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Priscilla Ceballos, You are not a winner

December 29, 2007

Club Libby Lu is a Chicago-based store that sells clothes, accessories and games intended for young girls. It knows what the customers want and right now they want Hannah Montana.

So they came up with a great promotion. Club Libby Lu sponsored the "Hannah Montana Rock Your Holidays Essay Contest" where the winner would receive four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert. The winner was Alexis Menjivar from Garland, Texas who had a hard-to-beat opening line: "My daddy died this year in Iraq."

No amount of prizes can really make up for the loss of a father, but her essay won the hearts of the organizers and they set her up with a makeover that included a blonde Hannah Montana wig, airfare for four to Albany, New York including concert tickets to the sold-out Hannah Montana concert on January 9, 2008. Even such a wonderful prize may not do much to alleviate the mourning she suffers from due to the death of her father, Sgt. Jonathon Menjivar, who was killed by a roadside bomb on April 17, 2007.

And then a complication set in.

With any human interest story, someone looked up the details of how Sgt. Jonathon Menjivar met his grisly end working to restore law and order in Iraq. Nobody in Iraq with that name died that day. In fact, nobody with a similar name has died in Iraq or even served in the region. Thats because the story was fake. Her father is a carpet cleaner who never served in the Army and alive and well.

Priscilla Ceballos, the epitome of honesty

When confronted by a Dallas TV station, the mother admitted the essay was fake. "We did the essay and that's what we did to win. We did whatever we could do to win," Ceballos said in an interview Friday with Dallas' KDFW-TV. "But when (company spokesman Robyn Caulfield) asked me if this essay is true, I said `No, this essay is not true.' " When she was pressed further and asked if it was fair, she said, "Uh, I don't need to" and ran out of the store.

The Prize-Winning Essay

My daddy died this year in Iraq. I am going to give mommy the Angel pendant that daddy put on mommy when she was having me. I had it in my jewelry box since that day. I love my mommy.

It is stories like this that make me ill. It's not the lying that I find so revolting. If she had written an obvious fictional story, I would be amused. It's the fact she stooped so low as to intentionally pull on the heartstrings of the organizers to manipulate people to give something she did not deserve.

The company is deciding whether or not to take away the prize. I would hope the company not only takes away the prize, but sues the mother for damages and expenses. Furthermore they should bar the girl and the family from ever shopping at the store again.

I know on the surface that seems rather harsh and it is. But it sends a signal to the other customers of the chain that they believe in integrity. The company should figure out the next best essay winner, do a quick background check to verify the essay, then reward the winner even more prizes. Something like a shopping spree through the store and an apology to the people who entered the essay contest.

And if they select the next winner, I am positive my essay will be the winning essay that is chosen. I plan to go to the concert completely likkered up. I'm gonna get hella drunk and hopefully vomit all over cute little Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus -- daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus) when I meet her backstage.

Then I am going to wrap up the items I snagged in the shopping spree and send them to any neighborhood girls. The parents will wonder why a creepy man is passing out Hannah Montana gifts and convince their kids to quit listening to that crap because it attracts the wrong element. When the Hannah Montana empire comes to a screeching halt, then I shall have my revenge Billy Ray Cyrus for making money on that damned "Achy Breaky Heart" song.

Revenge. It's gonna be sweet!

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