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My Wife is Famous

January 20th, 2009 · 21 Comments · Random Stuff

Just like when you’re designing trade show booths and it’s critical to pick a clear and compelling tag line, when you’re writing a blog post, it’s equally important to pick a clear and compelling post title, preferably with your targeted keywords in it, and with a twist or teaser that will make a reader or searcher want to click through. Well, based on that, I’m not sure I picked a good title for this post (maybe I should stick to just writing about trade show booths). My options for the title were, “My Wife is Lucky”, “We Won”, “Some People have all the Luck,” “We’re (not) Going to Disneyland”, “Why Do I Always Pick the Wrong Line”, and “My Wife is Famous.” I decided on the last one, although now the title “The Rambling Trade Show Booths Guru” seems appropriate. Feel free to let me know what title you would pick for this post…

Anyway, this past weekend we met some friends for an afternoon at the zoo. When the zoo was closing we decided we should all head over to their house for dinner. They had everything they needed to make us a tasty spaghetti dinner, except for the spaghetti pasta. I volunteered to stop at the supermarket on the way to their house to pick up some spaghetti. When we got to the supermarket, I told my wife and kids that they could wait in the car while I ran into the store. I found the spaghetti fast enough, but then picked the wrong line for checking out. I think it’s genetics… no matter what line I pick at a store, it always ends up taking the longest. I just wish there was a way to make money with this “talent” that I have. Anyway, ten minutes later I finally paid for the spaghetti and left the store. When I got back to our car, my wife and kids were screaming…

I didn’t take that long in the store, I though, but that’s not what my wife was screaming about. She had just WON! It turns out it was fortuitous that I took so long in the store because while I was in there, my wife and kids were listening to one of the bigger LA radio stations on our car radio (not everyone in this country has an iPod). During a break, the DJ announced that he had a “four pack” of tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm (an amusement park) to give away to the 30th caller. My four-year-old son heard this and said to my wife that she should call in, so on a whim, she did. The first time my wife called she got an “all circuits busy” message, but she called back and got through. The DJ told her she was the 30th caller! SCREAM! What luck, and perfect timing as well. We’ve been talking about taking my son to Knotts’ for his fifth birthday, which is why he recognized the offer and told my wife to call (I’m not a fan of over-priced, crowded amusement parks, but going to them on rare occasions is one of my fatherhood duties).

I’ve never called a radio station. My wife says she and her friends used to do it when she was a teenager, but she never has since then. Well, when she told me that she’d called in and won, we all screamed together, “We’re going to Knott’s!”  We then listened through two more songs for the next commercial break, and then had the immense pleasure of hearing the DJ come on with a recorded version of the phone call. We heard him telling my wife she was the winner (SCREAM!) and then asking her what her name was and what her favorite radio station was. All of Southern California (or at least those people listening to 104.3FM that day) got to hear my now famous wife answer those two questions.

I can’t say that I’ve ever had a similar encounter with fame. I did get to meet Bill Cosby when I was in high school, and I’ve had letters to the editor published in two different newspapers (do people still read newspapers today?), but I’ve never had my voice on the radio, much less broadcasted throughout Southern California.

So have you had a brush with fame?

UPDATE 1/22: I guess I should know better since I did write about when free aint free. At least free aint simple in this case. The radio station called to tell my wife she could come in and pick up the tickets. Since we live about 70 miles away, she asked if they could mail the tickets. No problem, they said, we just need you to fill out some paperwork and fax it back. They then faxed us a 6 page document with three pages of forms to complete and fax back, along with a copy of her drivers license and a Federal W9 with her social security number. ARGGHHHHH!


21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 cardiogirl // Jan 21, 2009 at 5:57 am

    The Scream Heard ‘Round LA

    She Was Screaming — But Not at Me

    But that has nothing to do with Trade Show Booths and would not help your SEO efforts.

    Anyway, I actually won some tickets on the radio as well once in my life. And I had to name a song — “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders. As I was thinking out loud I actually said, “Grrr.”

    And my brother has never let me live that down.

