We should be pulling into my sister’s driveway near Asheville right now. Instead, we’re still in Raleigh, at the mercy of a nearby Firestone Auto Care Store. There, the nail-infested rear passenger-side tire of Carie’s 2001 Honda Civic rests on the garage floor, waiting for its chance to be patched. Considering that my car refuses to operate outside a 50-mile bubble of our house, we’re forced to wait, possibly for hours, for a simple service.

Fortunately, a flat tire won’t be able to stop us in the Idiotarod tomorrow.

Also, I had a fantastic revelation as we sat down for lunch at Panera. Glancing at our receipt, I noticed that fine print at the bottom, the survey that cashiers are always telling you about as they hand you the receipt. Sure, I often think as they tell me about the thousands of dollars I might win, I’ll definitely fill out this survey later on today! And, of course, I always put the receipt in my pocket and forget about the crumpled mess until it shows up a week later as a pulpy blob in my laundry.

But today will be different.

That’s because I’m broadening the scope of the Anyone Can Enter mission.

From now on, I am literally entering anything (in a non-sexual way, of course).

Of course, there’s no way to enter everything. I can’t enter every single 5K, every wacky shopping cart race, and each and every potato peeling contest. But if it’s within reason, I’m in. Especially if all it requires is an e-mail address and an Internet connection.

I started this week by setting up a Google alert for “anyone can enter.”

So far, I’ve been enticed by opportunities to win a trip to Hollywood for me and Bailey (our dog), meet my favorite pro anglers, and more. I’ve also learned that anyone can enter clan war, whatever that means.

While I’m not confident that I have a video of Bailey funny enough to win the Hollywood trip, I do have a photo worthy of Pam Boutilier’s contest. The artist is hosting a simple contest to direct traffic to her website. Simply send in a picture of your pet and your picture could be turned into a painting. My hopes are riding on this picture of Bailey.

In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll occasionally post updates on my successes and failures in this pursuit of winning free schwag.

For now, I need to get my hands on this $2,000 prize from Panera.

I’m going to need it for a new car.

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