Life After Losing

And out the door I went...

And out the door I went…

I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?  Many of you may wish to do that after enduring six-plus months of The Journey only to find out that I’m not the person you want to ask for a personal loan.  But hey, we can still make Fridays a lot of fun even with the climactic anticlimax a done deal, right?  After all, I’m still stuck in New York City for the next 24 hours, and I’m a pair of ruby slippers short of clicking my heels and magically returning home… so The Millionaire Journey continues, and it won’t be over until I say so!

I think I shall leap into the Ditch of Despair to end this Friday suffering...

I think I shall leap into the Ditch of Despair to end this Friday suffering…

Those of us in the Unfortunate Eight were rounded up by the associate producer J.P. and led off the stage before we could further embarrass ourselves or our families.  Backstage, he had a few parting words of encouragement for us, telling us to keep trying!  After all, since we didn’t make the Hot Seat, we were still eligible to come back on the show again.  As far as I know, only one member of my hapless group did manage to return to New York, and that was my left side partner Andrea Carla Michaels… who managed to quickly pop up again in the Ring of Fire just three months later on the May 3, 2001 broadcast.  She missed all three of her Fastest Finger questions on that show, too…

I'll never get these fastest finger questions right!  Never!!!

I’ll never get these fastest finger questions right! Never!!!

So much for all that practicing she did

We marched on up to the dressing rooms to change back into our street clothes, and gather up the spare outfit we brought along that may as well have gone to Goodwill.  With my two show outfits in hand, as well as the spare clothes Dad had to bring along in case of a carryover, I had quite an armload of laundry as I marched back down the stairs to the exit doors.  There I was reunited with Dad, and he kindly didn’t offer to help me with the load of clothes I was struggling with.  This was particularly bad, because it was at this moment, just as we were all about to be herded onto the bus back to the Dumpire Empire, that they handed out the big parting gift…

The fake check... not the cat.

The fake check… not the cat.

I somehow managed to find a free hand to grab the blue piece of cardboard with my name on it that could only be cashed at the Bank of Sentimentality, and then walked out the door….. and straight into the fucking rain.

Nobody likes the smell of wet squirrel.

Nobody likes the smell of wet squirrel.

It’s about 40 degrees outside and drizzling.  The check is getting soaked by the rain, and mangled by the heap of clothes in my arms.  Oh well… perhaps its fitting that the one tangible souvenir I can take away from this experience got a little roughed up given all the mental bumps and bruises I had to endure to become such an epic game show failure.

As soon as we make it back to the hotel and away from the other contestants, my Dad starts going off about you know who…

Who, little ol' me?

Who, little ol’ me?

It was obviously Amy’s fault that I didn’t make it into the Hot Seat because she took entirely too much time!  She should have answered the questions faster!  She should have picked up the pace and quit shooting the shit with Regis!  She should have personally gone up into the producer’s booth and edited down her appearance!  I had totally gotten ripped off of another chance to make it into The Chair.  Poor Dad… I think he may have needed a hug in the aftermath of the show more than I did…

Sorry, but this is the only kind of manhugging that's socially allowed.

Sorry, but this is the only kind of manhugging that’s socially allowed.

I called my Mom back at home, figuring she already knew the bad news since she was on my Phone a Friend list and had to be relieved of standby duty from the AP manning the lifeline phones.  She hadn’t been… and as far as she knew, the taping was still going on.  I had already told her about my bad fortune before I’d found out she didn’t know, so there went any element of surprise on her part…

As well as the element of surprise for anyone my Mom would come into contact with over the next two weeks.

As well as the element of surprise for anyone my Mom would come into contact with over the next two weeks.

After a long, exhausting, mentally draining morning… and one that started on very little sleep to begin with, I hit the bed like a ton of bricks and took a nap.  Not even my Dad watching TV was going to be enough to keep me awake this time…

Wake me up at.... like, just don't.

Wake me up at…. like, just don’t.

I emerged from my postshow coma around dinnertime, which meant another trip down to the Empire Market for more of that fascinating, “don’t ask, don’t tell” mystery meat.  After tiding my stomach over until I could finally get back home to my comfort food, me and my Dad went out and saw everything there is to see in New York City that evening!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  Oh, man, that was a good one!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Oh, man, that was a good one!!!

Of course we didn’t… because I’m not into touristy things, and my Dad is only slightly less weird the same.  No, we spent the second of our two nights in New York City doing the same thing we’d done on the first night… sitting in the hotel room watching whatever came on TV.  And by whatever, I mean literally whatever.  We had as much fun with the remote control as these two fine upstanding young men do when they’re bored out of their stoner skulls…

Uhhhhhh... this sucks!  Change it, Butthead!

Uhhhhhh… this sucks! Change it, Butthead!

The first thing we discovered was a pair of Spanish language channels.  Ubiquitous as they are now, at the time, Telemundo and Univision were not on our cable system back home, so we both found the novelty of watching programs in Spanish to be fascinating.  As trashy as The Ricki Lake Show already was in English, it was an even cooler level of epic shittiness when it featured Mexican douchebags and you couldn’t understand a fucking word anyone was saying.

¡Señor Dwight es muy caliente.... ay yi yi!

¡Señor Dwight es muy caliente…. ay yi yi!

