My New Coffee Maker Is Totally Going To Score Me $100,000

spaceballs mr coffee

Well I hope it’s a long wedding, because it’s gonna be a short honeymoon.


Island Packet — Have you ever actually sat down and read the instruction manual to a Black and Decker 12-cup coffee maker? I mean, ever really taken it in, absorbed it deeply? Because it’s phenomenal, and not just because it apparently wields the power to score you one hundred thousand dollars. AMERICAN dollars! Which I know is worth about $3,550 now, but it’s still cool.

I don’t think I’d ever truly considered the possibility of receiving buckets of cash because of an appliance until last week, when I broke the carafe on my old coffee maker by placing it in the dishwasher in a manner that apparently caused several hundred pounds of force to be applied to it mid-rinse cycle, because when I pulled the thing out of the dishwasher there was a giant angry-looking crack in the side of it, staring at me, judging me, mocking me.

No, it is not often that I believe I am being personally made fun of by beverage containers, with the exception of the time that 24-pack of Dr. Pepper made fun of my popped collar, but this particular carafe and I had a very close, intimate relationship, as we were basically the first item the other greeted in the morning for many, many years. Frankly, I think it got tired of having to serve me every day, and killed itself in the dishwasher, probably with a wet fork.



It is here that I need to stop and make a point, to ensure the reader knows the seriousness of this situation: The discovery of the shattered carafe meant I didn’t have a coffee maker in the house for a few days, which meant I DIDN’T HAVE A COFFEE MAKER IN THE HOUSE FOR A FEW DAYS. If this sentence does not turn your veins into ice-cold rivers of squealing panic, then I don’t know what to tell you, because it’s not just that we do not share a functionality-limiting caffeine addiction, but we also probably wouldn’t have a single thing to say to each other at all, and it might be best if you put this column down and went over to do the Jumble or something.

Having a broken coffee maker in the house is simply not an option for me. I would, simply put, rather not have walls. I would prefer to have a football team of carnival folk living in my bathroom than not have a coffee maker. I am not screwing around here, people.

But everything happens for a reason, and indeed the story has a happy ending, because the new coffee maker we purchased came with a plea, begging really, to register my product for a chance to win $100,000. Now, in this age of great economic calamity, that might not seem like much, and frankly it’s a sum that wouldn’t begin to graze my dog-track addiction, but when you consider that it’s potentially being offered to you as a side effect of a Target purchase, it’s kind of awesome.

That is, it would be, if I didn’t believe the offer was a filthy lie. Listen, I can’t claim to have an alarmingly huge roster of friends or anything, but I’ve been a few places, seen a few things and I don’t think I have ever heard of such a payoff happening anywhere, and you’d have think that after 33 years, stastitics alone would suggest I’d have heard something. I have a friend who hugged “Weird Al” Yankovic, I once nearly knocked down Jesse Jackson in the bathroom and once about 12 of my friends happened upon a WWF event in a hotel that resulted in the lot of them having their picture taken with Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. You’d think that at some point, someone I know would have had a friend who won a Triscuits offer or something, but I don’t.

But if you do, drop a line to that e-mail address up there and let me know. I can’t offer anything in return — I don’t have $100,000 to throw around like the big-shot Black and Decker people — other than my sincere gratitude, and maybe a secondhand picture of Snuka.





About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

6 responses to “My New Coffee Maker Is Totally Going To Score Me $100,000

  • Tina Morehead


    Did you ever think about pouring boiling water over the coffee in the filter basket and letting it drain into a container? Dude, you seriously need to learn some survival skills. You can also just boil and strain the coffee like your ancestors did before fancy coffee pots were invented to make people think they can’t have coffee without them. Will it be as good a cup? Compared to no coffee, you betcha! Now, go get the Little House on the Prairie books to read to your children so you’ll know how to survive and live off the land in the event of some terrible disaster.


  • Jason Crane

    “Listen, I can’t claim to have an alarmingly huge roster of friends or anything”

    Touche, sir.


  • Mindy

    I like coffee…clearly not as much as you, but man alive that was a good read.

    Oh and I do not know anyone that has won a cash prize like that, if I did I sure would ask to borrow a few buck 🙂


  • ubermilf

    I once won an oven mitt and matching potholder from Hungry Jack pancake mix.



  • Bradshaw

    As the guy who hugged Al, I should point out that, at 3 years old, I did in fact win the Crown Point Little League raffle. $300. I’m told it paid for my college education (the first one), but the federal government and its insistence on payment each month would leave me to believe that the proceeds didn’t cover the entire tab.


  • Belle

    You know the McDonald’s Monopoly game? Back in 1986 or so, we won the $1000 prize…..and yes, it made our Disney World vacation that we were already going on just a TAD better! The funny thing was when the McDonald’s rep called she was busting out all over, full of CHEER and EXCITEMENT. She was sadly disappointed when I wasn’t falling all over myself with joy. Hell, I already knew I won, just give us the $ !!

    And that’s the only thing we’ve ever won from any of those kinds of contests. And, I don’t know anyone else that ever has won anything, either. My husband always enters those “Win a truck” things, but then he plays the lottery too, which is a big fat waste of money, dontcha think?


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