  • 2 The Trade Show Guru // Jan 21, 2009 at 10:24 am

    hi cardiogirl,
    Thanks for dropping in again!
    Kudos to you for paying attention. You noticed and answered BOTH of my questions!
    Excellent suggestions on the title… maybe you can call yourself “The Blog Post Title Guru.” 🙂
    And congrats on your tickets. How was the concert, and did you take your brother? ~ Steve

  • 3 cardiogirl // Jan 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    No sir. My punk brother did not go with me, but I did tell him about it after.

    I actually won three sets of tickets to three different venues. I think it was roughly 12 or 13 years ago.

    I do remember one set of tickets was for Circque de Soleil. I thought that was going to suck, but it turned out to be really interesting. If you ever get free tickets to that, go for it.

    I’m not sure I would actually pay for the tickets, however.

    I’m surprised to say I can’t remember what the other two things were. Clearly, they were not that noteworthy if I can’t remember them.

    But the whole idea of going to three different events for free was awesome!

  • 4 Lee (Tarheel Rambler) // Jan 21, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    First of all, you gave me heart failure with that title in combination with that picture. I was seriously feeling sorry for you and pulling together a plan to rescue you. Then it dawned on me that Paris is single.

    Anyway, a better title would have been My Wife Has Great Timing. After all, she not only got a great gift for your son’s impending birthday, but she timed the call exactly right to win.

  • 5 The Trade Show Guru // Jan 21, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    @cardiogirl, you are lucky!
    @Lee, ha! If you mouse over the image of Paris, you should see the alt text is “Paris Hilton is not my wife”. For some reason though, it doesn’t display in Firefox 3 for me…
    Great suggestion on the title… perhaps you should be “The Blog Post Title Guru”. Or better yet, maybe I’ll write a silly post and have a contest to “Name this post and become The Blog Post Title Guru.” hmmm ~ Steve
    PS. Sorry about the heart failure. 😉

  • 6 Will // Jan 22, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Hi Steve! Yes I had a brush with fame a few minutes ago. I was just minding my own business when I ran into Paris Hilton…..

    Actually when I first opened this post, I only glanced at the photo, (being so eager to read what you had written), and just wondered how you got the picture of my wife. Then I looked real close and realized my mistake.

  • 7 The Trade Show Guru // Jan 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    hey Will,
    LOL. I hereby declare you winner of the Funniest Comment on Thursday [I wondered how you got the picture of my wife]. Thanks for the good belly laugh! ~ Steve

  • 8 Will // Jan 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    “Does your wife know you think you are married to Paris?” – No, Steve, she doesn’t. And I edited your comment to make sure she does not find out! hehe.

    Thanks for the award. Recognition like that is much needed as most people just do not get my amazingly advanced sense of humor.

  • 9 The Trade Show Guru // Jan 25, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Hey Will,
    No worries… your “secret” is safe with me. 😉
    And I’ve got a boatload more of those awards available… I’ll look forward to some more of your amazingly advanced sense of humor! 🙂 ~ Steve

  • 10 Master of the Philippines // Feb 1, 2009 at 3:19 am

    The reason the words do not appear when you hover is because the “title” attribute does that, not the “alt” attribute. The alt attribute is for those who have images turned off in their browsers.

    I don’t know what sexually-starved nerds and geeks find in Paris Hilton. I don’t find her attractive even in a modest kind of way. Other than giving good sex, she’s a worthless human, in my opinion.

  • 11 The Trade Show Guru // Feb 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    hi RT,
    Based on your comment I did a little more research, and you’re right about the title tag. I’ve used IE6 for years, and it displays the alt tag, which is what I’m used to. Firefox displays the title tag.
    As to Paris Hilton, Dennis Miller says she is perfect for parents… she is the perfect example of everything all rolled in to one that you can say to your teenager, “Don’t be like her.” 🙂 ~ Steve

  • 12 jackie sheeler // Feb 5, 2009 at 5:25 am

    i think the title is perfect! i came in via another post and wouldn’t have clicked on any of the other titles, so bravo — and thanks for giving me an interesting idea. my is going to be famous in a blog post one day!

