Background: Mr VOW and I used to own rentals. We used every means available to screen people. However, the homes we had must have been haunted, because almost all the renters ended up being Demon Spawn, straight out of Hell.
One lady left a massive amount of STUFF behind: furniture, books, enough crutches to stock an orthopedic ward, and her husband.
Oh, he was dead.
It was actually the container with her late husband’s “cremains.”
Now, in the early Nineties, we had AOL. I wandered around the place, and found an area for wanna-be writers. It was like home! I applied, and was “hired” as a host in the area’s chat room, “The Instant Cafe.” I had an official screen name, NOVLVow. Members who “worked” in the various areas of AOL were not paid, but our AOL subscription was free.
As much as I loved hosting, I REALLYREALLYREALLY wanted to work in the Humor Department. I knew all the NOVLs there, and I made sure the manager knew I was always interested in working the boards!
After we acquired the renter’s husband, I visited with the HD manager in an Instant Message, and I told him about the new occupant of our garage. I said I really didn’t know what to do, but it just didn’t seem RIGHT to toss the guy out next trash day.
The manager perked up, and said, "We ought to have a contest! ‘Suggestions on what to do with a Dead Guy’s Ashes! Winner to get–the ashes!’ "
So, indeed, the Humor Department ran that contest! As the provider of the contest element, so to speak, I was allowed to officially participate in responding to the thread in my NOVL name. When the contest finished, I stayed at the Humor Dept as a staffer!