The TV set was on and Charli Gibbons was wearing her favorite jersey with her lucky hat. Her husband, Ben, was out back lighting the grill and their 6-year-old daughter Daisy was running around with mini pom-poms and a greasy handful of potato chips. It was the Super Bowl and Charli's mamma was in the bathroom putting on her face.
Charli's mamma didn't wear make-up. In fact, when she'd moved in with them a few months back there had only been a handful of suitcases carrying precious keepsakes and some clothes. Charli hadn't seen so much as a lip gloss while sitting on the bed watching her mom unpack. She remembered feeling like a little girl again-sitting, watching her mother go about her business.
"Mamma...what are you doing? It's only a football game for god's sake!"
"I'm putting on my face in case the cameras come", Charli's mamma hollered back from the bathroom.
Charli thought to herself that perhaps her mother had finally succumbed to some sort of mental problem. "Cameras! What are you talking about Mamma?"
"You know. The Publisher's Clearing House people. I've got a feeling about this one today!"
Charli rolled her eyes heavenward. Her mamma had been entering the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes for as long as she could remember. She'd spent many hours watching her meticulously place all those stamps on the entry form. She'd argue about what a rip-off it was and she was spending all this money on magazines for nothing. Charli's mamma would continue licking and sticking stamps while telling Charli that it didn't matter if she won or not and that she enjoyed all those magazines that she was wasting money on thank you very much and didn't Charli herself read those very same magazines when she came over to visit!
At half-time Charli found herself draining her second beer and frowning over her team's crappy showing. She found herself in a right depression but couldn't bare to turn it off- there might be hope yet. Daisy was playing with her ponies on the coffee table and her mother and Ben were discussing the half-time show. Charli laid back on the couch and closed her eyes trying to drone out the chatter for a moment. The doorbell rang.
"I'll get it!" yelled Daisy as she made a beeline for the door. Charli was off the couch in a flash. She didn't like the idea of Daisy talking to strangers and she didn't know who was at the door.
"No, baby let me get it." But it was too late the door was opening and Charli was suddenly blinded by flashbulbs from seemingly every direction. She stood dumbfounded while Daisy hid behind her peeking out from around her legs. It wasn't until she saw the giant check with Publisher's Clearing House written across it in bold letters that she snapped out of her shock and started screaming.
"Mamma! Mamma! Get out here now! Oh my gawd Mamma! Get out here right now!
Charli felt her mother and Ben crowd into the doorway behind her. The man holding the check held out his hand. "Excuse me are you Mrs. Charli Gibbons?" Charli looked at his extended hand in confusion. "Um...yes, I am but why are you asking for me?"
The man grinned at Charli. "Well, mam, because you've won the Publisher's Clearing House $10 million dollar sweepstakes!"
Daisy pulled at the bottom of Charli's shirt. Charli shook her head. "No, you must be looking for my mamma." Daisy pulled again. Charli brushed her away. "Not now baby." "No, sir, really you mean Darla Jennings- my mother." Daisy pulled at her again.
It was the man's turn to shake his head. "No, mam says right here Charli Gibbons." He made to shake her hand again as a few more flashbulbs went off.
Daisy pulled at her again. Charli looked down at her daughter, shell shocked. "Daisy, what is it?"
"I put the stamps on mamma. There were two- one for you and one for Gramma and she said I could do one like her." Daisy looked up at smiling. Charli stared back down at her not really seeing anything until she heard the thump behind her and jumped a little.
Charli's mamma had fainted.