The first time I saw The National, they were playing the Hollywood Bowl, opening for R.E.M. I should mention that they were… what’s the phrase I’m looking for here? Oh yeah, they were fucking amazing. I remember thinking it would be awesome to see them in a headlining situation.
Fortunately for me, they’re coming back to L.A. on Saturday, August 29th. Fortunately for you, I have an extra ticket and I don’t want to sell it. I want to give it away. But I also thought, in the spirit of awesome charity that led The National’s Dessner brothers to produce Dark Was the Night earlier this year, that I should ask you to do something good in return. So I’m holding an Bollocks! Charity Extravaganza to see who gets the ticket. And here’s the best part – there’s a bunch of good stuff you can do for charity without spending much money (after all, I don’t want you to spend hundreds of dollars winning a 30 dollar ticket).
So here’s how it’s gonna work: I will hold a raffle on Friday, August 28th to determine the winner of my extra National ticket. How do you get in the raffle? There are several charitable ways to do it and – to sweeten the pot – you can earn extra raffle entries and increase your odds by continuing to do awesome stuff for charity. Read on:
1) Notice that little ad in the lower corner of my page? If you click on that sucker and watch a Showtime ad, they donate money to help war-affected kids in Uganda. So do that. I keep track of how helpful Bollocks! has been by a point system, which is at 88 points this morning. If you watch an ad, comment in the space provided, and send me an email, you get one entry in the raffle. For every 20 point increase, EVERYONE who watched one ad and emailed me gets a bonus entry.
2) Beat my score on Free Rice.com, English Vocab edition. I’ll post screen caps at least three times a week for my score at first fail (no retry – it’s how many you get right before you fuck up) and if you send me a screen cap of your higher score, you get an entry. Each time you beat me, you get a bonus entry in the raffle, with a maximum of three bonus (four total) for this particular event. www.freerice.com/
3) There’s an awesome charity The National supports called Camp Amerikids that does summer camps for kids with HIV/AIDS. They have a wish list here with a bunch of stuff you can send them, most of which can be gently used. Send them some wish list items and, for each item you send them, you get an entry in the raffle. To verify that you did this, send me a photo of you at the Post Office mailing the package and include in the package a note that says “I’m doing this for the Bollocks! National Contest” and the charity will verify to me that you did what you said you did. In addition to the wish list, I’ve received an email that details some other stuff you can donate, so if you’re interested, email me and we’ll talk about what you can do.
4) “But with all these ways to get in the raffle, won’t their be a billion people in the raffle?” you’re thinking. The answer is, hopefully “yes.” But my readership is smallish (I will be posting ads for this contest ’round the ol’ interwub though), so you probably don’t have much to worry about. But, just in case, is there a way that you can circumvent the system and, E-Bay “Buy It Now”-style, just win the ticket outright? The answer is definitely yes. But you have to do something that I don’t think anyone will do: first, you have to raise a thousand grains of rice on freerice.com. Email me the screen cap. Second, watch one ad on my banner and email me – remember to make a comment when you’re prompted so I can verify that you did it. Third, and most difficult, you gotta make someone’s summer at Camp Amerikids: gather, photograph, and box up 15 items from the wish list. If you nut up and do this one, I’ll even pay the shipping to get it to Camp Amerikids. THIS IS A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE, WIN THE WHOLE FUCKING THING DEAL. The first person to complete this option wins the ticket outright, end of raffle, end of discussion.
All emails should come to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (you’ll have to copy/paste the email address because WordPress is snotty about mailto links, I guess).
Depending on how things go, I might cook up a couple of bonus prizes, if there’s a lot of interest. I can’t fly people to Los Angeles for the show, so you have to be able to be here on August 29th under your own power – so the contest is open to everyone who can actually attend the show. Similiarly, I can’t whip up a smashing grand prize like getting you backstage to meet the band. I simply don’t have that kind of juice. I do have a ticket that, with a little effort, you can get for free. The raffle will be held on Friday, August 28th at 9pm. Game on.