THE BIGGEST LOSER!

I am super competitive. I play to win. All. The. Time. It doesn’t matter whether the prize is a lollipop or a thousand dollars. I am in it to win it.

Competition reality shows like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “Top Chef,” and “America’s Next Top Model” were made for people like me. Someone goes home at the end of every episode. Thanks for playing. Bye. Sorry not sorry, those are the rules. 

I grew up on game shows like “The Price is Right,” “Card Sharks,” and “Press Your Luck.”  If I was a contestant in the “Miss USA” (ok Mr. USA) pageant and I didnt make the Top 15 there would be HELL. TO. PAY!

Don’t get the wrong idea. Well, get the wrong idea but come peek inside my head for a quick visit.

I am not some crazed hypersensitive sore loser or bad winner. I realize not everyone can win all the time. There is something about the adrenaline during a competition that motivates me. The fastest 5k times I have posted have come during TRIathlons. The run is the final leg of this three part race – AFTER swimming and biking. If you’re hearing the Rocky soundtrack or Chariots of Fire, welcome to my world.

At game night in my apartment, prizes were given to the winners of each game. Think “Cards Against Humanity” and “Taboo.” Teams switched up for each game so essentially one could win 3 prizes in a night. On the flip side, someone could walk away empty-handed. Which has happened. My roommate at the time was adamant we should give Mr. Empty-handed Friend a prize. I asked him if he understood the rules of winning a prize.

Are you feeling sad for Mr. Empty-handed? Calm down. And, before you take out your pitchforks, know that everyone gets a “door prize” for attending. PLUS, we are talking about prizes from the DOLLAR TREE.

BUT, why play the game if not to win?

I’ve never understood those who say, “Let’s just play for fun and not keep score.” SAY WHAT? EXCUSE ME?

Which brings me to this story. 

Last week I attended a Zoom Social Happy Hour. It was a trivia night sponsored by “Gays Against Guns” (GAG) – a group I am proud to be a part of with kind, socially conscious, great people trying to make a difference. As with the climate today, GAG moved their social events to Zoom. An hour of fun, laughs, and prizes. This last trivia event was Mother’s Day themed. Attendees were encouraged to dress as a woman who inspired them.  I threw together a lewk paying homage to a stripper from Tampa named “Bubbles.”  Apparently Bubbles missed the mark because Bubbles was asked if her most inspiring woman was Gilda Radner! A pregame Zoom session with friends beforehand might not have been the best idea. Mistake #1. 

The host of the evening, the lovely and witty Bryce, explained the rules and directions, specifically how to use the app Kahoot. The question would appear on the screen, then the next screen would be the four multiple choice answers. Using another device, Bryce suggested a mobile phone would be easiest, you would choose the answer. Simple, right? Since Bubbles was chatting with friends on her phone, she decided to open another window on her laptop. Mistake #2. 

So, the games begin – and Bubbles’ internal competitive hourglass is now flipped over and counting down to her win… because she wins. Usually.

The first question appears – seeing as the theme was Mother’s Day, all the questions were women centric. Internal thought – does that give the lesbians on the Zoom an unfair advantage, who can really say, ok I say yes!  We’ll put a pin in that for next Mother’s Day. LOL. Bubbles answers correctly AND – importantly – quickly, so we are off to a good start. The players in the top 5 appear on screen, Bubbles sees her name, smiles, and in her head belts out the EYE OF THE TIGER and ROAR!  This would be the first and only time this occurred. 

As the game progressed, the questions got harder AND the spiked seltzers kept flowing. More questions were answered incorrectly than correctly. Sensing this playing out, Bubbles pivoted and began to answer as quickly as she could. New mission! YES! Rack up more points for the quicker response!

BUT, insert deflating helium balloon visual here – the quicker response mission was never realized because Bubbles kept hitting the wrong color button. Ooops. Fucking Spiked Seltzers. Why are you so delicious and easy to drink! We call this Mistake #3

So, now well into this “fun” social evening, we are talking some hard ass questions here, like Nobel Prize winners, Margaret Sanger… not a Jennifer Lawrence, Kelly Clarkson, “Pitch Perfect,” question in the bunch! Be still my (losing) beating heart!

Bryce announced the winner – my friend Antonius dressed as Janet Reno! He was also a contender for “best costume” – some people always winning. I used to be one of them!

Then there is another announcement – “and the prize for LAST PLACE goes to” – wait for it – “Bubbles!” SHUT THE FUCK UP! Are you kidding me? 

Not only did I come in LAST PLACE but it was broadcasted loudly for THE entire Zoom world to hear! Ok maybe just the 25 people playing GAG Trivia heard but still! The scarlet “L” was now burned on my wig forever.

To add serious insult to injury, a few people sensing they were losing started intentionally answering wrong to win the last place prize! Yes… Bubbles unintentionally did worse than people actively competing to come in last. Remember besides being a Tampa stripper Bubbles was also an English teacher!  

Wait a second, did you say prize? I do like prizes. And if I am going to lose, I might as well lose spectacularly. To quote another one of my favorite shows tonight I was in fact THE BIGGEST LOSER!

When all was said and done, it was an epic fun night with people I like and miss. It provided a much needed escape from everything Covid. So even though I came in last place, I had a blast. Besides, I adopted a new life mantra, “Winning isn’t everything!” It’s so true. But if anyone asks about Bubbles my answer is, “I don’t know her.”

Wanna see Bubbles redeem herself at the next GAG social hour? Hint: she probably won’t. But, come to the next event anyway!! – BINGO! Saturday June 13th. Sign up on the “Gays Against Guns NY” Facebook page!

What a fun night! Bubbles is in the top right living her biggest loser life!

“The Biggest Loser” was edited by Debbie Rech.

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