games are being replaced by video games. Kids I know still play board games, card games and other kinds of games from the analogue world, partly because they like them, partly because their parents restrict their computer time, and partly because they enjoy the human interaction. And I notice that the libraries in my area can still attract a roomful of kids to their chess club meetings.

I won a dishwasher once :slight_smile:

Are you still married to him?

She’d better be if she found such a gem for a husband!

Is it gem for a husband or gem of a husband?

Hi Andreana! It’s been a long time!

Both sound right to me. However, I would say: ‘he is a gem of a husband’ or ‘she found a gem for a husband’. So, it seems to depend on the verb you use and it’s also a matter of collocation, I think.

Edit: the more I think about it, the less I like my explanation, but I’m afraid I can’t find a better one.

Hi Conchita, thank you for answering my question so fast, now I seem to understand the difference between gem of a husand and gem for a husband. In any case it’s good to have a husband who can operate a dishwasher ;-).

By the way, I often read the messages here but don’t write anything because I’m stuck with my studies, then I have another posting spree…

I don’t think this is quite what Jamie had in mind! I can see that men who actually do the washing up themselves must be as rare in your latitudes as they are in mine (OK, maybe my statement is a bit unfair to the few ones who do)!

Looking forward to it and sending lots of positive energy for your studies!

There’s an interesting British idiom: “washing up” used to mean washing dishes. When I hear that used, my first thought is that the person washed his face and hands and anything else that has to look presentable for dinner or a meeting. That British idiom “washing-up liquid” is also strange and indecipherable to us, and people probably wouldn’t understand right away that it meant what we call dish detergent. That usage of “washing up” and the idiom “washing-up liquid” are definitely not international English.

Once a woman in her 20s visited me from Leipzig when I lived in Eastern Europe, and she got very agitated when I washed the few breakfast dishes, as I was trained to at home. She blurted, “THAT’S A RATHER FEMININE ACTIVITY, ISN’T IT?!” and wouldn’t stop jumping around the kitchen from nerves until I let her dry them. (I had intended to let them just drain.) I’ve always wondered if this was characteristic of pre-1989 East Germans, or of her family, or just of her.

Ha ha ha!!! Nice! :lol: :lol: :lol:

No, honestly. I won a dishwasher once, I was 18 then… few days later i sold it…cause I had a really small kitchen! :x

No woman in her right mind should say such a dangerous thing!! :slight_smile:

Anyway, that woman sounds like someone from an older generation, to me – though I know only too well that, even in our modern day and age, this kind of notions is deeply engrained in (still far too) many women’s minds.

I had won nine months ago an iPod from the company and seeing a bit of jealousy between my colleagues, I had kept talking that the same day it was for me the third lucky choice ,two others were a laptop and a voucher(bill) for gas (petrol) in the states (both won on the internet).
Nobody was really able to challenge my lies (iPod was absolutely real).
I think they were just hating me in silence.
I know, it is sick but seamen are crazy so and so.

Actually, she was only 27, so she wasn’t from an older generation. She may not have been in her right mind, though, because she had a great resentment for English because it competed with Esperanto. She was also simultaneously a devout Lutheran and a doctrinaire Marxist, which is more or less impossible, but she somehow performed this feat in her own mind.

may be she was fine , and we are just to much to normal reads “boring” ?

I definitely agree with everybody how support the idea
"nice girl who wanted to be cool and absent minded teacher
with a lot of dirty dishes in the kitchen.
(courious about her version).