Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Contest Junkies Are Sick People

(title is also link to audio of call)
Listen 24 May 2005 10:22 am


The best thing about being in love...with someone is, that just when you think know someone is when you really get to “KNOW SOMEONE”. My Woman, which from this day forward I will refer to, as “Paula” is a how do can put is a …Contest-O-Holic. Yes, those endless hours she spent online I always thought was being used for some ordinary sickness like, porn or Ebay. Last year to my utter horror and shame, I discovered the ugly truth.



It all started with a simple request to go to office depot and pick up 500 envelopes. My face clearly expressed my curiosity.

“It ain’t Christmas. Wuz up,” I asked?

“Sigh, just get them ok,” she answered?

“Sending out resumes,” I asked again?

“Look, have a seat we need a talk,” she replied. Uh-oh I thought experience tells me nothing good has ever started with this phrase.

“Look I’m tired of living a lie,” she started.

“Ok,” I gulped.

“I’m into contest in a Big Way,” she came back.

“Define in a big way” I reacted? This one those silly moments in a relationship when you begin to evalute all the things you might have done wrong.

“Do you still love me," I ask quietly?

“Sure as soon as you get back with those envelopes.” So it goes.



So it began the yearlong journey, sharing the death “by a thousand paper cuts,” tongue and finger, prepping her entries. The feverish all night chat rooms swapping strategies and intelligence on alleged “soft targets” in the twisted world of retail contest. The endless loser letters, the hours scanning and re-scanning winners list in the senseless hope that buy some cosmic mistake she really won.



I watched her break out into a cold sweat, trying to casually read addresses to win an authentic 1/16-scale model NASCAR Winston truck, as I pumped gas (Sigh). I was there for the bottomless depression, as she read the never-ending flow of “sorry try again” tickets, form letters, and bottle caps arriving every day. I was there for the development of some pretty neurotic rituals that she assured me would bring us luck.



Sidebar; there isn’t enough space to begin to describe the fights over her puppy like joy at the sight of the mailman.



And of course I was there for the manic highs with every the free 2 liter Coke win, or free packet of Tide, that arrived in the mail. “I’m a winner,” she cried with this girlish glow on her face.



Then the day I feared, and all casinos are built on, came. “The Juice”, “The big Mo”, that win that changed her from functioning user into a full blow addict for good, a “four figure” win from Pepsi. The entries doubled, she was in the grips of the beast. It’s true what they say money won is better than money earned.



But last night was the last straw. Even as the bumper music played she called the radio show Loveline, in an effort to sneak to the front of line to win an ipod shuffle. (We already have a bigger one) Suddenly the phone clicks in “Hello Loveline…” to which she had to improvise a question about… a (gasp) “Dirty Sanchez” to hide her true motives (hear loveline feb 28 2005)

So its time to put my foot down, enough is enough. Then again is that the mailman I see?

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