Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Worst. Competition. Ever.

There's a sad minority of promoters that hate compers and won’t stand for them entering their giveaways. I've even seen some cheerfully slander the whole community with the same tar-brush, accusing them of entering any old comp for any old tat. I say, screw that, I really needed that toothpick.

OK, so that last bit's a porkie - I've never tried to win any quantity of toothpicks - but I will admit that when I first started comping, I followed the common rookie path of favouring competition quantity over competition quality. Naturally, it wasn't long before the prizes didn't start rolling in and I decided to change tack.

But comping for any old tat? Don't be daft. Obviously, some promotions are more exciting than others - we'd all rather win an iPad than a pint glass - but if it's neither use nor ornament, why waste time trying to win it?

Perhaps the accusation is directed at folks who enter a lot of low-value comps. Well, my dad always said never to judge a man till you've walked a mile in his moccasins. (Or was it was Michael Jackson? I always get them muddled...) In any case, the argument still stands. I offer myself as a case in point. I don't have depression per se, but in winter especially I do suffer some stinking long funks. The rush of endorphins associated with winning sometimes does more for me than the prize itself. In other words, prizewinning is a crutch for mental health; that it happens to come with a souvenir is a fantastic bonus.

I've also had enough addiction issues to recognise compulsive behaviour on my own part, so I will come clean: I had no immediate need of the Popeye hat I won last year, but given the 50/50 odds, I couldn't resist the punt. In short, I am what I am, and that's all that I am.

Confession, they say, is the road to healing, so I hope you won't judge me too harshly. Cast the first stone in the comments below, if you must. However, I suspect I'm not the only person who has, at some point in their life, entered a giveaway more for the hit than the prize - after all, who doesn't want to be a winner? In the name of group therapy then, might I suggest a session of competitive confession?

In return, I offer you what I hope will be the most amazingly mediocre prize that you have ever contemplated: 20 drains* from around the fine city of Norwich. A perfect gift for any drainspotter! Oh, and more importantly, the warm glow of being a winner too.

One of the drains included in this prize ... I call it "Gotham"

(For the purpose of clarity, that's 20 photographs, taken by me, of different drains in walking distance of my house.)

But what do I have to do to get my hands on this unique collection, you ask?

I'm not going to ask you to jump through 43 Rafflecopter hoops. In fact, you're under no obligation to return to this blog, EVER (sure, I'd love to see you again, but you're busy people and I respect that).

All I ask is that you leave a comment below, telling me the most underwhelming thing you've ever won or tried to win (apart from a load of drains).

I'll contact the winner via Twitter, so please leave your Twitter handle as well. If you're up for the sport but really don't want the pictures, then you're welcome to comment and not leave your handle - I'd love to hear from you anyway.

The closing date for entries is 23.59 30th June 2016.

One of the drains included in this prize ... This one is "Mothership"

Terms and conditions
1) The prize is 20 photographs of various drains located in the city of Norwich. The photographs are in jpg format and can be supplied zipped or unzipped. Images are individually available elsewhere, if you know where to look for them. There is no cash alternative.
2) The closing date for entries is 23.59 30th June 2016. No further entries will be accepted after this point. You can still comment if you like, but there has to be a line in the sand.
3) Each entrant's name will be written on separate pieces of paper and buttered. The winner will be the first name to be licked by my cat. Either that or I'll use a random number generator - whichever proves more practical.
4) I will announce the winner on this blog and on Twitter.
5) The winner has seven days to claim their prize. If the prize hasn’t been claimed in this period, I will redraw. If you think I'm going to butter any more paper, however, you've got another thing coming.
6) The winner will receive their images via e-mail and the bragging rights via mental projection.
7) Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
8) I will not use your information to sell you encyclopaedias, or to get anyone else to sell you encyclopaedias.
9) This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter, Blogger or any other social network. Neither is it sponsored, endorsed or administered by Pukka Pie.
10) I reserve the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of my control. Yes, that does include zombie apocalypse. Any changes to the competition will be clearly added to this blog post.
11) I think that’s it, but if I have forgotten anything fundamental that might void this endeavour, please let me know.

*not manhole covers


  1. this is hilarious! When I first got into comping at found i was actually good at winning lots of things, i did enter for the buzz of it but then found myself on the addiction end of the scale. I have spent the past couple of years reducing the amount of time I spend on it as i want to enjoy it as a balanced hobby. I seriously think there is a danger of becoming addicted to comping - at one point I was staying up until 3 or 4am just to get through the comps I felt i had to enter and it was affecting my family life hugely, I had Postnatal depression at the time which didn't help matters but i now feel i have far more balance. Far fewer wins these days but still some good quality ones in there and more happier times with my family x

    1. Oh my - Comping till the wee hours is definitely on the addiction scale! I remember my first season of doing the advents - I got so swept up into doing more and more and more that once Christmas came I was left with a great big twitchy hole. By January I was bereft. Combined with seasonal gloom, I was not fun company. I'm very wary of them these days, and - without wishing to be a doom-monger - do try to warn newbies to pace themselves! It does take a while to get the right balance between comping and family time - wish I could say I've got it licked, but at least I'm in a better place. Every happy moment with the family is still a prize in itself!