The government’s got nothing on this extortion
As you all know, this is a weird day, 9/11. There’s probably not a person reading this who doesn’t remember where they were on 9/11/01. And I for one, sure hope we get the hell out of Iraq and the Middle East, soon.
But today I don’t want to dwell on things like this. I want to talk about another kind of injustice that’s happening. And… it’s going on right now before your eyes. In fact, you may even be involuntarily participating in it through your kids, so pay close attention here.
I’m talking about that traveling house of extortion, High School Musical On Ice.
Here’s what happened. About four months ago, I was coerced into buying some tickets for High School Musical On Ice.
How was I coerced?
The answer is simple, my seven year old daughter asked me.
Then, once the tickets went on sale, I spent an hour trying to log into Ticketmaster’s site, like some sort of burglar trying to crack the code to break into a vault.
When they say “you’ve got two minutes to choose your seats”, what they really mean is “Take what you can get.”
Because by the time you pull up the seating chart to see where you’re going to be sitting, you could probably get a new suit tailored, it takes so long.
Anyway, we got pretty good floor-level seats, and then I spent the next 90 days dreading the event. It’s not that I’m a party-pooper, but you’ve got to understand — going to a concert hall to see Ted Nugent, Guns And Roses, or a basketball game, is something I can handle.
But going to a concert hall to see a bunch of pimply-faced pubescent kids skating around an ice rink singing about their day, is something you look forward to the same way you look forward to seeing your mother-in-law: It’s just one of those things you accept you have to do, but you piss and moan a lot along the way.
You know what? I was a fool. Except for the minor extortion (which I’ll tell you about in a moment), I had a great time. There’s nothing like having your little girl mesmerized for close to two hours, while she’s sitting on your lap with a smile wide across her face, from ear to ear, singing line for line with all the songs being played.
Truly, one of the best experiences I’ve had as a parent. Similar to when I took my (now 15 year-old) son Casey to see Rugrats about 10 years ago. These are two of the most vivid memories I have, and I’ll call on them forever.
But now let’s talk about the extortion. So we get in there — my wife, me, and Samantha — and order some snacks. We get a SMALL box of popcorn (the large one was big enough to go swimming in), and a cherry snow cone in a cup. I nearly crapped my pants, when the guy said, “$21 Dollars sir,” as if that was normal.
For cryin’ out loud!
The last time I bought a snow cone, I was on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue uptown in Manhattan. I bought it from a street vendor — up there they call them “piraguas” — and I think I paid MAYBE 75 cents. Even if you adjust this for inflation, I was still mortified.
I mean, I charge premium prices — but at least I deliver a premium service!
What, was this special popcorn grown in the fields of Egypt of something?
Were the ice shavings from Pamela Anderson’s refrigerator?
Even still — it was well worth it to experience the night with my wife and daughter, but next time someone’s complaining about something being “overpriced” — give them a reality check, will you?
Now go sell something, Craig
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