That Thursday morning, I awakened with excitement, and I had no idea that I would have Cracker Jacks that day.
Thursdays are among my Top 7 favorite days of the week. Tuesdays and Thursdays are extra special because those are Dinker Days, but last Tuesday and Thursday was even more special.
Now in case you don’t know, The Dinkers is the name of our pickleball group. While that may sound like a derogatory term, a dink is actually a soft, skilled shot that barely goes over the net and lands in the kitchen. No, not the kitchen in a house, but I do like that one too.
I love playing pickleball with The Dinkers for several reasons. Of course, there is simply the pleasure of playing the game, but it comes with extra bonuses too. For one, we have a good group of good people. Another thing I love is the goodies. Quite often, some of the ladies bring goodies for us to eat. No, they don’t serve them in the court’s kitchen, but on a table beside the courts.
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Once a month we have a pot-luck lunch after we play for the players who have birthdays that month. As an extra bonus, those of us who don’t even have birthdays anymore can still come and eat! An extra-extra bonus is the cake. Ms. Tomi bakes the cakes, and they are too good. The last one was red velvet. I sure am glad I had played for a couple of hours. I gained 2 pounds before I took a bite by just sniffing the frosting!
Then, on Thursday, our friend Starr brought Cracker Jacks. I have loved Cracker Jacks since I was a little kid, but Cracker Jacks are not just for kids. I still love them!
When I was a kid, Dad sold all kinds of goodies in his store, including Cracker Jacks. You do know what makes them so special, don’t you? Well, that caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts is the main attraction, but each box comes with an extra bonus. Each box has a surprise prize.
Cracker Jack began back in 1896, but the prizes were not added until 1912. In the early years, some boxes contained baseball cards. Some of the toy prizes included rings, plastic figurines, tiny booklets, stickers, temporary tattoos, and decoder rings. In the early 1960s, the toys included plastic snap-together trophies.
There were all kinds of trophies for all kinds of things like Champion Eater, Champion Talker, Champion TV Watcher, Best Player, etc. There was no Champion Pickleball Player, because no one had ever heard of pickleball back then. Since my dad had a store, I had a huge collection of Cracker Jack trophies. Adults often came in and ate the snack but gave me the prize. I wish I had kept them. Some of the vintage ones are on eBay for nice prices.
Isn’t life grand? Life is full of prizes and surprises. Some of the surprises are not so great, but there are plenty of good ones too. I especially love life as a Christian, but when this one is finished, there will be an extra bonus. Please make your plans now for the prize.
Bill King is a minister, author, singer/songwriter, and performs humor as Bro. Billy Bob Bohannon (www.brobillybob.com). Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.