For example, there’s only so much spin you can put on being the only entrant in a Twitter comp to win a branded beanie hat from a company specialising in cattle disinfectant.
I also won some teabags. Well, technically, I was tagged in a comp won by an Instagram tag buddy, but any port in a storm, right?
So, in the absence of exciting stories, I’ll fall back on throwback and tell you about my very first win.
It was the summer term of 1999, which would have made me 14. A chap from Cambridge University Press came into our English class to talk about something - I’m guessing publishing, but the memories are hazy - for all I know, it was the mating habits of the Palawan stink badger.
At the end of this clearly memorable session, we were, as was the norm, set our weekly homework. What made this week different, however, was that (a) it would take five minutes instead of the usual hour or more, and (b) there would be prizes.
I wasn’t the kind of pupil to need reward-based incentivisation; however, I did have an admirable track record when it came to rushing my homework to get my parents off my back so I could get on with my R&R. Thus, when I was tasked with writing a story in a sentence, it was as good as giving me a week off.
Mine wasn’t the best entry. The best entry was (I later learned) plagiarised from Stephen King. The judges clearly suspected something was afoot, however, and awarded first prize - a concise Chambers Dictionary - to my hastily tossed off guff about a radioactive worm. (Stephen King, since you ask, bagged but a pocket dictionary.)
|My story in a sentence, aged 14, as recovered from the July 1999 Parents Newsletter.|
Oh the innocence! I love that it never even occurred to me that someone might cheat. But more than that, it makes me laugh that I didn’t value my win because the odds weren’t long enough. Coming from someone who did a victory dance after scoring a cow soap beanie against zero opposition, that really is incredible.
What was your very first win? Did it give you the bug, or did that come later?