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Friday, May 26, 2006

The Prize is Inside

I was a natural born winner...for one year. How could a girl be so lucky? Well it wasn't luck. I had a job, a phone and lots of free time.

Back in the day I worked at a driving school. I had the power to schedule your kids driving sessions. Some days it was easy, everyone showed up, instructors didn't have drama in their life and the brakes worked.

During the school year, classes didn't start until 3 or 4 pm. But I was always there around noon. I had things to win. And in the summer time, the winning spree was in full speed.

I always listened to 107.5 "The End" every day. They always had something to give away. Cd's of groups I really didn't like, tickets to groups I didn't want to see. You know, the usual stuff. One time my friend Elsa called me from our rival driving school (she basically did the same thing over there).

"Ok, FM 100 is giving away $1000 for the secret song and it's a Michael Bolton song." It probably was his terrible song "When a man loves a Woman" or some crap like that. But hey, I'll listen to Lenny for $1000. So all day I listened to that crappy channel for that crappy song. When it finally came on, my expertise kicked in and I dialed once, busy, click, then hit re-dial.

That was the formula. Dial, busy, click, re-dial. It's a formula that only works on a phone with a good hang-up response. If your phone takes forever to hang up, there is no chance you're gonna win anything. Unfortunately, even with my formula, I didn't win $1000.

But that was only one out of every 5 wins. It was probably because it was FM 100. 107.5 treated me right. I won cd's that I never picked up (I think I picked up No Doubt when they hit it big), I saw Matchbox 20 at the Hard Rock and had beer spilled on me and a drum stick thrown at my head. It was some concert.

I won gift packages with shirts, stickers and any other promo items that I never picked up. I even won tickets to a Christmas concert with 5 popular bands of the time (one-hit-wonders maybe?). I didn't go.

It was the winning that I wanted. That was my prize. My voice on the radio, my mad phone skills and the thrill of the pick up. It took the boredom out of the everyday annoyances. Parents calling, kids bugging me to get scheduled, brakes locking up on the cars while driving.

"You say you couldn't stop? Well, I just won a water bottle!"


geeeek said...

Way back in the day, KNAC used to have a contest in the evening called the "The Terrible Tune". It was some guy who had the worst possible singing voice to begin with but he'd take a popular song and sing it even worse on purpose to make it difficult to guess what the song was. I would always here the terrible tune on my way home from work, but, there was almost always a winner before I'd get home. Then, one night it came on and I knew the song from the first 3 or 4 words the guy "sang". The first round of 5 callers all bricked. They played a song and came back for 5 more callers. Still, no winner. By this time, I was almost home. I started driving a little quicker and yelling at the radio each time an idiot would guess incorrectly. It was sooooo easy... come on, people!

I made it home during the 2nd song and FLEW into the house and directly to the phone. I dialed... busy. I dialed again... busy. I dialed again... ring... The DJ picked up the phone, I screamed out "DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY." The DJ confirmed that I was a modern day genius. My prize, you ask? 2 tickets to see Andrew Dice Clay in concert. Even though I was a "Dice" fan, his show was not great. Most of the material I had heard before... But, you can't go wrong with a free show...

My only other "radio" win was after KNAC went off the air but came back on over the internet. They were giving away Metallica tickets. You had to be the 26th caller once they started playing a certain song. At the time I was working for a software company and it was early in the morning. When the song came on, I dialed and got through on the first try. I was informed that I was caller #1. I hung up and called back. Caller #2. repeat. Caller #3. #4, #6, #7, #9, #11, #13, #14, #16, #19, #20, #22, #23, #25 and then finally when I got through next the guy answers the phone, "Domino's Pizza." He chuckled and then told me I won. I was very stoked. Sadly, they gave us crappy seats, but still, free Metallica is OK with me!

Jessi said...

Your phone has some awesome hang-up response for you get that many answers! That would have been excitment overload for me.

Geoff said...

I try to win crap off of 94.1 all the time, but a "little birdy" who works there told me that they often tell men who call in that they are some other caller #, rather than 29. This is because MIX caters to the 18-34 women demographic, and they don't want men winning prizes.

And if you listen to that station, you very rarely hear a guy win. Hmmm...

TonyM said...

I dialed in once thinking I heard the winning song and when the DJ answered I asked "Did I win?!" He told me "YES!" and suckered me in. It wasn't the winning song and they used my enthusiasm on the radio for a week. EMBARRASED! I never called again since for anything!