This is a flashback story. Join me.
Valentine's Day 2006--Through my connections to the zany and ridiculous, I have entered Krista, Michele, Melissa and I into the local radio station's "Valentine's Day Massacre."
In short, the Valentine's Day Massacre is a yearly event with these key ingredients: 97 women, 1 giant cake, 1 one-karat diamond ring and several other glamorous prizes inside the cake. It is the contestants' job to uncake the prizes (or in this case, slips of laminated-paper with the prize name). Sounds easy, right? In theory, yes. In actuality, not so much.
The day dawned early and bright. 5AM and Michele, true to form, is playing Jock Jams to get us pumped. We arrive, put on our issued T-shirts, and started devising our plan around the cake. We staked, claimed, and didn't leave our spot on the perimeter.
Our plan was this: on the count, the two in the front (it looks like Krista and Mel) would be pushed from behind into the center cake. The two in the back would hold the perimeter and we'd create a squared-region of cake for us, and us alone, to sift. We had each other's backs.
The plan didn't work so great. The screaming ring-hungry banshees of Salt Lake County thrust themselves into the cake on an uncivilized count of 2 and a half. All hell broke loose and it was every golddigger for themselves. Women were launching themselves from the back of the back to the center ring. Enter the hair-pulling, elbow-throwing, and biting; literally. An entire new definition of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth was created that morn.
I knew I would win a prize. I'm golden that way. I had hopes for the diamond (we'd predecided that if we won it, we'd sell and take a trip together), but actually really wanted to win the trip to LA for lunch with Ashlee Simpson (chalk up another story to the ridiculous-meter). Dig dig dig. I found the laminated slip with the "$400 Hair Removal Certificate" prize. Following the other pre-arranged plan, I slipped the prize in my wristband and kept digging.
The cake had been frozen the night before and was mostly thawed as we wormed our way through it. When I say mostly thawed, I'm hoping you're imaging it as I'm remember it--cold sludge. As 97 women trampled, squeezed, and sifted through what appeared to be a bran cake, the cake took on a consistency the likes I don't think this planet has ever seen. It was disgusting. And hairy in parts.
We made local and national news across the country. Here's the ABC spot. (You'll see us four girls bouncing, getting revved up for the great dive and cameos throughout the interviews and digging.) Michele's parents called to say they saw her on the news in Washington. (I've also heard of us being seen as far away as Tennessee.) Apparently we helped further the stereotype that Utah women will go to any length to obtain a wedding ring. I'll beg to differ, but will readily admit that I will go almost any length for a good story.
Oh, and the $400 Hair Removal certificate? I threw it away when I moved. It's not about the win, it's about the hunt.