I took the Where’s Waldo challenge sponsored by Pegasus Books on Solano, which means that during the month of September, I went to 20 different businesses (mostly on Solano Ave.) and found a little cut-out of that familiar red-and-white-striped-shirt guy in each one. And I have a photo of my stamped sheet to prove it.
For the record, it was pretty difficult to find at Sue Johnson’s Lamps, but it was pretty easy everywhere else. (Well, except at Albany Art Center, but that’s because it wasn’t there. I finally had to ask for help and the woman there admitted she had thrown out the little Waldo that day because she thought the contest was over.)
Along the way I met some interesting people and discovered businesses I never would have gone into otherwise. Sure, the contest was probably aimed at children, but there were no written rules about age restrictions, and besides, I’m about 11 years old on the inside.
So on my birthday, Dave and I walked up to Pegasus, where we joined the throng of children and their parents for the Where’s Waldo party. We watched Manuela pull the stamped sheets out of an envelope and another store employee dressed as Waldo read the names aloud. Many prizes were awarded, some to people who were not present. There were T-shirts, Zachary’s pizzas, gift certificates, books, and movie passes—all great prizes that aren’t necessarily aimed at kids that I would have been happy to win. Time after time, Manuela’s hand produced a sheet, and time after time, someone else’s name was read.
For the last prize, which was a set of Waldo posters and a free pass to 24-Hour Fitness, they wanted to award the prize to someone who was present, so they kept pulling out names of people who were not there. Finally, my name was called. And I got to proudly claim my prize. Of course I already belong to 24-Hour Fitness, so a free pass does me no good. And as much as I enjoyed looking for Waldo in all those businesses along Solano Avenue, I wasn’t keen to put Waldo posters on the walls of my home.
However, I noticed that the little boy who had scored the two tickets to Albany Twin Theatre wasn’t really all that excited about it, whereas I would have screamed in delight had I won movie passes. So I sidled up to his dad and asked if his son might prefer my book of Waldo posters. It turns out that, given a choice, he totally went for Waldo.
So guess who got the movie passes…It was my birthday, after all.