I had parked on Main Street in front of The Big Chair in my News Car writing the monthly big check when a couple of people walked up and one of them gave me a big stare. This isn't unusual, being in a marked News Vehicle but when I exited my SUV one of the guys said he had a question for me.
"Are you the 1075 KZL $20,000 Fugitive?", was his query.
"HUH?!", was my puzzled response.
He asked a second time, and for a second time I said, "HUH?!", and added, "No, I don't believe I am.", really begining to wonder what kind of perverted time warp I had just stepped through. No one has accused me of being a fugitive since my high school days with my rough-neck, redneck friends.
When I got back on the road the strange query lingered in my mind, so I had to change my radio from the naughty nitwits, Chris and Chris, to the nuclear nincompoop Murphy in the Morning.
It didn't take long for me to figure out their heavily promoted new contest was the root of the crazy quiz.
The radio station has simulated a theft of $20,000 from a station employee and now any station listener that can ID the thief will collect the 20k as a bounty. 4 clues a day are helping the listeners figure out who and where the 'villan' might be and a disscussion board on the station website is bustling with posts and responses.
Listeners describing themselves with such screen names as Fugitive Tracker, Capfug and FugitiveFanatic. The latter is a highly determined 'bounty hunter' as one of his posts to the disscussion board explains....
Hey, if you really want $20,000 you should be willing to make some sacrafices. I drove all the way from Walkertown to Thomasville (about a 30-45 min drive) and was there, outside in the rain, for 4 hours and didn't find the fugitive. I'll do you one even better I took a day off of work to hunt for the fugitive. I work in Wilkesboro which is an hour and half one way for me. So fill up your tank and come on down to the triad area or your $20,000 may be filling up fugitive's pocket for another day longer! Good Luck!
Even the fugitive is making posts on the board, albeit under two different screen names. (HMM???)
So now I think I may be hooked on the contest, trying to take the 12 clues that exist and decipher who the perp might be. It's my job after all, to take a bunch of information and try to make sense of it all.
And what a great marketing scheme to create a buzz about the listening area and using the internet discussion forum to gauge reaction. My hats off to the creator of this one.
For now all I know for sure is that I am not the '1075 KZL $20,000 Fugitive', but I think I want to find out.