    years ago i won rolling stones tickets because i was out on a date with a guy i didn’t particularly like, and the radio (there were no ipods then!) announced a postcard contest for tickets. so i made him drive to the central PO, the only one open in NYC at night, and we filled out like twenty postcards, all with different addresses, friends, etc.

    my best friend won on the postcard i’d filled out for her — which was great, as i was out of town at a wedding with my grandmother that week. and even better because i owed her a hundred dollars, a fortune in those days, and when i got back home i found the debt had been wiped out by that lucky pair of tickets.

    i didn’t get to see the stones until (gulp) more than twenty years later, when they recently played madison square garden. but i swear mick looks the same now as he did back then. he must have a picture in his attic growing older.

  • 13 The Trade Show Guru // Feb 5, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    hi Jackie,
    I don’t think Mick changes. I pretty sure he’s immortal. Thanks for stopping by! ~ Steve

  • 14 Mitch // Feb 7, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    That’s a great story, and I hope you still get to go on your trip, even with all that stuff. Yeah, the government is going to get its cut every single time; weasels.

  • 15 The Trade Show Guru // Feb 8, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Hi Mitch,
    Thanks for stopping by! We got our tickets in the mail, and will probably go closer to my son’s birthday. I don’t think our “winnings” will actually be reported to the government because they’re so small. I think the paperwork is really for people that win bigger prizes, but everyone has to fill it out, which is extremely annoying to a guy like me. ~ Steve

  • 16 Brian D. Hawkins // Feb 8, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Steve, that’s a great story. Writing talent combined with an interesting topic. It’s cool to win stuff. Like you, I’ve never called in on one of those radio show contests. If I did I would almost certanly get the most important question weong, “Ok Brian, what’s your favorite radio station?” How embarrassing would that be?

    I was a long haul truck driver for a while and back in the mid nineties in Nashville I met Dwight Yoakam in an Arby’s of all places. He seemed pretty quiet and shy. Before that I met Tanya Tucker at a truck stop in Kentucky. Actually, I just watched her in a crowed of drivers. I din’t talk to either of them.

  • 17 The Trade Show Guru // Feb 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Hey Brian,
    I had the same thought too, that when asked that age-old question of “what radio station is the best” I would draw a blank or name the wrong one. 🙂
    Seeing Dwight and Tanya both… cool. I saw Bo Derek once at a local department store. I didn’t talk to her. I also saw the helicopter pilot from Lost last year at the Burbank airport. Didn’t talk to him either… ~ Steve

  • 18 drivelocity // Feb 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Congrats on the win… I’ve only won two things from the radio – Police Academy 6? tickets and the Judge Dredd soundtrack. You know you’re jealous… 😛

  • 19 The Trade Show Guru // Feb 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    hi drivelocity,
    Policy Academy #6? Did they make that many of them? I think I saw the first two, maybe three. And Judge Dredd… how many years ago was that? I think Sly should have been happy with the Rocky series and stopped… ~ Steve

  • 20 Internet Strategist // Mar 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    The title you used got me here so it must have worked! (Especially since I’m not interested in famous people anyway – go figure.)

    I read your entertaining comment policy and liked it so much I’ve added it to my recent post on commenting and shared your blog at FriendFeed and Twitter.

    I like your blog and I’d like to comment. Everywhere I travel online I use Internet Strategist as my “name” except in one blog I frequent where the owner agreed to let me use GrowMap (less of a keyword phrase).

    Perhaps you’ll consider granting me a Friend of the Guru exemption. Like everyone I get busy and don’t make the rounds regularly – except to the bloggers that leave comments in my blog. That reminds me to visit them and then I share their new stuff.

    Feel free to edit out any of the above if you approve this comment – or keep it – whatever you prefer. I notice that your name is The Trade Show Guru. 🙂

  • 21 The Trade Show Guru // Mar 4, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Hey Internet Strategist,
    Anyone that mentions me on their blog gets a free one time pass from my comment rule. Next time I’d just ask that you put a name at the end of your comment (like I do in all my replies) so I know how I’m replying to. As to what I use for my own comment link, you should know that rules never apply to the one that makes the rules. 🙂 ~ Steve

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