Sometime in the Spring of 2012 I was surprised to find a letter in my mailbox from Ticketbastard (not their real name). The surprise wasn’t that I had received an envelope from TB – I was buying a lot of concert tickets at the time (still do) so one-way correspondence from the world’s largest ticket monopolizer was pretty commonplace in my mailbox – but rather it was the size and shape of the envelope that took me aback. This wasn’t their standard ticket envelope; it was thinner and squarer. Plus my name and address were written on the front in actual handwriting.
Hmmm. I opened the envelope in short order and in an instant my curiosity and surprise transformed into shock and amazement, for inside the envelope I found something utterly outside of the realm of my mind’s possibility. Was this for real? Was I actually seeing what I thought I was seeing? I turned it over and over and somehow convinced myself that it was indeed genuine. I had no idea such a thing even existed!
Was it a dodo egg, you ask? Or one of Bigfoot’s toenails? Maybe a get-well card from Dr. Kevorkian? No friends, it was something even rarer, something even more unbelievable.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re not sitting down already then I would urge you to do so before going any further, and brace yourself for a truth that may very well stun you as it stunned me. For inside the envelope (which had a return address for Charleston, West Virginia but was curiously postmarked on May 4th, 2012 as being sent from zip code 78501, which google tells me is in McAllen, Texas) was a folded card measuring 14cm x 11cm. The card was embossed with a graphic on the front – a rendering of a crowd at a concert with their hands in the air – and a banner that read: “WORLD CLASS SERVICE” just below the company’s lower-case logo, “ticketmaster”. There was nothing at all on the back, just blank whiteness.
Now get this: inside the card I found a handwritten note, as follows:
I wanted to take the time to thank you for your loyalty and your purchase today for, “Phish” #57-29177/NCA*. I hope you have a great time at the event.
A thank-you note from Ticketmaster***!!!! Can you imagine such a thing?!?!? If I didn’t have it right here in my hand I wouldn’t believe it myself; not a chance.
I mean, Ticketbastard is such a greedy, gross, blood-sucking, soul-drenching, double-dipping cretin of a company, one that only approaches anything remotely human or artistic through it’s almost poetic profiteering via their towering and fully-paraded void of ethics that I just can’t find it in my heart to believe that they – or even just a random person at such a company – would take the time and resources, much less the actual human-to-human interaction to send out a kind and thoughtful token of corporate appreciation in the form of a thank-you card. And a handwritten thank-you card?!?!? I mean, it’s astounding.
Perhaps this is their idea of a customer appreciation program? Like, buy 1,000 tickets and we’ll send you a nice little card? That must be it, right? Though I’ve certainly never received another one from them despite my unceasing ticket-purchasing habits, nor have I ever heard of anyone else ever getting one, either before or since. The mind simply reels.
I feel like I have Jimmy Hoffa in my closet. Or a wheel of moon cheese. Or a Telly Savalis wig. Or a CD autographed by Jimi Hendrix. Or a can of instant pizza. Or a pen from the Hotel California. Or Liona Boyd’s guitar pick. Or the Dalia Lama’s gun collection. Or…
Bestill my ticket-loving heart.
*I believe the order was for a pair of tickets to see Phish at SPAC on July 6th. To be clear, the tickets were NOT included with the card, they were mailed separately.
**Of course I googled his name. I came up empty handed, except for the surprising discovery that there are a lot of ______ Virgil Perales’ out there.
***Even as I sit here today I am so aghast that I accidentally typed Ticketbastard’s name correctly just then. Astounding.