FUN (not): Don’t Count on Donkey


I have a confession to make. I’m peeved. Seriously.

After years of avoiding making any type of cereal purchase based on “the prize inside” I recently succumbed. I’d like to say it was a weak moment, but it wasn’t. It was on purpose and I made the decision only after selecting a healthy cereal.  After all, I, an informed consumer, mother of two and all around great gal am NOT going to buy junk to eat – at least not cereal.

He's smiling, but I'm not.

So I’m naming names.

I chose Cheerios. I felt OK about this and then after determining the best cost per ounce among its various box sizes  (yes, I do that), I looked – dare I? – at the prizes available.

A marker!

Hallelujah. Something useful.

I’m currently reading several books and even rationalized how THIS marker – a NEON Donkey marker – would be FUN to use as a highlighter. I blush to think how SMART I was to have picked one of the four SHREK-inspired  creations.

Actually, I had forgotten about said marker until after my husband had opened the Cheerios box.  I found the prize lying all alone on my kitchen counter – still sealed in its plastic.  Carefully, I cut the plastic wrap end, slid out the non-ergonomic contraption and found stickers! Wow! I got to customize the marker on each side with Donkey stickers AND I’d have a marker, you know to underline all those important passages in the books I’m reading.

They say good writers are readers, so of course, I don’t want to disappoint them! I think trying to read three books at a time qualifies . . . for something!

So, back to the story.

I stuck on the stickers and eagerly opened the top to reveal blue ink. Blue’s good. Not my

I should have heeded Shrek's KEEP OUT warning although that's meant as a door hangar for a kid's room.

favorite color, but respectable for neon marker-highlighter type of work.

And then, the truth surfaced as I prepared myself for the official writing on paper test. You have to understand that those of us who write – or claim to – have a very emotional connection with WHAT we use to write. My favorite pens are some of the cheapest on the market. The “feel” is very important.

I paused and took it all in.

“This is really cool,” I congratulated myself. In envisioned the Donkey neon marker being on my desk in full view of my middle school students once school starts again.

“Wow,” they’ll chime in covetous tones. “Mrs. Lemine has a DONKEY neon marker. We better make sure to return it after she lets us use it!”

And then it happened.

With a scratchy sensation, this paltry excuse for a neon marker eeked out an unimpressive blue weak line – not once, but multiple times! I kept hoping with each stroke that the ink flow would begin and that my impeccable highlighting abilities would soon be realized.

Instead, I was in shock. This was a freshly opened, creatively stickered movie-themed marker! It was MY prize and it was NOT working!

I felt as though I had been kicked by Donkey. I think I even heard him chastise me saying, “Anyone with brains knows that markers come from office supply stores, not cereal boxes. Wake up, girl. I’ll make you some waffles!”

So what did I do? Where did I turn?

The trash can. I stepped on the lid, sent the so-called marker skyward, made a “basket” and left the kitchen in dejected fashion.

I’m done. No more prize picking for me. Besides, cereal prizes are for people without expectations.

And it wasn’t recyclable, either!

Just wondering: Tell me about a time your expectations weren’t realized and how you reacted.


8 thoughts on “FUN (not): Don’t Count on Donkey

  1. Shannon Lee

    My goodness, your story was mine word for word. Im actually not going to throw it away though. Im keeping it on my desk to remind me of the disappointment I had after realizing It didn’t work. I was so happy for a real prize in a cereal box and not some paper “cracker jack” excuses for “prize inside”.

    You write wonderfully, Not only was I surprised that my random Google of ” how does the donkey marker work from the cheerio box?” actually pulled up something useful but entertaining as well. I gladly read your article out loud to the whole house =)

    thank you,
    Shannon Lee


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