Thirty fucking years.
30 fucking years I waited for this.
They called my name. I made it, somehow, I made it.
Then, for a stupid pizza oven I didn’t even fucking want, my bid was dead on. Bulls eye. Everyone else went too low. The price was 2895.00 and my bid was 2800. Then the moron to my left, Zane from Phoenix, said “2801!” and hooted like the soft skulled “I always open my mouth and look as wacky as possible whenever somebody takes a picture of me!” mongoloid that he is.
The price is fucking right. For Zane. Not for me.
My dream of being on The Price is Right got fucked. The luck that plucked me from the audience and onto the dais turned to garbage. Zane got the pizza oven and a set of bedroom furniture that he and his fellow Arizona State butt heads would ruin by the end of senior year.
Then he won a brand new car. A giant SUV painted red. I hoped it had a faulty gas tank and would explode, trapping Zane to die as it became a flaming tomb. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was the first half showdown. Zane hit 1.00 on his first spin in the showdown and high stepped his way to the endgame with 10k in his pocket.
The first half of the show is prime fucking time. If you make it during the first half, you get to pass on the first showcase. The first showcase is a mess of prizes that are impossible to accurately tie together with one dollar amount. The second showcase is always better and Zane had full veto power. Seeing him afforded even that much authority was enough to make my skin crawl. Drew Carey seemed utterly charmed by Zane’s idiocy and I wanted to hit them both with a frying pan.
During the second half, my dream circled the drain in the grand toilet of life. My estimates were close but Zane had jiggered my radar. I felt like the biggest loser on the planet. One lady in a red sweater won a fucking Chevy Volt. Shoot me in the head.
I had one last chance. The prize was a piece of garbage that claimed to be the next coming of the Roku “never need a VCR” movement. I didn’t know what it was but knowing it was my last shot at the main stage. That made me fucking rabid. I bid 1600 and went with God for one last hail Mary.
The price: 1626. I was in the fucking game.
That game? Plinko.
For a second, I forgot about Zane. But then I knew my purpose in life: punish that piece of walking meconium. Punish him and ruin his day. Rain on his parade like pissing on a campfire.
The hatred coursed through my veins and I nearly lost control. I had to stay calm. This was Plinko. This was $10,000 up for grabs. One chip on the house and up to four more if I played it cool and stayed in the zone.
I didn’t play it cool nor did I stay in the zone. Four prices with one number wrong and I missed ’em all. Drew Carey felt sorry for me. He was a four eyed boob who made Steve Harvey look like Neil Degrasse Tyson but he’d been sentient enough to follow my odyssey. The trite pity in his voice made me want to see him squeezed to death by Temple Grandin’s hugbox.
My one Plinko chip dropped down into the zero slot. Of fucking course. Zero. Total wipe out from the total wipe out of a contestant’s dream. Some of us win cars; others win a fancy internet box that will totally replace downloading movies and TV shows on the internet. God knows that’s going to happen.
With my evolutionary streaming media prize and total Plinko failure in my corner, I waited to spin the wheel. The lady who won the hybrid car got .55 on her first spin and .90 on her second. It took every ounce of good grace in my body to not laugh like a hyena. The second moron got .10 on his first spin and .35 on his second. Way to knock ’em dead, sporto.
Hope began to glow inside me. If these were my opponents, there might have been a bit more to play out. I stood up, took the wheel, and spun. I spun that big wheel as hard as I could. The notion of fighting my way out of purgatory and getting one last shot at Zane fired me up.
The arrow stopped on .05 but came agonizingly close to pulling free from the separator. I nearly hit 1.00 on my first spin and if they didn’t have the pegs between the numbers, I would have. But nope. Maybe in fucking Valhalla but not in this world.
My last spin. With my luck, I’d probably hit .25 and lose to the guy that couldn’t even crack half a dollar total. I’d be the butt monkey to the end. But I scraped myself together and gave that wheel one spin to end all spins.
I got .90, dead on. A total of .95 and a complete curb stomping of my opponent. I would be seeing my old friend Zane once again, this time in the showcase showdown. Drew Carey in his 87th minute of fame looked at me like I was a double arm amputee trying to box with God. I never realized how much of a treasure Bob Barker really was before then.
Zane passed on the first showcase. A trashy motor home and a load of camping supplies from our good friends at Cabela. A portable hot tub. A motorbike that I hoped came without a helmet. I could kill myself in so many ways with all those prizes and if Zane got the best of me, I just might go through with it.
The second showcase was unreal. A trip to Spain, two jet skis, and a brand new Mustang. Zane reacted to it the same way people did when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. I stewed in hatred and jealousy.
Zane overbid comically. I thought my bid was way too generous but conservative enough to be within range. What kind of idiot wanted such a mess of prizes couldn’t be allowed to distract me. Zane seemed to think his bid was “totally money” and I just smiled politely.
The results came in.
Zane went nearly $15k over on his showcase. Knowing that he wouldn’t be walking out with two brand new automobiles was comforting. I could go to my grave a restful man after seeing such an utter dullard steal my dream and fuck it all up with his own idiocy.
Drew moved on to me. I stood stock still and smiled politely. Zane was so mystified by not winning that he’d probably try and sue CBS for “cheating”. The thought that he’d be driving home in his giant landcrusher, wondering why those cheating bastards at the game show screwed him over was luscious.
Zane’s self-defeat was so delightful that when Drew read the value of my showcase, I didn’t really process it. For a second, I thought I’d overbid too and the show would end in an ultimate downer with neither contestant winning the showcase. I didn’t really care because Zane’s misery had been so satisfying.
Then I heard the crowd roar. The numbers were so similar that it wasn’t immediate but once the single “5” popped up on my podium, things made more sense. I had been only five dollars off from the exact price of my showcase. Five dollars off the bottom and it made all the difference.
Zane didn’t understand and I didn’t give a fuck.
Both showcases were mine. All mine.
Never give up.