Friday, May 12, 2006

Johnny, tell Becca what she's won!

Becca, you've won a dinner with Don Ray and his family (void outside California and inside restaurants that are too organic or too expensive). All you have to do is come to Southern California (Transportation not included).

Becca is my niece.

Becca wins because she was the first to identify Nigeria as Don Ray's next adventure destination. How did she do it? Here are her words:

"Good old Google. I didn't put much thought into your initial call for guesses, because I had NO idea and DEFINITELY thought it must start with "C" or have something significantly "C"-ish about it.

"Then today, I started thinking of Nigeria with the oil and all your shots and quinine-resistant mosquitos and the like. But truth be told, Nigeria was one of a bunch of the countries of the world that sprang to mind that seemed like 2X CA and corrupt and tropically north of the equator. I have no idea which countries are quinine-resistant. So I googled "2 times the size of California," came up with several countries, and there with Nigeria was Venezuela! So I knew it must be one of the 2, with their oil and location. I mean, everyone's corrupt, so I couldn't go on that. I'm trying to think of your other "C"'s now. Oh well. So then it was math time. I added your two figures, googled "419 Nigeria" and suddenly had to come up with a blog title! A title which is seriously lacking in pizazz, so I welcome you to attach a catchier title to your blog. I was so excited to write and tell you I knew where you were going, never imagining I'd be the FIRST and that my title would actually matter. I thought many people more diligent and astute than me would have come up with your next destination just from your first set of clues. I didn't realize you offered us today's set of clues because no one'd figured it out yet. Don Ray, this is so fun!"

If you don't understand the "419" connection to Nigeria, just do the same Google search Becca did.

Now here's the fun connection: The reason that Becca is in my life is because of another mystery I undertook several years ago. I was in search of the truth behind something my stepfather told me about his earlier life. Some 30 years after his death, I decided to find out what really happened. The answer to the mystery also led me to two stepbrothers I had never met.

You should read the story as it ran in L.A. Times Magazine:

Many of my blog readers read already know the story. If you don't, I promise you you'll have good feelings after you've read it. By the way, Becca is David's daughter. And, of course, she's my stepfather's granddaughter.

I'll be bloggin' from Nigeria by about May 22nd or so. By the way, the cities with red blocks below them on the map are the cities where I'll be conducting seminars.

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