This morning I was putting on my makeup and listening to the radio at my usual morning radio station, 102.7 KIIS FM, which is Ryan Seacrest (of American Idol)’s talk show. Every morning at a certain time, they do what’s called The Birthday Giveaway. Ryan calls out a month, and takes the first caller who was born on that month. That caller gets $1000. Then, he calls out a date, and if that caller, on the air, happens to be born on that month and date, then the caller gets $10,000. I’ve never heard anyone win the $10,000, by the way.

Today, he called for June birthdays. In the bathroom, I thought, “That’s odd; he called June just a couple of days ago.” I never call in for those things, firstly because I’m lazy and I don’t want to interrupt my morning makeup application to run from the bathroom to my bedroom to call and risk being late(r) to work, and secondly because it seems everyone who calls is so ecstatic over winning a grand that I think others need the money more than I do. The demographic of the radio station (Los Angeles) certainly hits a lot of lower-income or welfare families. Sometimes a woman has 5 kids and works an unskilled minimum wage job (Ryan occasionally asks what the caller does for a living).

So this reasoning was going over and over in my head, but I felt this compulsion to call. I never call. But after a minute or two of hesitation, I trotted over into my bedroom and dialed. The phone rang a few times…I got excited…and then the recorded operator message, “We’re sorry; all circuits are busy now. Please try your call again later.” I hung up and redialed. One ring, and the same operator message. Oh well, a lot of people got to it first. I returned to the bathroom to finish off the makeup.

A few minutes later, a heavily Spanish-accented woman came on the air as the winning caller.
Ryan: Is your birthday in the month of June?
Woman: Yes.
Ryan: You have just won a thousand dollars!
Woman: Thank you.
Ryan: Now…for ten thousand dollars…were you born…on…June 29?
Woman: [sharp inhale] Oh…no, it’s not. June 26.