The cold truth is that I rarely if ever win a contest. The raffle committee never picks me, and the guy sitting next to me always wins the award. But one fateful night in 2001, I was able to get around my luck and win something. Even though I really lost.
I was watching TV one night when a commercial came on announcing a “WB event” with “stars,” including Alexis Denisof from Angel! At that point, my little fangirl heart grew three sizes (I love Wesley!) and I immediately found out all the details and forced a friend to go with me.
The night of the (star-studded! From the C List!) event, I went to the front of the stage and met up with some Buffy and Angel fans, who were incredibly cool. Alexis came out and we just screamed like 14-year-old girls at a… Justin Bieber concert? (Is that still what the 14-year-olds like now? I heard they have the Bieber fever.) He took one look at us and it was clear that his blood ran like ice.
The WB selected people to go on stage with the stars (“stars” = him) and do some Fear Factor-esque stunts for a prize of $250. I kept waving my hands around and it was clear that Alexis was avoiding picking someone from our section. But I caught his eye and said “Aw come on, you know you want to.” (Clearly a last-ditch effort.) He awkwardly replied, “I always want to,” in order to survive his own fans. Under the onslaught of this peer pressure, he relented and told me to go up.
Our first task was to drink a pitcher (2 quarts I think) of this nasty drink that turned out to be watered down condiments like Tabasco sauce and mustard. It was horrible, but I won the chugging contest hands down. The fact is, I couldn’t wimp out; I needed to stay on the stage with Alexis. Then, the three remaining contestants had to eat cloves of garlic. The Buffy Cheerleading Section told me to close my nose, so I did (thank god) and was okay. One person threw up, but I kept it together.
Then it was down to just me and one other guy. The crew brought out electric razors: the last “test” was to shave your head the fastest. Defeated at last, I gave the announcer a nasty look and set the razor down, with a loud comment about gender bias. So I lost the cash, which goes along with my “I never win anything” gig. However, I stood back and Alexis stood next to me and gave me a hug and told me I was a champ. I squeed when he said, “I’m glad you didn’t cut your hair, it’s really pretty.” Entire libraries of fanfic have been predicated on lesser statements!
He presented me with a book bag (which I instantly had him sign) and we chatted for a while. I kept thinking he was the champ: after all, I had just chewed up three or four cloves of garlic. I could smell myself well enough; he should have won an Emmy just for chatting within 200 feet of my breath. When I asked him if he was going to sign stuff for the Buffy Cheerleading Section, he overcame his fear and mingled with all. A win for fangirls everywhere!