For those of you not familiar with Malaysia, here in Kuala Lumpur at least, we have a number of outlets of the US restaurant chain, TGI Friday’s. It just so happens to be one of the places I’m inclined to eat, so I like when they have special promotions on. For Mother’s Day earlier this year, eating there meant they gave me a bag of freebies, which included vouchers for a free hand massage and a free makeover! Last night, they had a Halloween promotion, and anyone who came in costume had the potential to win a RM150 (US/AU$50) voucher to use at any outlet in the country.
Given I have a ready-made costume of Jaclyn Rousseau, the lead character in my upcoming novel, Adrift, I decided to take my chances. If nothing else, it could’ve been a good promotional opportunity for me.
Along with my Norwegian neighbour Gudrun, we left our place of residence around 6pm, not realising traffic would be terrible. The advertising suggested judging would take place at 7pm, and even though the location I chose (1 Utama) is usually only about a 10-15 minute drive away, I was lucky to find a parking bay as quickly as I did and entered the restaurant at around 6:50pm. Fortunately for me, I had to stick around until after 8:30pm for the judging, so we had our dinner and then were asked to stay. I thought my odds of winning were pretty good because I didn’t see any other adults in costume, besides the staff who worked there. After I finished eating, I had a few of the employees come up to me and ask for photos with them, which made me smile a lot.
As it turned out, there was only one other adult for me to compete with. A woman who said she was Sailor Moon, but actually didn’t really look like she’d done much with her costume to look like her to me (and if she or any of her friends happens to come across this post, I’m sorry if you don’t like my opinion; you’re welcome to assume I’m just being a sore loser :)). The competition, unfortunately, was not actually judged on best costume, which I didn’t realise before arriving. And didn’t even read when I looked at the registration form. Whoops! It was judged, instead, on who could shout “TGI Friday’s ROCKS!” the loudest. I got to have two chances at it and still didn’t scream anywhere near as loud as the other girl. Amusingly, I don’t think I’ve ever shouted as loud as I did that night in my whole life. I really am just that quiet of a person.
Even though I didn’t win the RM150 voucher, I still got a great runner-up prize. 4 vouchers to use at any TGI Friday’s, though they must be used separately, and before November 16th.
Vouchers won: Free appetizer; RM10 voucher; free dessert; free cocktail for 2. I also, separately, got a voucher for a free juice for 2, which was a promotion just by ordering a main course menu item.
After the announcement of the winnings, the winner complimented me on my costume and asked how I came about it, and several staff members talked to me about how they wanted me to win, or how they would help me win next time by giving me a lot of water to drink beforehand (admittedly, my throat was quite dry!) They also joined me for the photos I asked Gudrun to take at the front of the store as we were leaving, and then I got asked by their Popeye to stay back because their higher staff members wanted to get as many photos with me as possible. I was amused by the number of photos that were taken of me by the end of the night. Some random people walking through 1 Utama also managed to snap some. I wonder where those photos will end up?
Here are a few of my own photos from the night. I’m still waiting on getting the ones from Gudrun’s camera and the ones TGI Friday’s said they’d send me, but once I get those, they’ll be posted to the album on Jaclyn’s Facebook page, where you can also find a few others I’m not sharing here.
I also had the opportunity to talk a bit about Jaclyn and how I’ve written a novel about her, and mentioned the Facebook page. So far, no new likes on the page, though. Alas!