I never win anything. In gym class, I sometimes had to run races. Invariably, of the 32 kids in the class, I would come in 46th. My school held a raffle last year, with dozens of prizes available. I got an ear infection.
So I wasn't expecting much this morning when, on my way to work, I heard the radio DJ announce that they were going to give away front-row seats to a Bruce Springsteen concert. To win, one would need to answer questions about Bruce Springsteen and the Super Bowl, it being Super Bowl weekend (Go Giants!). The "qualifying question": What was the Roman numeral of the Super Bowl at which Bruce played the halftime show?
As I was sitting in the drive-thru lane of my local Moby-Dick-themed coffee emporium, I figured what the hell, and dialed the station. I didn't even expect to get through. But the phone actually rang! And then I actually heard the actual DJ's voice on the actual other end of the actual phone actual. I had gotten through.
So, first, did I know the Roman numeral of the Super Bowl when Springsteen played halftime? Luckily, they mentioned that it was the 2009 Super Bowl, so, knowing that this weekend's game is XLVI, I was able to figure out that III years ago was XLIII. The DJ's were thoroughly impressed. I was in the game!
The next question: What tire company sponsored Bruce's halftime show?
". . .?"
Are you shitting me? I mean, I'm a football fan and a Springsteen fan. I am NOT a tire fan. Well, OK, I mean, when it comes to propelling my car smoothly over paved surfaces, I DO prefer tires to just about anything else, but COME ON! I realized, however, that protest would be fruitless and took a guess. . . ."Uh, Firestone?"
"Well, we'll give you another chance. Here's a hint: It starts with 'B.'"
"Oh, well, in that case, Bridgestone?"
"Bridgestone is correct! OK, now for the win, name the four songs Bruce Springsteen played at the halftime show?" Now, in fairness, I was pretty much expecting this question, and I was pretty unsure that I could answer it. I remember specifically that he played--presumably out of a sense of obligation to his record label--"Working on a Dream," off what was then his new album. Rather disapoointing, really. Beyond that, I had somewhat hazy memories. I was pretty sure about one, at least:
"Born to Run?"
OK. Two down, two to go. Well, let's see, Super Bowl. . .Sports. . .
"'Glory Days' is correct. One more for the win!"
Now I was in trouble. I was about to say "Born in the USA," but somehow, that didn't seem right. . . Too depressing and political. . . ."Hungry Heart," maybe? Definitely a crowd-pleaser, but I had no memory of that particular song. Of course, it was III years ago. . . . I decided to punt.
"I don't suppose I could get a hint?"
"Um. . . OK. . . a big rave-up. All about Clarence Clemons."
"TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT!!!!"
"You got it!"
I got it. I got it? I GOT IT!
I don't exactly know how to handle this turn of events. I think I'm going to go cower under my blankets this weekend. The universe is going to want to realign itself, so whatever happens to me next, I have a feeling it won't be pretty.