Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 165 - How to win a motorcycle

Having told the story several times today, I figured I'd type it one last time for those curious and not in my office.

For those who aren't curious, see you tomorrow.

To be honest, I never thought for a second I'd win. I hadn't even intended to enter the drawing.

I'd been in our booth the entire week. The only booth I was interested in visiting was the AvePoint booth. They make products for managing Microsoft SharePoint. But, honestly, I was only interested in the toys they were giving out.

So the last day of the show, I took a couple minutes and trekked down the aisle. On the way I thought that I should have brought some T-shirts to barter with. Turned out, no need - I was still a good 20 feet from the booth when a marketing girl scanned my badge (which records my info so they can market to me, no doubt relentlessly... just like we do) and shoved two raffle tickets into my badge holder.

"I just came to beg for toys for my kids.", I said. "Take three.", they said, not wanting to shlep them home. Always wanting to be helpful, I took three, and went back to work. Score!

Just short of 12:45, the time of the drawing, my boss invited me to go watch him win the bike.

We were at the back of the throng. There had to be 2500-3000 people jammed into the corner of the show floor. We were at the back. I couldn't see the bike, the people, or even the booth.

Time for the drawing. The guy (Tony) called out the first 3 digits "4 (something) (something) ..." and I stopped paying attention. My tickets started with "2". Meh.

Eventually, they decided that Mr. 4****** wasn't there and they counted him out.

New number...

"2-5-1"*

Hey! I'm at least on the right roll. I have two chances in a thousand. This is fun...

"3" Whoa!! I have two chances in a hundred. 2%, only slightly better than 0%, but still... you have my attention.

"3" Holy.    Crap.    I have two chances in ten. 20% chance to win. I never win.   Holy.     Crap.

That moment was the second most bizarre. It went from "Hee-hee look how close I got" cute to "I can't breathe" serious. And it lasted all of 5 seconds.

"4"



O.


M.


G.


The blood left my brain. I looked at Tim, my boss, and said, "I won."

Not "I WON!!!"

More like "i won..."

I put the ticket over my head and said, and this makes so sense at all, "Yep."

Not "I have it!" or "Here you go!"

Just "Yep."

Again, we were at the back of the crowd. People close to me turned to look at me. I instantly got very self-conscious.

I started to move forward through the people, and more people turned to look.

After a few seconds, it was as if I were channeling Moses... the sea parted and I had a clear shot to the guy... Tony.

There was a smattering of applause that was polite, with a twinge of "I hate you" and a dash of "I hope you die".

As I got closer, panic set in.

Note: Sometimes, I experience a tad of dyslexia. I have learned to do things like repeat phone numbers just to make sure I haven't transposed any digits.

Hence the panic...

"Oh man... I really hope I read that ticket right." I thought.

The closer I got to Tony, the more time dilated and the more convinced I became that I'd read it wrong, and the more terrified I got that I was in for the most humiliating moment of my life.

When I handed over the ticket, I didn't care about the motorcycle. I just didn't want to be publicly devastated. And disgraced.

I handed my ticket over... Tony examined it carefully.

"Please, PLEASE! be the right number..."

It was. "We have a winner!"

Thank goodness.

The panic subsided. But nothing took its place.

"What do I do?"

"Get on your bike!"

Cameras flashed. People clapped and then dispersed. I was numb.

I had to sign some papers, go to the Ducati dealship, sign some more papers, pay some fees and taxes, buy a helmet and a bitchin' jacket and some gloves, and then, I had to wait for it to sink in.

Still hasn't.

I don't deserve it. I didn't earn it. But tell you what, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of if.

Good running,
Doug

*Honeslty, I don't remember if the first 3 digits were 255, or 251, but they were on my ticket.

Numbers: 1.5 tentative miles on the track.