Sunday, May 1, 2016

Concert Tickets

This is an incredibly busy concert season. In fact, it's the busiest season I've ever seen. So many great tours that it's a matter of selecting which we can and can't go to.

I have tickets for Generation Axe and am going with a raft of metalhead guitar players and one wife.
Life would not be complete without Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy.
And next on the stage is the last time on the stage for Black Sabbath.

I have no real feelings about Black Sabbath. Tony Iommi, their guitar player, is a lefty, which is always nice. Wife, however, is NUTS about Ozzy and grew up with Sabbath. All I remember about that time is hanging around with my dirtball, pot-smoking friends and listening to music. I don't remember a lot and it had nothing to do with pot. Or anything else.

So we 'needed' Black Sabbath tickets.
I have a sneaky technique when I don't want to do something: tell Wife she's responsible for researching and procuring it. She'll generally forget and I'm off the hook. Wife keeps asking ME to do it. I remind Wife, frequently, that it's HER job. Wife, who generally forgets, manages to forget it's her job. And eventually I get stuck with it. Wife is much smarter than me (although her taste in men is suspicious).

So she seeks to relive teenhood, as if she could remember much of it anyway (dissociative disorders can leave large memory holes). And again, it's my job. It's funny... she never thinks the internet is going to bite her except when it involves purchasing tickets. She nas NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER with Amazon. In fact, Amazon calls her to see if she's alright if she hasn't ordered something in two days. The upshot (where did that word come from?) is that I have to go online and purchase something(s) *by which I mean that I have absolutely NO memory of the last time I tried to go online and purchase something(s)*.

Things are a little different in my house, which is akin to saying that things are a little different in Syria. I always forget that ordering online involves four browsers, much patience (which I lack in the extreme) and much yelling (which I am most proficient at). The first thing these heartless bastards require is the nightmare known as Internet Explorer. The evil beauty of this is that they neglect to TELL you this, so you're forced to find it out the hard way. This task is made more difficult because there's no Internet Explorer on linux (thankfully).

I have no less than four browsers (maybe more) in various stages of lockdown for this very event. And no matter which of the four I use (sometimes all four), something goes wrong. Generally browsing occurs with Firefox, which is locked down so well that even web pages can't get through. When I know there is going to be a purchase, I open Browser #2. When Browser #2 fails, which it always does, I use Browser #3, which has no restrictions whatsoever (PLEASE HACK ME!!). Even this does not satisfy the site fully, although it sometimes allows me to purchase something.

Finding tickets is always an interesting process. Generally the site won't let me see the venue or seating until I tell the bastards to just go ahead and find me some seats. After the seats come up, I always allow for a loud exclamation and several moments' loss of consciousness after I've seen the prices. This is not the Final Tour, this is the Final Cash-In. Why am I complaining - I'm seeing the final Sabbath tour! It's only one hundred fifty dollars per seat - a bargain at half the price.

This was only a prelude: the real fun comes when it's time to pay. Having selected the seats (after a quick remortgage), I am given a 9 minute timer in which to complete my transaction before the tickets are released for sale. No problem - I type quickly and I have a Stubmonger account (but still  pressure). Go ahead - try to sign in. I have a password vault so I never forget passwords. Plug them in and BZZT - wrong password. It's not the wrong password, stupid, it's the one I always use. No matter, his the FORGOT PASSWORD link, which takes me to a page that says SOMETHING HAPPENED and nothing else. Ah, progress (in that there is nowhere to go).

It does tell me that I can use my Ticketmonger account, which somehow lets me in, like a magic mushroom of sorts. I fill out all the necessary information (including mortgage account) and SUBMIT. Oops - it didn't like something. Unfortunately I did not have a Need To Know what it didn't like, so I had to guess. Ah, no place for my MasterVisa - only branded cards. Fantastic! Yelling! The little clock says six minutes. Pressure!

The card type was incorrect because I had no indication it scrolled. Way to make your page readable in any browser, kids. After yelling some more and cursing the thieving bastards for their very existence, I filled out the rest of the information. Three hundred dollars. Wife had better be EXTRA NICE to me for the rest of the year, at very least.

But wait! If you buy now, you have seven delivery options, from printing your own (a $3 surcharge) to two day delivery ($49.95) all the way down to Send Me The F-ing Tickets In The Mail (only $5 each). More screaming. I am not sure how this happened, perhaps New Math, but the total was $350. Somebody is making Big Bucks because they're forcing us to PAY Big Bucks.

Apparently Wife's fear of purchasing tickets is way worse than thirty minutes of listening to me scream, curse, and make several things airborne.

And it ain't over yet, because there's still Joe Walsh/Bad Co and Peter Frampton/Skynyrd.
Oops, yes, it IS over... Walsh is $150 per seat and Frampton is $125 per seat.

One way or the other, you'll probably hear me from your house.

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