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Gulp! 3 worm way to free tickets

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If you invite these three to dinner, please remember the following rules of etiquette: Provide plenty of seafood, preferably live goldfish; compliment his dress, as well as his tattoos and colored hair; and don't forget the worms on white bread.

After following those rules, the night should roll along magnificently. Heck, you can probably even avoid any conversation about the weather if you simply ask about Jazz vs. Bulls, Game 1.These three Salt Lake residents, who all won game tickets Wednesday afternoon in radio station contests at the Gallivan Center, can describe everything about the Delta Center: the noise, the Jazz, even the pseudo-Chicago Dogs.

Or if you'd prefer a more interesting line of questioning, ask them about how they won the tickets.

On your left, Dale Cheney begins. To win his pair of tickets, he played the role of a good fish (as well as loyal Jazz fan) and wolfed down fresh worms on white bread, hold the mayo and pickles.

Just think how that pot roast will taste after he describes the sensation of biting through a dirty worm or sucking a squiggly nightcrawler into his mouth, like a stray strand of spaghetti.

But don't think that free tickets were Cheney's only motivation. He did it to help slow down the Bulls' decorative Dennis Rodman.

"We're going to get rid of the Worm right now, before the series even starts," he said.

Speaking of the Worm, a couple of younger and poorer (they don't have incentive-laden contracts) Rodman impersonators stomped around the Gallivan Center, also hoping to win free tickets.

Eventually, as 8-year-old Nic Conlin can explain, his white dress, numerous (fake) tattoos and orange hair earned him a pair of free tickets.

When pressed, Conlin will admit that he did it strictly for the tickets. That and a chance to watch a Jazz game with his father.

"I don't even like Dennis Rodman," Conlin said. "I like Karl Malone, my favorite player in the whole NBA."

Finally, Blair Rastma brings the evening's gathering to a close by reciting his own fish tale.

To win tickets in the same radio station contest as Cheney, Rastma offered to swallow 15 living, swimming goldfish.

"They're not quite as good as shrimp," Rastma said. "I could taste the heads."

Not that any foul taste or upstream swimmers slowed Rastma, who also ate the fish for more than the free tickets. The 15 fish, he said, symbolize the number of wins the Jazz need for the championship. Because they have won 11, he swallowed the first 11 fish. The last four, however, took some more work.

"Just like the Jazz need to chew up the Bulls four times, I will chew four fish," Rastma said to raucous cheering.

And then, to more subdued cheering but much louder groaning, he chomped, chomped, chomped his way to the free tickets.