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Mason: Gatti Town Kid of the Week

Once a week, one of our local radio stations (98.9 – KISS FM) has a contest for the Gatti Town Kid of the Week. To enter your kid into the running, you simply have to submit an e-mail to the radio station explaining why your kid should be chosen.

This next sentence may make me sound like a pompous ass, but I’m going to say it anyway: when I enter things like this, I almost always win. I’m a good writer, true, but more importantly I write what these types of contests are looking for — a “feel good” list of things that separate your kid from other people’s kids, written with a sprinkling of humor and a modicum of proper grammar.

I’ve heard the Gatti Town Kid of the Week being advertised on the radio from time to time, but I never remember to write the e-mail when I get either to work or home, depending on which way I was driving when I heard it. Last Monday I heard the commercial while sitting at home, so I decided to open up my e-mail client and bang out a quick submission as to why Mason should be the Gatti Town Kid of the Week.

Two days later, I was notified that Mason was the winner.

For the record, I just as easily could have submitted a winning e-mail for Morgan, but Mason, with his current school activities including being elected class president, working on his school’s recycling program, and other activities made it easier to write.

Attached to the e-mail informing me that Mason had won was an mp3 recording of the letter being read on air. This is probably cooler to me than the actual prize Mason won. The winners are announced after I get to work, where I cannot use a radio (I work in a basement). I remember spending lots of time as a kid with the record button pushed in and my finger on the pause (or rather, “un”-pause) button trying to catch a recording of my own voice after talking to a radio DJ. Having the mp3 e-mailed to me was very cool.


Mason’s prize was four free buffets (two adults, two kids) to Gatti Town (formerly Incredible Pizza, which itself was like a super-sized Chuck E. Cheese restaurant) and $10 in tokens. Of course this free package ended up costing me an additional $20 in tokens; $10 for Morgan, $5 for me, and $5 for the Skee-ball queen.

Over the weekend I picked up the tickets. Walking into a radio station is always an exciting experience for me. I was told to report to the sixth floor. From there, while waiting, you can see into some of the DJ booths. Then came the awkward ten minutes during which the secretary could not find my name on any list, and seemed unconvinced that I was the father of the Gatti Town Kid of the Week! As a kid I would have been more nervous, but seeing as though I had my iPhone in my hand on which was (a) the e-mail the producer of the radio show had e-mailed me and (b) the mp3 recording of Mason’s name being read on air, I was pretty sure the mystery would be unraveled. It was, and soon I was on my way out the door with our Golden Ticket.

Last night Mason, his sister, Susan and I visited Gatti Town, gratis. Oh, like royalty we were treated! Captain Gatti rolled out a red carpet for our arrival. Our dinner assistant showed up to tie bibs around our necks and even offered to pre-chew our food for us! For the main course, we ate half-live baby seal!

Okay, none of that really happened, but we did eat buffet pizza for free. Mason and I played some air hockey. While the kids raced go-karts, I played Outrun 2 and the latest Afterburner game while Susan earned tickets playing Skee-ball.

And a good time was had by all, on the house. Congrats to Mason for being chosen as Gatti Town’s Kid of the Week. At the radio station I signed a piece of paper informing me that there can only be one winner per household every six months. Next May, I’ll send one in for Morgan and see how it goes.

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