Sunday, October 17, 2010
Houston 4, or how I began my criminal career
What I did not mention about the game yesterday, which Rice won take that U of H (so what that U of H was without its two starting QBs?) is that I had to go on a special ticket plan to attend.
We paid $30 each for the cocktail party at the Rice president's house on Friday. And they didn't even give us forks. It is not easy to eat salmon with a toothpick, although that would be an excellent diet strategy.
We paid $15 each for the BBQ before the game.
We paid $50, yes FIFTY, each for the party last night at the fancy restaurant, La Colombe D'Or, which was how shall we say it? A gorgeous gorgeous location with so so food. I can eat at a fancy restaurant any time, not that I do because I am a darn good cook myself, but I cannot see my college friends any time, and if people are going to skip an event because it's too expensive, then I say let's all meet at Taco Bell and buy our own burritos. I just want to see my classmates.*
Point is. We had already shelled out major bucks.
And then we discovered yesterday at the BBQ that the football tickets, which we had not bought yet because 1. they were not offered on the homecoming website and 2. there has never in the history of Man been a sold-out football game at Rice, cost $35. THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS for a Rice football game.
I'll let you digest that for a little while.
If you don't know anything about college football, I will inform you of this: my four years of college, we won maybe five games. Not a year. In all.
Rice is, to put it delicately, not a football powerhouse and its team, bless its heart, is not a $35 a ticket team.
I had actually been pretty sure we could find someone scalping tickets for below face value. That's how Rice ticket scalpers roll.
I could buy 2/3 of a pair of boots for that.
But my friends were going. And they were not planning to attend the $50 not so fancy supper. So it was my only chance to see them.
I dithered. I delayed. They went into the game. SH was talking to his friends. Then Anita called me.
"They didn't scan my ticket. I'll drop it over the wall for you."
I thought about this and the ethical implications for a second. It didn't take long, because there really weren't any.
But this is the natural result of prices that people perceive to be unfair. It happens with taxes, too. Once tax rates get to be too high, people start cheating and then you actually get less tax revenue. However, I do not wish to discuss politics or tax policy here, so we'll just leave it at unfair but still cheating.
I decided I could live with myself.
I went to the wall where Anita stood. She dropped the ticket. It floated slowly, drifting here and there as the zephyr sent it in zigzags. I reached but could not touch it.
It landed on the hedge next to me.
The hedge that was six feet tall.
I stood on my tiptoes, but could not see it.
"Over there!" Anita yelled and pointed. I couldn't hear her: the generator for the food tent was too loud.
She pointed as I parted the branches and continued to look. I could not see it. She laughed. She pointed. She shook her head and rolled her eyes. "It fell!" she shouted. "It fell!"
I scrambled deep into the hedge, branches scratching me as I pushed. Fortunately, despite the 85 degree heat, I was wearing my denim jacket. Who wants leathery arms? Not I. So I was protected from the wages of sin.
I finally spied it, lying about a foot deep. I grabbed it.
The ring was mine.
And its curse.
* Bless the reunion organizers' hearts. No matter what they do or how hard they work, someone is going to complain.