Winner of Boffo Giveaway Announced! Great New Giveaway Introduced!

January 17th, 2012

It seems like only three or four weeks ago that I posted a lengthy review of The Case for Christ and buried a fabulous giveaway in it.

Armed with fortitude, perseverance, and/or resourcefulness, reader after reader unearthed the giveaway and discovered to her or his delight that she or he stood to win …

a coupon good for a free Attune Probiotic bar …

which I had painstakingly cut out of this cereal box.

These are the actual scissors I used to cut the coupon out.

I just got my first digital camera.

You know how it is when you get your first digital camera.

All you want to do is take photos with it and post them on a blog.

You don’t even care too much what the subjects of the photos are.

Can you guess what this is? If you’re the first one to identify it, I’ll give you anything you want.*

(*Anything you want must be available for purchase for $30 or less. To win, you must be the first one to leave a comment correctly identifying [i] what the mystery object is and [ii] what it is meant to depict.)

But back to the matter at hand. To be eligible for the drawing for the Attune bar coupon, a reader had to leave a comment about an obscure debate that was mentioned in passing in an introduction to one of the chapters of The Case for Christ. I provided a link to the debate on YouTube but did not require commenters to watch it in order to be eligible to win the coupon.

As you can imagine, this giveaway was a huge success and generated lots of great comments about the debate, ranging from Amy Dodd’s succinct “DEBATE!” to various declarations of intent to watch the debate later or not at all, to a couple of thoughtful comments from PJCarz and Stephen, who actually watched the debate.

To pick a winner on the basis of comment quality would have been a maddening task, since so many of the comments were of such high quality. Fortunately, I had anticipated this problem and made the contest a drawing, which I conducted as follows.

Being a bit of an amateur conservationist, I resolved to use as much of the cereal box as possible for this project in order to save the energy it would take to recycle the unused portions of the box. Noticing that the box also included a coupon for 75 cents off a box of Uncle Sam cereal, I decided to cut that out as well and include it with the prize.

An examination of the remainder of the box revealed that a large portion of it could be used in the construction of a “mini box” per the instructions provided by the cereal manufacturer.

So I constructed it. This would be the box from which the winner’s name would be drawn.

I then cut a box top into pieces and wrote the names of the contestants on them.

But even after all this reuse, there was still a generous portion of unused box left. It occurred to me that maybe I could use it to make a papier-mâché hamster to include in the package that would be sent to the winner.

Pouncing on this unexpected flash of genius, I quickly assembled the ingredients and set to work,

only to discover that cereal box cardboard is not an appropriate material for a papier-mâché project. Since I had at least succeeded in making the remaining part of cereal box unusable for anything else, I turned my attention to the drawing. I put the box top pieces with the names on them into the mini box and shook it vigorously for a few seconds and then lethargically for another few seconds. Then, I reached into the box.

My hand emerged with this piece. Congratulations, Kitty! Please click “Contact Dear Charles” at the top of this page to let me know where to send the prize and then prepare to be engulfed in anticipatory excitement each time you hear the approach of the mail carrier for the next few days.

My gratitude goes to everyone who participated. You’re all winners in my mind, but there’s a weird disconnect between my mind and my actions, so I’m sending the prize only to Kitty.


  • Spinny:

    A ceramic Empire State Building? Maybe a salt shaker? Bookend?

    • Charles:

      Congratulations, Spinny! I can’t believe you guessed it so quickly! It is an Empire State Building salt shaker. Please let me know what you want and where to send it by clicking “Contact Dear Charles” at the top of the page.

      • Spinny:

        Wow! That’s so nice!! There’s nothing I really want or need. Maybe you could buy yourself a nice bottle of scotch and have a drink for me. Or donate a few bucks to the FFRF. :)

        • Charles:

          Thanks, Spinny. I’m not really a scotch drinker, so I’ll give the money for your prize to the FFRF. Would you like me to get you an FFRF membership (or renew your membership) with it?

  • Susan:

    Can I sign up to win the hamster, no really, it does resemble a hamster, AND no cage cleaning required. Think my kid will fall for it? If I say it came from an expert on mind and actions? I’ll do anything to avoid feeding/cleaning/vet visits for yet another pet.

    • Charles:

      I’m sorry to report that I threw the hamster out last night, Susan. I just couldn’t bear to look at it anymore. But if it’s any consolation, it wasn’t as clean as it looked. It took almost a half hour of intensive cleaning to get the hamster’s cage to a point where I was comfortable returning it to the pet store and claiming it hadn’t been used and asking for a full refund. Also, it may surprise you to learn that children seem strangely unimpressed with my mind/action expertise; they’re much like adults in that respect.

  • Kitty Conner:

    I am truly overwhelmed with joy, excitement and gratitude at this moment.

    I mean… a whole Attune Bar Coupon? Just for me?

    Boffo, indeed!

    • Charles:

      Don’t forget, Kitty, you’ll also be receiving a coupon for 75 cents off a box of Uncle Sam cereal, although I understand if that’s just too much good fortune to contemplate right now.

  • km:

    Well done Kitty Conner. Never say you never win anything :)

  • Sheryl:

    I am so glad it is a salt shaker because I was guessing rectal thermometer

    • Charles:

      How I wish that had been the correct answer ….

  • Alesia:

    congrats on your first digital camera Charles! watch out for that green setting you used at the rally to restore sanity!

    • Charles:

      Thanks, Alesia. I’ll be lucky if I ever figure out how to get the camera out of the default setting, so I’m not too worried about stumbling into the green setting again.

  • joanlvh:

    this is your first digital camera? all your past pictures have been very nice, have you been using film? joanlvh