Some people are born lucky. Some acquire luck.
Then there are those of us like me . . . The Unlucky.
Yes, I pick the wrong line to check out at Target. Always choose the wrong line at the bank (whether I’m walking in or driving through). I catch every light. I buy lottery tickets that aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. I lose at cards and board games and Sweet 16 pools.
But one time in my life, I won something. All because I howled at the moon.
I’ve never been able to resist when a DJ says, “Be the 10th caller.” I don’t care if he’s offering cash, concert tickets, a free T-shirt from the station, a 4-pack to Six Flags . . . you name it. I want it. I’m all about the freebie!
That was especially true when I was a poor college student. You know, scraping by the best I could. A couple of times even selling a textbook (or two) back early just to get some much-needed cash. So when the DJ said call now, I did.
The trouble was–I didn’t know what I was calling in to win.
I’d just come in from a pep rally and bonfire for my college team. It was the week of Halloween, which is my birthday, so I was in a great mood. I’d had fun with my friends at the gathering, I’d aced a test that day, and life was good. I was about to be 20. NOT a teenager anymore! So when I flipped on my radio and heard “So be the 13th caller,” I automatically started dialing. I did it all the time. I knew I wouldn’t win, but it’s hard to break old habits.
When I didn’t get the usual busy signal and heard the ringing, my hopes rose. Slightly. I’d gotten through other times, only to be a call or two away from being the actual winner. But then the DJ answered and said, “YOU’RE THE 13TH CALLER!” (in that DJ-tone they have), I about fainted away. He told me hold on the line. My heart fluttered wildly. I was so stunned, I didn’t even call out for my roommates to come in and hear my moment of victory.
Then he clicked back on, asked me my name, where I was from, and told me I’d WON THE CONCERT TICKETS!!! Of course, I had no idea what tickets since I’d missed that part, but I showed the proper enthusiasm and screamed and squealed as all good radio winners should.
Oh, yeah . . . I’d also missed the other part before I’d tuned in. There was a catch to being the winner. He told me the tickets were mine. All I had to do–in honor of Halloween–was howl at the moon. Me. Shy, retiring, and now unlucky me, having to totally embarrass myself and behave like an idiot on a Friday night with who knows how many people were listening. I tried to get out of it. Told him I saved my howls for the night of Halloween alone. But he wasn’t buying it. In order to win, I had to howl at the moon. So I did. With enthusiasm and energy and volume to spare. Hey, I had to go all out. I wanted those tickets!
He cackled like a maniac. I probably turned redder than a fire truck. He told me I was a great sport and to stay on the line. He put a song on and came back, getting my personal info and letting me know where to pick up the tickets at the station. By then, my roommates had slipped in, muffling giggles. They were the only witnesses to my total humiliation. Or so I thought.
Yes, for over a week, I ran into all kinds of people who’d heard me howl at the moon on KRZI. Even people I didn’t know would stop me as I was walking to class and comment about it. Total mortification. Being famous for a dumb stunt that was played multiple times over the next week.
I did go to the concert and had a lot of fun. But nowadays? I make sure I’ve heard everything that DJ says before I even think about picking up my phone.