Lads. I got the tickets. But fuck me, was it a struggle of the uphill kind. After staying up watching the screen and continuously harassing people to vote all night Monday, the Bear and I watched the clock count down to midnight and delighted in the fact that I was in the lead and therefore had won. Hooray!
But then the votes kept going. The bottle in second place, designed by Dick Dastardly (which, by the way, had appeared out of nowhere the day before and shot from zero to over 200 votes in 24 hours...not suspicious at all, right?) suddenly took the lead. But it was half one in the morning at that stage, well past the deadline, so it was still ok. We thought.
The next morning, we watched in horror as the votes kept piling in for Dick Dastardly, and while trying to find some reason as to why the competition didn't close on Monday like the official terms and conditions stated, discovered comments from the organisers on their Facebook page saying that closing time was midnight on Tuesday.
Those unbelieveable cunts, thought I. At that stage I was a good 40 votes behind Dick Dastardly. Both me and the Bear had tapped out all possible ways, means and people to get votes over the last two weeks. There was nothing else we could do. Disappointment She Wrote. I was bloody distraught and felt completely cheated. I put up a thank you on Facebook to everyone, and resigned myself to the fact that it was all over and there'd be no Picnic for me this year.
But then all of a shot, people started to rally around the cause of sending me and the Bear on our way to Stradbally. The votes started creeping upwards in my corner, my fantastic buddies and sprawling clans of cousins got on the case and the gap between me and Dick Dastardly was slowly narrowing throughout the day. By the time 9.00 in the evening rolled around, it was quite literally neck and neck, he'd be two votes ahead, I'd catch up and go four ahead, he'd frustratingly sprint into a ten vote lead, all the while his name was being vigourously cursed on Facebook, with accusations aplenty (he's a robot! he's a plant!) being bandied about by assorted friends and relatives.
My profile page that evening read like a live blog of the whole thing, it was madness. One cousin reckoned it was more exciting than the Eurovision and said she wasn't going to bed till it was over. Another fantabulous cousin and her fiancee put up a competition on their salon's Facebook page to get their clients to vote for me, the big legends. (The salon is Mint, by the way - ladies of Kilkenny, do pay them a call, they're only brilliant.) The whole ordeal had somehow morphed into a massive team effort, scrambling for the lead. So, for the second night in a row, we watched the clock count down to midnight, desperately appealing to FB profiles like Boob.ie, Maeve Higgins, Lady Umbrella and anyone else we could think of for votes. But Dick Dastardly had pulled away and taken the lead when the clock struck twelve.
And once again, the votes kept going. At half one my Dad rang to say I was leading. Back home, my parents, brother and his girlfriend had become vote generating machines. My mother was even temporarily kicked out of Facebook for posting the same message (ie. Kitty need VOTES! etc) to so many people's pages, the brat. I had to call it a night at some stage though.
The next morning I was still leading, the voting hadn't closed, but eventually it was announced that it HAD closed at midnight and votes were being counted. The winner was to be declared that morning. After midday, Dick Dastardly had been pleading on the fan page for the winner to be announced, accompanied by a screenshot of his bottle design in the lead at 12.05. While out for lunch with the Bear, Deadly Jumper Boy rang him to say I had won. My bottle design had the Winner banner across it in the Gallery page. What the what?
I wasn't convinced and wouldn't allow myself to get excited until I had heard from the organisers, but felt as though they could hardly go back on the decision now. Two hours later, they officially declared a draw and awarded tickets to both me and Dick Dastardly, "in the interest of fairness". Read: to make up for the disastrous handling and utter confusion throughout the entire competition.
Well thank fuck for that. Days of nail biting stress and being completely oblivious to the outside world, coupled with frantic phonecalls from assorted relatives going something like "We have him now Kitty, twenty ahead!" and "HOW IS HE STILL GETTING VOTES?". It was exhausting. Delighted though.
Thank you so much for voting. You rock.
However, it does mean that instead of getting a decent early night to recharge the old batteries before the impending weekend of mischief, I'll mostly be packing, decanting rum into plastic bottles and weighing up the practicalities of wearing a playsuit at a festival with Portaloos.