fritoThis is a true story.

I worked for Frito Lay at the time. I was twenty- six, when a contest was announced. It was a random drawing of salespeople (10,000 of them) but I knew that I could win as soon as I touched the paper. Why? Because I’m clever! Why leave chance to chance when you can just as well win by design? Here’s what happened…

I was married to my first husband who is 6’7”. This little factoid becomes relevant later. I spotted this contest and I had a little flash that I could win second prize. Second prize would be my preference, because it was a trip to Boston. I like to travel, especially to somewhere I have never been before. Unfortunately I would have to meet an NBA guy though. This was part of the prize.

Remember when Frito Lay used to sponsor NBA stuff? Make a basket, win $10,000? This was then. I didn’t know or want to know any NBA guys, so this was not a prize, but a possible reason to opt not to win. Who wants to meet someone that they don’t want to meet? Not me. I decided to consult my husband. A Laker fan.

“Who is Tom Heinsohn?”

My husband explained, Tom Heinsohn was a Boston Celtics legend and so forth.

I wave my hand. Enough of that. I don’t want to hear. “Do you want to meet him? Eat dinner with him?” I asked.

“Yes I do.”

“Are you sure? Because if I enter this contest, I will probably win it. Second place, I mean. I don’t think I can win first and I don’t want to anyway. And I don’t want to meet this guy, but I would like to go to Boston. It’s too bad they lump it together like that. I really want to go, but if we do, then we are going to have to meet this guy, so what do you think? If you are willing to handle meeting him, I think I can get us a free trip.”

This guy? You mean Tommy Heinsohn? Are you kidding? I would definitely like to meet him.”

“Okay. Then when we do, you run interference for me because I don’t have anything to say to him. Deal?”

“Run interference with a Celtics legend?” He laughed.

“Yeah. I don’t want to talk to him. I have nothing to say.”

“Deal. But he’s a pretty famous guy. He is famous for his playing, and famous for his coaching. How many guys can say that? He is especially famous in Boston. I don’t know, Peewee. You might want to talk to him too.”

“I doubt it, but I definitely want to go to Boston and have a beer. I know I’ll like it there. I want to have a dark beer. If I have something to say, I’ll say it, but don’t count on it, okay? Because I really don’t think that I want to talk to him. I’ll just smile and stuff. You talk. What do I know about basketball? What do I care? Not a thing. You know that. I don’t know who he is, and I don’t want to learn. I want to go to Boston, but I don’t want to study about legends, but I don’t want to be rude, so how about it? Can you just chat with him about Kareem or something, so I can win this trip?”

“I’ll be happy to chat with him. You’re gonna have a beer? Since when do you drink beer?”

“Well, I drink them at ball games.”

laker broom“When do you go to ball games?”

“Well, I haven’t for ten years, but when I did go to one I had a beer and Boston is the same thing. I want a dark beer in a mug.”

He laughs. “In your ball game going days?”

I chuckle. “Right. I used to go twice a week for two weeks. I’ll tell you that story some day.”

“You’re a true blue fan. And you think you’ll like the taste of beer if you’re in Boston?”

“Yeah. Of course, I do. It’s a place to have a beer, isn’t it? That’s what I have always thought.”

“Well, you’re probably right. Yeah. I am sure they’ll have a beer for you in Boston. In fact, there is a place you can get one right across the street from the Garden.”

“Wherever. Do you think I can win?”

“I’d say you have a pretty good shot at it. Maybe 95%”

“95%! Well, that’s pretty good.” I laugh. “I really think I will win.” I grin.

“So do I. I think we’re going to Boston.” He grins back.

I knew I could win. In fact, I knew that I would win unless someone was a total dismal pill because I did the Italian thing. I sent them an entry they could not refuse.

I filled out the form and I wrote a snappy letter about selling Fritos. I don’t remember what I wrote, but it was along the lines of claiming to sell Fritos with my shiny hair and personal savvy. The point was to surprise the reader and make them laugh. Once I had that in the bag, it was downhill from there. I only needed to get my entry read, right? This meant that I had to get it picked from the hat, and opened.

Easy peasy.

I put it in an envelope and then stole techniques from Deadhead ticket lotteries. Credit my husband here. I am not a deadhead, I just marry them. I decorated the envelope.

I had some multicolored smiley face stickers on hand, so I stuck ‘em all over the envelope. Various sizes, primary colors. A #10 envelope with green, blue, red, and yellow happy faces pasted on.

It looked good, very jazzy, but it was not enough so I wrote “Pick ME” randomly among the stickers and then and just for overkill I highlighted the “Pick ME’s in yellow and that was it.

I had the winning entry in my hand, so I mailed it.

To be continued

Note – pictured… my first husband with the Laker broom I made him for SWEEEEP!  He took that broom to the Phoenix Suns home game and swept the floor with it. ha ha!

Part two:

Contest – Confidence, Boasting & What Others Think About This

2 thoughts on “Contest”

  1. Awesome…looking forward to the rest of the story!
    I’m not a big alcohol drinker but I like a good dark beer too. Lowenbrau dark was my choice in my early years but I couldn’t find it down south here later on in life. Then I found Warsteiner Dunkel and that is a good dark beer….had it at a Braves game in early 2000. Nothing like a dark beer and a baseball game!

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