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!”


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