Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What People Will Do for T-Shirts

So this morning, my friend Christine convinced me to get up at 4am and drive to Nautica with her for the Who Wants To Be a Millionaire auditions. I actually got up, first of all, so what? Incredible. Go me. The last time I got up before the sun was up was...never. We drove to the Powerhouse and stood in line at 5:30 with hundreds of other folks. The people in line with us were from Michigan, Concord, Pittsburgh. At 7am, they ushered us into the main auditorium, where we sat in rows as groups were led out for coordinated potty breaks. Around 8am, we were taken single file into the Windows on the River space and sat down again. And waited to take the test.

There's nothing quite like waiting with a very large group of people who don't know each other at all and have no professional affiliation. Not knowing the people around you means no consequences. It was a varied group, with one thing in common. Everyone in that room thought they were smart. They were convinced enough of their smartness to drive from god knows where to wait in line for hours to maybe someday be on this tv show. Of course, thinking you are and being are two separate things. But regardless, everyone thought they were, and everyone also didn't give a shit about anyone else in that room.

So when the peppy 23 yr old in charge of keeping us quiet like 5 year olds, and not letting us rampage through the Powerhouse in revolt, started giving out t-shirts, it was mayhem. She tried small talking first, which was painful for everyone and the crowd began to turn against her, until she threw the first shirt out. T-shirts are the great crowd placator. I mean, I guess she couldn't give us candy cause we would have gotten too hyper? She had a huge table stacked with them. At first it was free for all, she was just tossing them to the crowd. But things got unruly, and the time kept ticking by, so she started making people sing for them. Right. People got up and sang, in front of everyone, for a t-shirt. I don't remember who was first, but then these two club girls got up and did some parody of Billionaire, which was obnoxious as hell. Then came stirring renditions of I'm a Little Teapot, I Believe I Can Fly, the National Anthem (which trailed off pretty quickly). Guys came up and did horrible jokes that you told in third grade. There was a pterodactyl impression, and several really bad movie impressions. A woman with a large silver star brooch and matching oversized necklace did her Sarah Palin impression, which consisted of her holding her hair back and the crowd cheering. An unfortunate young man in a Steelers jersey got up, and I don't even know what he said, because by that time the crowd was in full force, booing and jeering like this was a public execution. Another woman got up and sang the Oscar Mayer theme song, dedicated to her son in Afghanistan, who she was also going to send her totally awesome Millionaire t-shirt to. The whole morning was simultaneously the best and the worst thing I have ever been subjected to. There was a sing a long to I've Been Working on the Railroad. I can't get it out of my head now.

I didn't make the cut for the test, I suspect it's because I didn't know calculus was another word for tartar or it was my lack of knowledge about birthstones. But I was more than happy to go home at that point, 4 hours later. My biggest regret of the morning is that my fucking camera battery died, so I didn't get any of this on videotape. Chris is still there though, waiting for her interview, so everyone wish her well and text her constant reminders to not get in a fight.

In other news, Thomas got me Lake Erie for my birthday. He is my new best friend.


  1. I can't believe you did that, how exciting!

    You totally should have text me on the birthstone questions, calculus...not so much...

  2. If I give you Governor's Island, will you go do your photo magic?

  3. Cookie - You are welcome. You should have been there. I'm not doing it justice. Chris was like, you should go up there? And I was like, and do what? Impress them all with snarky criticism of their self worth?

    Angie - You are officially my new birthstone consultant.

    Ells - I will buy governor's island from you for 50 glass beads. That's about the value, right? Maybe throw in an axe?

  4. I was under the impression I'd get a shirt for reading this post?

    there might be trouble now.

    also in the magical land that takes place in my head you have a castle because you entertain me.

    there is a wooden dinosaur outside of it fyi.

    damn I just said FYI I'm going to take a nap.

  5. You forgot, it was not "I'm a Little Teapot," it was "I'm a Little Teacup."

    Also at the end of the day I feel like I was kidnapped by aliens who had no class and they probed me.

  6. I took the online "Jeopardy" test. I got such sever test anxiety I quit half way through. I think Alec Trebeck hates me now.

  7. CP - is my castle pink? Like the my little pony castle that really only had 4 rooms cause it was castle for fucking horses, and also an elevator?

    Chris - I'm glad you survived. I'm going to bed now.

    Libby - He told me about you years ago. He's watching you.

  8. im not sure why but this story reminds me of two separate/similar events in my life. ill spare you the stories but i WILL say that both ended without making the cut OR getting a t-shirt.
    not cool.


Who wants to fuck the Editors?