In an effort to avoid another registration mishap, I took two crucial steps towards cementing my places in the National Egg Toss Championship and the National Hollerin’ Contest.

For the egg toss, I bought my tickets for the Hagerstown Suns’ home game against the Hickory Crawdads on June 27. I simply have to show up on the field after the game. It’s that easy.

The Hollerin’ Contest registration is slightly more involved, albeit relatively simple. I had to sign a registration form agreeing to conduct myself in a courteous manner, avoid making obscene remarks, refrain from using the stage to seek election, and do everything in my power—should I win—to promote the National Hollerin’ Contest throughout the year. Those all sound good enough.

However, I’m afraid I won’t be able to abide by the first rule listed on the registration sheet: I will not participate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Give me a break, Hollerin’ Contest organizers—I’ve never even attempted to holler! How am I supposed to get on stage in front of an audience of hollerin’ connoisseurs without the slightest hint of liquid courage? Seriously. There’s got to be some kind of alcohol and drug exemption for first-time participants, right?

I know it might sound easy, but watch the following YouTube video and try to imitate some of these calls.

I just did my best. No sooner than I started, Lucy, one of our beloved mutts, awoke from a peaceful nap. She quickly sat up and, with a knowing gleam in her brown eyes, seemed to beg: Please, please, please stop. You’ll never be a hollerin’ champion, Jon. Never. You’ll never take down four-time champion Kevin Jasper. Not with that weak hollerin.’ No way, buddy.

Minutes later, I decided to give it another go. This time, Lucy didn’t even bother to awake from her nap.

Alas, I signed the form and will be mailing it along with a check for $10 to the Spivey’s Corner Volunteer Fire Department, which runs the contest. I just hope they amend their rules to allow moderate pre-contest alcohol consumption.