The next time you see me I’ll be driving either a Mercedes Benz M-class, a BMW X5, or a Porsche Cayenne, while headed either on a $1,500 shopping spree or on my five-day/four-night exotic island adventure vacation, and I’ll be spending $500 in cash. That’s what my letter says, and I know it’s true, because I called the number listed, and the people I talked to told me that, without question, I was in the money. Not only that, but I also get another vacation, either to Las Vegas or a cruise in the Caribbean, besides my regular prizes. What a wonderful country America is. This letter is from the great folks at Silverlake, or Silverleaf, or something, Resorts. This a group of people who, as best I can tell, have a bunch of outstanding lakeside properties on Canyon Lake, and they are just sick and tired of having to spend their vacations there by themselves, so they want me to come and spend my vacations there, too. And to get me to do that they’re willing to let me buy one of their prime condos, or whatever, at such a fantastic price I would have to be dumber than dog slobber to pass it up. What a deal. Of course, I don’t actually get to own the condo, in the sense that it would be mine. I would just get to go there and use it for about a week out of every year, and the rest of the time it would belong to someone else. Or maybe 51 someone elses. But the good news is that we each get to pay such a great low price, approximately equivalent to what my current house cost me. Hard to pass that up. But then, I have to do all the upkeep on my current house, such as fixing leaks and filling ice trays and keeping pets out. With the Canyon Lake deal, the nice folks there like me so much they want to do all that for me, and all I have to do is give them a monthly payment, on top of the regular condo payment which I will owe for the privilege of not owning the condo. This upkeep payment will be approximately equivalent to my current grocery bill. I realize all this sounds too good to be true, and you’re thinking there must be a catch, but there’s not. The good Silverleaf or Silverlake people just want to make me happy and improve my quality of life. They’re philanthropists, is what they are. But the great thing about these Canyon Lake folks is that I don’t even have to buy a condo to get my car and vacations and a sack full of the cash they have lying around. All I have to do is show up, and they’re going to hand me all that stuff. It says so in my letter, which I am keeping in my safety deposit box until I can collect. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re skeptical. So was I. Especially after what happened to my friend, Bill Koock, when he got a letter once. Bill was supposed to get a big screen TV, and when the time came to collect his prize they gave him a spatula. He asked where his TV was, and they said they were all out of TVs, but if he would buy a condo they might could see about raking one up. But he said no, he was going home and cook some eggs. Yes, that really happened, but that wasn’t the Canyon Lake folks. I don’t think. When I called I made sure to specifically ask them if they were going to give me a spatula, and they said they didn’t have any spatulas. So I’m OK there. I also told them that, since I had already been to their resort on Canyon Lake and looked it over, which is true, there was no reason for me to come back, and to just go ahead and send me my prize. They didn’t like that idea a whole lot. They said I had to come back and look again, as they had improved the place a lot. But I’m starting to wonder. The letter says ‘You are guaranteed to receive your prize and gift immediately,’ but that’s what my other letter said, and I didn’t get a prize then. That time my wife and I and the kids spent several hours being subjected to a 90-minute tour, and missed supper, and then they did everything but take us in the back room and give us the bare bulb and rubber hose treatment, trying to sell us a condo. We were lucky to escape with most of our kidneys. But since there isn’t any fine print on the letter, I know they’re going to have to give me my car and stuff. Besides, I own Hoover Dam, and I’m thinking they might be willing to trade’ Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist who is learning to make a pretty fair omelet. Write to him at P.O. Box 1600, Mason, Tex. 76856 or

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