Vintage Raven Lunatic published by Senior Wire News Service, July 2015, and written on a cocktail napkin sometime between 1984 and 2009. You figure it out. (Reposted April 23, 2016).There’s an old expression, “You need to get out more.” It’s good for us to travel and experience new things, but some of us have more trouble coping with the outside world. Years ago, we went to a Barry Manilow concert. (I know, I am quite ashamed to admit it, but give me a break, I was a teenager in the 1970s. “Weekend in New England” was the romantic torch song of the era.) I purchased advance tickets and shoved them into my suitcase of a purse.
Our son was still at home and needed a sitter. I kept our two tickets and handed the sitter the receipt which had the venue name, time, and seat numbers in case she needed us. Except I accidentally gave the babysitter one of the tickets and kept the receipt and another ticket.
When we arrived, I recklessly grabbed the tickets and ran them under the nose of the snooty docent. Without two real tickets, she pulled us aside. After some serious sweet talking, the docent took us to the stadium office to discuss our situation. Eventually, we went up to our seats by a circuitous route.
Barry is now older, and so am I, and that “Weekend in New England” jazz just wasn’t there for Barry and me anymore.
In 1992, we went to Comiskey Park in Chicago for White Sox opening day. Who thinks sitting outside and watching baseball in April is a good idea? (One baseball fan in our house does.)
The south side of Chicago was about 20 degrees and windy that day. We stopped Woolworths for sock caps and cheap blankets. We held our opening day tickets close and went through the front gate.
By the time we were ready to enter the stands, my husband had lost his ticket between the front gate and the entrance to the bleachers. In about 40 yards, he lost his ticket.
Another round of sweet talking, and soon we were eating peanuts and looking like thugs in our dimestore sock caps and blankets. That day we saw Bo
Jackson hit a home run on his first atbat in two years, well worth the cold and the lost ticket.
These lame events pale compared to our most sincere, darkest moments of shame. Early in our marriage, we visited the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Security at NASA, even in the 1980s, was tight. Visitors were ticketed and traveled on shuttle buses to see the Vehicle Assembly Building and the various launch pads. We purchased our tickets and boarded the first in a line of six identical multicolored transporters.
After the first stop, we were told to reboard the same bus.
We couldn’t remember which one was ours. So we just picked one.
We sat down about halfway back and soon the bus filled with tourists. The bus driver got on the PA system and said, in that mumbled kind of way that bus mics have, “There are two extra passengers on this bus. Will those individuals who are on the wrong bus please disembark immediately?”
Naturally we were so horrified we didn’t say a word. We looked around innocently to see who the guilty culprits were.
The bus driver was getting agitated. A pregnant woman who was standing in front of the bus with her hulk of a husband wasn’t looking too thrilled, either. We thought she might deliver any minute.
Still, did we identify ourselves and leave? Hell, no. We sat there like smiling lumps on a launch pad.
Soon the tour of America’s Space Coast was over, and we hastily made our way to the car, fully expecting as we passed a newspaper box to see our story on the cover of the “Orlando Sentinel.” The headline boasting in Second Coming type size: “Portly young couple takes seats from the pregnant woman.”
We don’t go out much anymore.