Contest: The Halloween Heist
In previous years, when I'd tell someone our fundraising goal for October — at a cocktail party, say, or while arranging a match with $ and the Mysterians — that someone would always say something encouraging. "That's awesome — good luck!" "Wow, cool!"
This year, nothing but eyebrows. Both eyebrows, every time. "It's 150, and then if they get to 210, I'll dress as a tomato and… [brows shoot up all Look, Lady, There's "Ambitious" And Then There's "Bazoo"] …I'll just trail off now. Unless you have five bucks?"
The brows had a point. It's a ridiculous amount of money in a crappy economy. I probably should have set the goal point lower, gotten more matches lined up over the summer, whatever, and you can say what you like about big risks having big payoffs — betting big means losing big, sometimes, too. Usually, in fact.
I assumed we would get it done. I can't explain why. Some of you would have jobs now who didn't last year. Some of you would see prizes you liked more than prizes from before. Someone would get an inheritance, maybe, or someone would tweet something that someone rich and famous would read, and notice us, and bet big bucks on red.
And of course some of you would have lost your jobs, or started grad school, or gotten in fender-benders or bought houses, and why would the rich and famous give money on the say-so of a writer whose primary subjects include candy and startle poo. Why would anyone? I knew all that.
I strolled down the field and waited near the end zone, eating cookies, for the Hail Mary pass I believed would float into view, because I also know you. The brows think Bet Red is "cute." Well, all right, but it's a legendary offense, is what it is.
I could belabor the metaphor at some length, but fortunately for everyone, I don't know enough about football to do so. I do know how lucky I feel — that I got by with that big bet, sure, but also to know all of you, and to have witnessed the win — but I also know that that big number, those matches, that isn't "luck." That's hard work, rewarded. That's a (bank) job well done.
Thank you. Thank you all, big and small.
The challenge is still open, but I have nothing to give away today but kudos. Please continue donating if you would like to, or concentrate on your Halloween costume instead if you'd rather. The Great Internsby and I have to dig out from under a mountain of administrative crap, and then I'll head over to Casa Stupidhead to take pictures of the Master in his lion outfit, and then I'll sleep the sleep of the righteous, and then I'll give prizes away and plan my trip to AC.
The spreadsheet will remain up through November; the Bet Red page should stay active, but I'll get confirmation. Post any questions in the comments; your patience while I take the mental equivalent of a long bubble bath for 36 hours is appreciated.
Tags: contests movies