Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Redemption Song

You remember several months ago when I was bitching about how I called in as a contestant for a game on WFNX radio and ended up taking a nosedive?

Well - three words:
Victory is mine!!!

Told you it wouldn't be long, folks. Granted, I had to build up an obsession with the contest first and then draw up a flow chart and infiltration map diagramming exactly how my call would get through, but sure as eggs is eggs, I am the big weener today.

It went down like this. The contest is a daily thing called "Keith's Stupid Game" (Keith being the name of the DJ), which airs every day at some point between 5:00 and 5:15 - a time which often coincides with my drive home from work. Every day they have a different... well, stupid game (hence the name), usually involving trivia questions about pop culture. As it happened, I had just parked outside my house when the contest began, leaving my hands free to call into the station and have another crack at this ego-killing little contest. (Preachy time, folks. Please don't drive and talk on the phone at the same time. I almost got my clock cleaned by an oncoming motorist today who was swerving while talking on the phone. No one is that important. Trust me - it makes you very stupid and very oblivious.... so DON'T DO IT, lest I kick your ass. Moving on.)

Three things were going in my favor. 1) The fact that I watched waaay too much TV as a child and therefore am somewhat of a pop culture junkie. 2) General karma. I lost last time due to what was legitimately the wrong answer, but what I consider to have been a technicality anyway because... well, because. 3) Having previously worked in radio, I knew EXACTLY when to call to get through. Before almost any radio contest which requires listeners to call in, it is standard practice for the DJ to clear all the phone lines (usually done by answering each line and then immediately hanging up on whoever is on the other end without so much as a hello) and then placing the line on hold so any future calls to the line will ring busy. Then, just before going on air to announce the contest, the DJ clears all the lines making them eligible again for potential contestants to call in. The main reason this is done is so that you ensure the people calling in are actually doing so for the contest and not some obscure request (Freebird!!!!) The trick, in this case, is to call the MOMENT the contest is announced but before the DJ announces the phone number, which is when the calls from the rest of the suckers come flooding through. You're thinking, "Well, that sounds pretty stupid, retardo-man! How the hell am I going to know what number to call if he hasn't announced it yet?" Couple reasons - any faithful listener to a radio station usually knows the number to the contest/request line because the DJ's are constantly rattling it off. Also, if you were as obsessive as I was about winning this damn thing, you'd have called the number just a few times before and it would still be stored in your cell phone's "Recent Calls" list. So there. Because this particular contest has a little 10 second jingle before it, essentially announcing, "It's contest time!!", I knew to place the call the moment I heard the jingle. Sure enough, I was the first contestant waiting when the DJ started taking calls.

The game itself was surprisingly easy. I forget exactly what the name was, but basically the DJ would name three television shows and the contestant would have to sing him part of each show's theme song - on live radio. The following is a transcript:

DJ: 'FNX. You ready to play Keith's Stupid Game?

Me: Hells yeah! Hells yeah!

DJ: Alright, here's TV show #1: Mr. Ed

Me: Ooooooooh - A horse is a horse, of course of course.

DJ (laughing): Alright, alright, enough. Batman.

(Is he kidding? Surely it can't be this easy....)

Me: BATMAN!!!!! Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh. Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh. BATMAN!!!!

DJ: Good!! Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

(Oh, crap)

Me: (five second pause) Oh yeah!! West Philadelphia, born and raised! On the playground is where I spent most of my days!!!!

DJ: DUDE!!! You just ran the table!!!! And you watch too much TV.........

Holla! I'd won. And the prizes? Two tickets to the WFNX "
Off the Radar" concert featuring the bands OK Go and The Shout Out Louds - two bands which I've only vaguely heard of, but having listened to a good bit of both today, I can safely say are both absolutely woeful. Off the radar, indeed. Oh - and the other prize:

Drum roll please!!!

A Wendy's combo meal. Um... yay. I sort of chuckled when the DJ announced this, and when he asked, "What, you don't like Wendy's?", I responded with, "No, they're alright. I was just wondering whether the free meal comes with or without the human finger." Talk about beggars being choosers. Needless to say, I didn't earn any bonus prizes.

However, I sit here today a new man. One with pride restored and the spoils to show for it. Nevermind the fact the tickets will be auctioned off on eBay and the combo meal coupon... well, I'll probably use that. They do make a decent Spicy Chicken sandwich, I suppose. I'll just make sure to stay well away from the chili. But thanks to Mr. Ed, Batman, and Will Smith I'm a happy man today. Next contest, please! I'm gonna try for Britney Spears and a Happy Meal!!!

(P.S. Speaking of concerts, I saw a fantastic one last night. Liz Phair kicked off an all acoustic tour at the Paradise with a simply phenomenal performance. She played all of the favorites (except the really racy, slutty songs) as well as lots of obscure B- sides and stuff from a new, soon to be released album. A fine job from Fair Ms. Phair. I've made the first track off her excellent first album, Exile in Guyville, available for download in the sidebar to the right. Enjoy.)


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