Winning the Don Mattingly
So years ago I went upstate to visit a friend from college. He told me that one of his old high school friends was having a bachelor party that night and we were welcome to go to it if we wanted. Seemed coolio with the strippers and blah blah I was looking to get out of town for a night or whatever etc whatever...
I get there and the bachelor party is in a big firehouse in a rural area. Half the guys there were actual firemen. Most of the rest seemed like manly man guys with like real jobs. definitely felt nerdy and out of place. At the time I was working in book publishing house selling cookbooks to mail order catalogs and lived on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Nuff said there.
Anyway, (pre-stripper time) the best-man for the groom arranged a raffle for fun. Everyone got one ticket and there were a bunch of prizes. Hats, t-shirts, free dominoes pizza, driving gloves, stuff like that. But the grand prize was a framed and signed photo of Don Mattingly. When it was revealed as the grand prize everyone sort of ooohed and aahhhed. It was like a holy grail sort of thing for these hardcore Yankee fans. But for me, I had heard of Don Mattingly and knew he was a Yankee-- but beyond that I didn't know much. I've never really followed baseball that closely.
But I knew one thing about it. If there was 60 guys there. All long-time friends. All hard-core Yankee fans. Each with a raffle ticket. Everyone badly wanting to win. The person who was definitely winning the Don Mattingly... was me.
The raffle starts up and the best man guy is giving away stuff. A hat to this person. And a shirt to that guy. And a this and a that. Everyone cheered huge for the winners and toasted beers. And each winner made a big show of showing off their prize. I was praying I'd win one of those things to take me out of the running for Don Mattingly! Something low-level! Give me the pizza! I didn't want the Holy Don Mattingly! Everyone else wanted it! All the firemen guys wanted it badly! I was the friend of the friend! The nerd with glasses from NYC who works in publishing selling cookbooks for christssake!!
The Mattingly number was called and I looked down at my ticket. It was me. Of course. I froze. I decided to not go up and get it. I was going to wait it out and make them choose another. That was the plan. I didn't want it. I didn't deserve it! The guy called my number again. Nobody was going up. He called it again. This time saying, "Someone has to have this number..." My friend asked me what my number was. I sort of shrugged and crumpled my ticket in my hand. He asked to see the ticket. I showed him. He immediately said, 'Todd got it! Right here!' He looked at me like, 'How did you not know it was you?!'
The firehouse was pretty quiet when they saw who won. No hoots and cheers. Mainly confused stares. And I felt had to act excited out of respect. Like I was thrilled to win the signed framed Don Mattingly picture. So I put my arms up and trotted up there cheering for myself. But I think people could see through my false enthusiasm. I took the prize from the guy and held up to a smattering of applause and pissed off mumbles about who I was and who I was there with.
When I got back to where my friend was standing I immediately gave it to him as a gift-- and tried to make that gesture as noticeable as possible so people knew the Don Mattingly wasn't going home with the stranger in their midst. But I'm not sure how many people saw...
Fortunately the annoyed looks and upset feelings went right out the window as soon as the stripper showed up and showed everyone her boobs...