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Pinging The Potty Humor Can Be Quite Winning!

July 18th, 2011 · Tags:Arts · Satire

There is this meeting that I go to every Sunday, now going on 24 years. It’s a good group and has grown exponentially … even has a great monthly magazine now.

And in that magazine, the readers are asked to contribute interesting stories for the question of the month. Normally I just enjoy reading other people’s wit, shenanigans, true-life experiences, inspiration and the like. Until last month …

Last month I read the question of the month, and I really thought I had something for the readers.

The question was “What is the most unusual contest you have ever won?”.

Well, I have won a few silly ones in my time, so I thought why not give it a try …

One month later, this morning, I picked up the monthly magazine and to my chagrin, I learned that I didn’t make the cut. At first I was really disappointed, and told myself there were probably lots of great submissions.

It made me feel better after I read several excellent contest winners. Perhaps the best of the bunch — the person who won a swimming contest in spite of the fact that they couldn’t swim. I really had a hard time getting my head around that one. What? How? Bribe the judges? Drown the competition? Only one to survive? Still a mystery.

Even though my entry wasn’t selected, at least it made me feel better knowing there were good stories printed.

Then i read this one … and I ain’t gonna lie, it “hut mah feelahs.” This is what i was up against and lost?

This person made it into the mix by admitting they had “Never won a contest.”

Really? I mean I feel for the person, but that one made the cut? A sympathy vote? My head was reeling at the injustice. I could understand if they had no other entries, yes, the editors would need to fill up the space with something like that.

But I am here to testify that there was other material … perhaps of more merit than the misfortune of never having won anything.

Well … I din’t say anything to anyone. I just shook my head, and probably rolled my eyes a little, as friends tell me I am prone to do.

“I know!” … I will write a blog about this … and there take that … I’ll get to tell the story of my most interesting victory on my blog … after all, it is MY blog.

Here we go …

Flashback many years for this contest-winning gem. There was a Top 40 radio hit — a silly novelty song — called “The Telephone Man.” For the record, I didn’t like the song, but it was the days of Top 40, so everyone heard the song over and over.

The lyrics had a sophomoric, off-color little line about “Hey baby, I’m the telephone man. Tell me where you want it, and I’ll put it where I can.” No, I am not sure the guy was talking about telephone installation. (Note to the younger readers: In those days phones had chords and were in homes.)

So … this radio station had the brilliant idea to capitalize on the success of The Telephone Man and turn it into a contest. The prize was to be any telephone the winner wanted. They invited listeners to write in and explain to them why the phone was needed and what the winner would do with it.

I was 17, and already people were saying “that boy ain’t right.”

So, I usually acted as if I was out to prove them absolutely correct.

I said to myself, “I’m gonna get me that phone!”

Actually, I wanted to win this contest, if for no other reason that to just win the contest. I guess I had a bit of a competitive issue. I used to enter all kinds of contests. For instance, years later after launching my PR career, I used to read Ad Age Magazine religiously. Back then, Ad Age had a creative contest. It was called The Next Trend, or TNT. They asked readers from all over the U.S. — from Wilshire Blvd. in LA to Madison Avenue in NYC, to write ad campaigns or slogans for hypothetical products … just for fun. Ha … I entered Ad Age’s TNT contest three times. Oh … and I won it twice. It was just fun.

I digress …

Back to the Telephone Man. Even back then, in my teens, I had recognized that things have to be different to be noticed. My mom — a creative dynamo in her own right – always preached to me to make my homework slightly different … to put “shag carpet and purple felt material under the rocks for my geology rock sample project” and stuff like that. Man I was a goob!

So, if Ping was going to win this phone thing, I needed something special. To get singled out from several thousand entrees, the idea had to be crazy. The entree had to be unique. That’s what my momma said …

I felt I was up to the challenge … always ready to act up and “stand out.”

So, I went out on a limb. I told the radio station that I needed the telephone and that “I would have it installed in the bathroom, because the Tidy Bowl Man runs my answering service, when I am in the shower.” (You do remember the Tidy Bowl Man ad campaign right? Tiny guy … in a boat, white uniform … floats around in the tank of the toilet with some magical blue liquid.)

Leaving nothing to chance, I also made the entry look “special.” I cut out a photo of a toilet, pasted it to a piece of green construction paper, and then also attached a picture of a phone, with the chord coiling out of the toilet. My words, were hand scribbled on the piece of paper … like graffiti.

Ha … I was 17 and I don’t know why and where i came up with that … but guess what. It won.

My mom found out first, and it was a few hours before i knew. She took the call from the radio station, and then later she called me using our two-way radio … reaching from our home in town, to the farm several miles away … It was summer and like all good little farm boys, I was driving the tractor. And yes, I was into wireless even back then.

“This is KWP-4-12,” I heard my mom scream. “Come in tractor … COME IN TRACTOR!”

The tractor was really, really noisy, so I didn’t hear anything prior to her excited voice … not the least bit of static or anything to alert me that she was about to BOOM from the radio speaker that was turned all the way up. Like I said, the tractor was roaring. So, her voice scared me so badly that I about jumped out of the tractor cab … which would have meant getting crushed and ripped up by a sweep plow … So the radio station just about lost their little Telephone Man winner, before he ever knew.

After I settled down, and reminded my mom to key the mike a few times before she hailed me on the radio … she delivered the news.

“You won! You won!”

“I won what?”

“You won the Telephone Man contest. The radio station just called, and they want to interview you.”

Ha … tell them to talk to the dude who runs my answering service … I thought. But I was even more excited than my mom … I think. (She was always encouraging my bizarre entries … so she may have been equally excited.)

She called the radio station back and coordinated what would be my first conference call, I suppose. When the appointment came, the coolest deejay on the radio station interviewed me and recorded it. I thought that was pretty cool .. they were going to play my interview on the air!

Ha! The radio station apparently got such a kick out of my entry, they turned it into a big promotional commercial and it aired several times a day for a week or two.

“Kent Pingel won this phone … blah, blah, blah … and he is going to put it in his … blah, blah, blah … because he … blah, blah, blah … in the bathroom,” the over-amped deejay voice announced. And then the ultimate compliment of my “clever” entry … they added a sweet little sound effect … yes … the sound of a flushing commode every time the promo aired!

At that point I was questioning this whole thing .. oh well.

To this day, there is one friend from a neighboring farm town who — every time i see him — still says he will never forget the day he too was driving a tractor, listening to the top radio station, and heard my Telephone Man tale … So I guess he will always associate the flush with yours truly.

Well … it might not have made the cut for the magazine … but at PingWi-Fi we sometimes permit a little potty humor, and we think this is some above-average stuff.

OH! About the phone. Back in those days, it was pretty hard to find an expensive phone. I went to several electronics stores and then scoured some catalogs. Finally, I found some retro phone that would hang on the wall … the kind with the hand crank like those in some old TV show. It was the most expensive one I could find. The radio station — true to their word — cut me a check for the phone.

And I headed straight to the electronics store and bought my first stereo with the money.

Know what I saying?