Once we had extracted every last ounce of unintelligible Latin humor out of the Spanish channels (and found to our dismay that contrary to the rumors, there were no boobs on these channels), we flipped over to something even more exciting…. C-SPAN!!!

The original reality television stars since 1789.

The original reality television stars since 1789.

Sure, nobody in their right mind would ever watch C-SPAN out of anything but a crippling case of utter boredom (unless they’re a fan of prank callers).  But we got some mild interest out of watching former Missouri governor John Ashcroft get grilled audition for the Attorney General’s job in President-elect George W. Bush’s Cabinet before a Senate subcommittee.  I’ll let your own political tastes say what they will about Mr. Ashcroft, but there’s no getting over the fact that just two months prior to these hearings, he rather famously lost the election for U.S. Senator in Missouri to a dead man

As Attorney General, I vow to fight all of the evil corruption on the internets!  And put an end to this painfully drawn out Millionaire story!

As Attorney General, I vow to fight all of the evil corruption on the internets! And put an end to this painfully drawn out Millionaire story!

We also watched the local news and found out that the morning we had arrived in New York, they had actually had an earthquake!  The area I live in just north of the New Madrid Fault has been long overdue for a “Big One”, yet until April of 2008, I had never even felt a little one before.  So to travel 900 miles to an area that doesn’t get many quakes, and bring the Midwest’s tremors with me, was kind of a sign this was going to be a fucked up trip in itself…

Where was your Manhattan earthquake prediction when we needed it!?!?

Where was your Manhattan earthquake prediction when we needed it!?!?

Remember the drama of the Texas Seven?  They were the seven inmates who escaped from a Texas maximum security prison in December 2000, leaving a trail of robbery and murder behind them in their month on the lam.  Since their last confirmed sighting on Christmas Eve, nobody knew where they had fled to and the entire nation was on edge while these animals were on the loose.  Sure enough, the local news was reporting unconfirmed sightings of the gang in the NYC area at the current time.  While we never ran into the septet of miscreants while me and Dad were self-isolated in Room 607, we both found it creepily humorous when the entire group was captured five days later at an RV park just outside of Colorado Springs… which just happened to be the final destination of our flight home the next night…

Just who were we sharing that plane with!?!?!?

Just who were we sharing that plane with!?!?!?

Oh, and just to make things even more interesting… a big ass snowstorm was headed for the area the next night (Friday) and lasting into the weekend.  Hell, would we even make it out of The Dumpire without getting snowed in?  I can only live off of mystery meat for so long…

It'll get us down I-80...

If it’ll get us down I-80, I’m good to go.

Thursday evening meant another episode of Millionaire would be airing… but between still being tired and kinda being temporarily burned out on the show after what had transpired earlier in the day, I decided to just turn in again… this time for the night.  Dad was more than ready for a rest as well… but not on the medieval torture device that was masquerading as a futon that he vainly tried to sleep on the night before…

It's fine if you're Sleep Number is -583.

It’s perfectly fine… if you’re Sleep Number is negative 583.

So we wound up having to bunk together in the somewhat comfortable bed I had slept in.  Father and son, all cozy and snug in the chilly, shitty hotel room that had been put on Regis’ tab for us….

Just a tad awkward...

Just a tad awkward…

Sweet dreams, everyone!  I promise we’ll be a bit more adventurous next Friday….


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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28 Responses to Life After Losing

  1. merbear74 says:

    I would have wiped my ass with that fake check and sent it back to Regis…

  2. draliman says:

    Well, what can I say?
    It’s really nice of them to taunt you with a copy of the cheque you didn’t win 😦

  3. Scott says:

    Father/son bonding time! Awwwww…..

  4. Ally Bean says:

    I’m impressed by how you remember the details of your adventure. I think that if I were in the same situation, which I never would be because no way am a person who wants to go on TV, I’d be so overwhelmed and tired that I’d zone out. But not you. Thankfully. Can’t wait for next week’s installment.

    • Fortunately, I wrote a little series of posts on my message board way back in the day about seven months after this all happened and it was still somewhat fresh in my mind. I have that series (Which seems like a miniseries compared to the epic I’ve turned it into on my blog!) saved on my computer, and have been using it to refresh my memory on the events. No way would this have been so detailed had I not had that written recollection to fall back on!

      • Ally Bean says:

        I wondered how you remembered it all so clearly. Most days I can’t remember what day of the week it is, so to me your memory seemed remarkable. Now I know the truth of the matter.

  5. All I can say is, wow. You guys REALLY know how to have a good time. With all of New York at your feet … wow. Gosh. Golly whiz. Holy moly.

  6. The Cutter says:

    So they don’t just kill all the people who don’t make it to the big stage? I don’t know why I assumed they killed everyone.

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Hey, those bats on the Domo spots may have rabies! Don’t make assumptions!

  8. markbialczak says:

    Bill & Dad’s Excellent Adventure. Keanu Reeves is old enough to play Dad now!

    Really, ESN, it’s a good thing you went straight to the Regis Estates and locked yourself in for three days so nobody mugged you for that fake check.

  9. 1jaded1 says:

    Did you all get snowed in? Nice parting gift…Pfft..

  10. gentlestitches says:

    I wont be joining the Amy fan club. 😀

  11. Sounds quite fishy when there’s convicts on the run while you’re around!

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