Know how they have those contests on the radio where you can call in and if your the #th caller you get something free? I remember doing that once back in High School. I was trying to win two tickets to a band I really liked and wanted to ask out the girl I liked at the time to go with me. I knew it was a long shot, but hey, why not give it a shot? By some miracle, I actually was the caller at the time. It was so surreal and I was giddy with excitement that I won. I was talking with the person on my phone, answering some of the basic questions and all that fun stuff. Then the radio host asked my age. When I said I was sixteen I remember their response all too well; “Oooh sorry, ya gotta be EIGHTeen years or older to win. The next caller still on the line is the new winner!” I was so upset about that. It was even worse when I heard it repeated on the radio. Then it was repeated again when some of friends started texting me with various reactions to what they heard. Needless to say that day didn’t go too well for me.
I hadn’t thought about that radio contest in a long time. It seemed like such a big deal back then, but I hadn’t even thought of it in at least four, probably five years. Today while my fiancee and I were driving around, the station we were listening to had free tickets to a country band we both liked. She gave me her phone (mine was forgotten at the house) and told me to try calling it in since we had time, and they were going to be giving away the tickets all day. So I did. I called, her phone made this “Do-oo-oop” noise before it connects to the other line. Then I got that annoying “bwaa bwaa bwaa” noise meaning the line was busy. She told me they only had one line and to keep trying. So I did. “Do-oo-oop- bwaa bwaa bwaa.” She told me to keep trying until the radio song ended and the winner announced. I called the station nineteen times and every time it was the same situation; “do-oo-oop. . . BWAA BWAA BWAA.” It was sucky not to win, but oh well. They were given away another pair of tickets every hour or so, and we had a lot of errands to run.
At first I thought this was stupid. Memories of that first contest I (unsuccessfully) won came flooding back. I didn’t want to do this stupid thing. We could just buy the tickets. They’d probably come up with some reason we wouldn’t be able to redeem them. Despite thinking these, I kept trying. It was something to do while in the car. The second time we tried calling in it finally happened! “Do-oo-oop . . . ringring!” I had about half a second of excitement before the “BWAA BWAA BWAA” started up in my ear. This happened three times in a row before going from connecting to the busy tone. Talk about a downer. Forty eight total attempts to call the station. Thank God for free calling anywhere in the US.
After hours of driving around and running errands (buying Warhammer mini’s and paint/brushes) we decide to check out one last store. Figured since it’s our last store, we’ll try one more attempt at calling the station. We tune in and already hear a song by the band playing, which means the contest started! The phone gets tossed into my lap, so I pick it up and call in. Also thank God for making “contacts” a thing on mobile devices.
Wonder if it’ll ring once before the TV alert system starts up.
Better get ready to hang up and try again.
Hello? Can I ask your name please?
Ryan? Congratulations! You’re the lucky caller!
Needless to say, it was my lucky day. I was quite excited to find out that we’d get a chance to go see our (my) favorite country singer live in a few weeks. Thank God I’m actually old enough to redeem the tickets this time around. And the best part? I get to take the girl I really like with me (YES I’m talking about my fiancee). I’m looking forward to this concert. I’m gonna consider it to be an early birthday present from karma. Now I just need to make sure I pay it forward and do something nice for those sharing this life with me.