this afternoon during a trip to six flags, new england, i took a seat on a bench to wait for a friend. as i sat down, i was suprised to see two young men walk by with HUGE stuffed animals draped around their necks. they had obviously just won them at a “carnival game” and i turned to see which one. it was the basketball shot challenge… and i was immediately intrigued.

i like to think that i can hold my own on a basketball court – especially shooting a long-range jump shot. these young men didn’t look they were anything special and so i began to watch the other contestants.

$2 got you 1 shot and $5 got you 3 shots. make one basket and win a prize – a 4 foot tall stuffed puppy with the tongue hanging out. of the three current contestants, one won. at about that time, a team of 12-year old basketball players and their coaches arrived to give it a shot. when i noticed a high percentage of the players winning on one particular basket, i figured i was on to something and began reaching in my pocket to find a $5 bill thinking that my kids would love the gift!

and then i stopped. “wait a minute, i’m becoming minimalist. what am i going to do with a 4-foot tall stuffed puppy in my basement?” i asked myself. i imagined my kids thinking the puppy was pretty cute at first and then pushing it into a corner to go back to their old toys. the puppy would just sit there, lonely, taking up space in my basement.

i gripped my $5 tighter and tighter as i wrestled with the decision. and when my friend arrived, i used it to buy him some ice cream. i’m very happy with my decision.

related posts: minimalist moment – the book store; benefit #11 – easier souvenir shopping