As every person with a Facebook account may know, I got tickets for some additional friends to see Hamilton. The second time for me -yes, I am guilty of theater gluttony- and the first time for Patty, one of my very first Los Angeles friends and favorite Customs employee, Renee, a musical long time friend, and Yoli, a brand new shiny penny I met through Andy and Renee this past year.
The tickets I got were on the first night of the 2017 Dodgers- Astros World Series. As anyone who was breathing in California or Texas or anywhere else in the baseball world knew, the Dodgers had not been to a series since 1988 and the Astros never had. We had reservations at a really nice restaurant that I cancelled since they had no television, because apparently they understood how bad eating in front of a TV is for you. We decided to take our chances instead at 33 Taps next door to the Pantages Theater as they had lots of televisions. As luck would not have it, they had more patrons that evening than TV sets. So we wandered the halls of Hollywood and Vine and came upon a nice little joint called the Lost Property Whisky Bar. The Doors used to play there constantly and wrote that famous song there. Not really. The place was empty other than the three other people on the planet besides me and Patty who could care less that the Dodgers or Astros for that matter were in the World Series. We lucked out; great food, great drinks and of course great company.
The place was around the corner from 33 Taps and we had to pass 33 to get to the Pantages. There was a huge, glass window with one of their many TV sets hanging in it. Renee and Yoli came to a halt to watch as much of the game as possible before the curtain went up on Hamilton next door. I watched them enrapt watching the game and chuckled because they reminded me of two things: that old song “How Much is That Doggie in the Window “ and those shows from the 50s and 60s that would have people standing outside the window of their local appliance store watching the rows of televisions on the shelves.
This was Wednesday night. It got me thinking a few things over the next few days: Renee has to go to a World Series game. How will she get tickets? Does she even want to get tickets? By Monday, I had my answer. O yes, she wants to go as evidenced by her Facebook plea. Tickets? Anyone? Anyone? It was answered with one comment that said “My friend has tickets for $1800 a piece” and others earlier with like tickets are bazillion dollars. What the hell, this is baseball, not the Super Bowl for heaven’s sake. There’s a million games a year, right? I can do better than that, I thought. Saying you can’t get tickets to something at a reasonable price is like waving a red flag in front of me. I started with my usual suspects, the very connected and more affluent of my football presidents. They either did not have tickets, already gave them away to clients or ignored me because they were mad at me for enforcing some rule they didn’t like. Where to next? Well I always start with the dead or the desperate. Folks who either bought tickets and are no longer with us or can’t go for some ridiculous reason like work or too scared of being blown up. I love those people. Hey in my defense, as I took the below face value Coldplay tickets, I did give the man some advice in that area. I digress. Back to Renee and the Dodgers.
I first checked Craigslist, where I have had great luck with my concerts. As you can see, no one I met there over the past few years has killed me. There was nothing but ridiculous prices and no dead tickets holders. I then checked my two favorite scalpers. I won’t tell you who because I don’t want you over there jacking up the prices on me. A bunch came up and not in the nosebleed seats and not at the exorbitant prices that Facebook fake news was touting either. I checked again and again, even checked the location on the stadium seating chart, which I know by heart for most venues but not this one. Wow, that is a damn good price in light of what it’s for. I sent Renee a text. I found some tickets, this is what they cost, go buy them. She seemed at first a bit incredulous but said she would maybe check them out. No, right now please. My ticket magic doesn’t last all day you now. And here’s why you need to buy them, I explained. First, the Dodgers are going to win tomorrow night and you need to be there. Second, this ain’t the Yankees, my dear. The Yankees will go to the World Series like ten more times in our lifetime but this may be the only shot the Dodgers get. And in the words of my first Customs Service boss, A dot Ham, you NEVER throw away your shot!! By Golly, Renee said, I will buy them! Ok, maybe she didn’t really say “by golly”, but you get the picture.
Besides Renee, the other biggest Dodger fan I know is Chuck the Chuckinator. He needed to be there and he was. I have to say the pictures posted by them depicting the pure joy on those two faces at Dodger World Series game 6 was priceless and perfect. Of course the Dodgers won that night. Hey I never mentioned game 7, did I?
When I told the story the other night to our friend Andy, he said my brain is bizarre. He said that most people when someone says to them they want to see a show or an event or something like that, nod politely and wish them well. Most people don’t immediately go out and get tickets and then either send them or take them. I don’t understand. Seems perfectly normal to me. Maybe it’s cause he’s not 60 yet. Maybe it’s a 60s and a 60s thing. A great concert or play or other event you love is way more important than eating dinner. A PB & J is just fine sometimes. Food for the soul is just as important, if not more, when you get to a certain age.
My priorities are different now. My entertainment certainly is. My 40 year old self and my 50 year old self wouldn’t understand and that’s OK they weren’t supposed to. I spent a lifetime in front of a TV set. Once I shut it off three years ago, my brain has been reprogrammed to only accept live entertainment. Strange I know. I can take old shows on a computer for a very short burst. Movies are out and so are TV shows and no news ever. I fall asleep immediately or become so antsy I can only watch a movie for about ten minutes at a time. I can’t stand sitting there. I don’t miss it at all. I saw a great play Sunday night for less than a movie ticket costs these days.
I have had incredible ticket luck since I started this almost two years ago. I have a ticket angel, as I like to say. A few years ago, a friend and fellow PTA and football volunteer Mom died at 51 years old of cancer. In the program they passed out at her memorial was a list of wisdoms she wanted to impart after she was gone. One of the things on it was “use the good china” along with many others in this vein. That one phrase has stayed in my heart and in my mind every since. So now rather than wait till I’m dead to tell you, here you go. “ I went to way too many concerts, plays and events,” said no one ever on their dying bed. So next time you really, really want to go to something that you know will bring you incredible joy no matter what it is, BUY THE TICKET!!”