Friday, January 16, 2009

First Runner Up

When I was in seventh grade "No Fear" shirts were at the height of their popularity. I think we all remember the shirts:

"The clock is counting down. You have the ball. Fast break. Three seconds left. Three point range. 3......2.......1...... No Fear!"

"He who dies with the most toys, still dies. No Fear!"

But the slogan that has most resonated in my life is -
"Second place is first loser. No Fear!"

Let's just say it's a running theme with me. Actually scratch that one. Mine would say -
"Last picked in kickball means you're the catcher. No Tears!"

On to the actual story now. Well my wife and I are shopping for a used car. A pleasant experience filled with genuine salesmen. I assure you. So we have been everywhere looking for the perfect second-hand car. One place we looked was a local Mazda dealership. Turns out they were holding a drawing to get 1/2 off a new Mazda 3. Little trendy and high school looking for my taste, but I will sell out to get one half of a car for free.

The raffle began at 10 AM and went till 1 PM. With three hours to kill on a saturday morning. (I'd rather be sleeping, and yes, I can sleep till 1, don't judge me) my wife and I hung out at the Mazda lobby with about 50 other people wanting that 1/2 off.

Looking back, it doesn't really seem like Mazda was willing to give that much.

It finally came time to start the reverse raffle. (for those who don't know, it's basically last man standing) They called numbers and one by one people were eliminated. I could feel that my luck was running out fast and my number would be up. My wife, the optimist, told me to quit spreading negative vibes. (I never knew I married a hippie). People to the left and right of us were getting eliminated. They asked the last 10 remaining people to stand in a line (a shooting gallery if you will) and my wife and I were still in the running.

Our chances were fantastic of winning half of a car. Winning became a possibility now. We had a 1 in 5 chance.

They read off the next number - My wife. Now it was up to me.

They called the next few numbers, and I'm still in the game. They get it down to the final four, final three. final two....No Fear! (I apologize for being ridiculous)

Anyways, it was me and some other kid vying for the win. Every eye was on us. The bald salesman held the fish bowl with our two numbers. He reached his hand in and grabbed a number to eliminate. He reached and looked at the last number, the silence was deafening. I was getting my humble victory face ready. They read the number.

And the winner is.....the other guy...

I shook his hand and my wife and I walked out the door with our tails between our legs. So close but no cigar.

So there ya go. Second best. First runner up.

My wife pointed out that it is very similar to the "Deal or No Deal" saga.

So I wasn't meant to get the mazda. I wouldn't want high school guys checking me out anyways. Until I find a new-used car I will still be driving my brokedown Maroon Ford Taurus which I have affectionately named "Panthor."