I sat in the back row, next to my best friend and room-mate, Lisa. She was the one who had surprised me with the tickets, plus the trip to L.A. Okay, so we were staying with her grandparents in a two-bedroom apartment, but hey...this is the "Price Is Right"!
Lisa was so excited she could barely sit still. It was kind of strange, since I'm the more excitable one, but for some odd reason I was extremely calm. Well, maybe a bit nervous. I know that if I got called up, my mind would probably go blank, and I'd make a fool of myself on national television. Then again, what were the chances of me getting called down anyway?
We watched the first few contestants. The first bid was on a tea trolley. One woman won. She went up, hysterical, and lost miserably at The Check Game.
The next player up, a young man, won an exercise bike, and a trip to New Orleans. Then, the audience went quiet, waiting for Rod to announce the next contestant.
"Well Bob," he started, "it turns out that I do know someone who would like to fill Contestants' Row. Would Alison Anderson, come on down!"
The audience went berserk, but not so much as Lisa, who was screaming in my ear. It took me a moment, but then it dawned: Rod had called my name!
Once I realised this, I went nuts. I screamed the whole way down the aisle.
As I took my place on Contestants' Row, that fear came over me once again: I was going to screw up.
Only, as Bob Barker (That's right: The Bob Barker. I still couldn't believe this was happening.) introduced Diane with the prize (A very nice suitcase set) and Rod started yakking about its fine qualities, I became very calm, and my mind very clear.
"Alison, would you bid on that lovely suitcase, please."
I concentrated, and the world around me went out of focus. A number came to me. "Seven ninety-nine." I said. Bob then proceeded to take the other bids. As he was about to announce the price, a buzzer sounded. Someone had bid exactly right.
It was the person who had bid $799.
I went nuts again. I got my hundred dollar bonus, and hugged Bob. I was just so happy.
"Alison, Alison, Alison," Bob said, smiling. " If you feel excited now, just how much worse will you be when you see this?"
"A new car!!!" yelled Rod. I nearly had a heart attack, right there on stage. But I didn't.
As Rod described the car--I don't really know cars, so all that impressed me was that it was a nice shade of purple--I went into the now familiar trance. A number popped up again, $12,374.
Turns out we were going to play a game called "Pathfinder".
Pathfinder is one of the easiest games on the Price Is Right. Well, it is if you know what you're doing, I suppose. What you do is stand on a big board, marked with computerized numbers. You step on the number you judge to be right, either the one right in front, behind, or one either side of you. If you get it wrong, you can try and win another chance. If you get it right, you go on to the next number.
Needless to say, I won. In fact, Bob said that was the fastest time he had ever seen anyone do it. I just smiled.
Then, after a brief break, came The Wheel. I was after "Joanne" from New York, and "Jeremy" from Florida. I got nervous all over again. I mean, The Wheel is pure luck. I have terrible luck with these sorts of things. How could I hope to win?
Joanne went first. Her first spin was worth thirty-five cents, her second thirty, for a total of sixty-five. Jeremy went next, and got ninety-five on his first spin. Now it was my turn.
I spun The Wheel as hard as I could. I looked over at Jeremy. He looked pretty damn confident in his ninety-five.
"Sixty," Bob said. "Spin again, Alison."
"Around and around it goes--yes, come on forty..." Bob did a running commentary. "Come on..Forty cents! You did it, Alison! You made a dollar!!!"
I had just won a thousand dollars!!!
The spin-off that followed was all a blur. I didn't win, but in a way, I'm glad. I probably would have died from the shock. Afterwards, as the second half of the show went on, I grabbed a cup of coffee from backstage. Lisa come up to join me. She was so excited she was incoherent.
Time flew, and soon it was time for the Showcase Showdown. I was Top Contestant, so I got the choice to bid or pass the showcase.
The first showcase was really, really nice. It was: exercise equipment, and three trips to Orlando, Philadelphia, and Tokyo. Japan! I'd always wanted to go to Japan.
I was wreaked with indecision. Bid. Pass. Bid, pass, bid, pass... my cautious nature won out. I bid. $15240, to be exact. The number had just appeared.
My neighbour, a small bottle blonde by the name of Anita, bid $20775 for her showcase. It was a new dining rom, a washer and drier, a stereo, and a new car. Not bad at all.
All during the following commercials, I got more and more nervous. Finally the show was back on the air.
"Anita," said Bob, taking her card, "You bid $20775 for your showcase. Anita, the actual retail bid is...$22300! A difference of...$1525!" Anita screamed.
Now I was really worried. The was no way I could beat that great bid...but then, look how far I'd already got.
"Alison," Bob started, "You bid $15240. The actual retail price is...$15325! A difference of eighty-five dollars! You've won both showcases!!" Buzzers started buzzing, lights started flashing. Lisa was suddenly right beside me, screaming. I couldn't believe it. I had won.
I woke up the next morning in a very good mood. But the moment I stepped out of bed, I realised I was back home.
It's okay, I said to myself. We just flew in last night, that's all. I just don't remember it, that's all. The moment I saw Lisa, however, I knew.
I knew it had all been a dream.
Lisa wasn't excited at all. In fact, she looked bored. She was sitting on the coach drinking a cup of coffee, flipping channels. I sat down, and told her my dream. She listened absent-mindedly, and when I was down, patted my shoulder.
"You really need to get a job," she said. She wouldn't let me watch any television for the rest of the day, either.