This article belongs to In Search of Laughs! column.

Many years ago, whilst still in my teens, I won 4 Bruce Springsteen
tickets from the local FM radio station. I had a pal take me to the
station to pick up my prize. Since I was in a cast to my hip, and on
crutches, the trip to and from the parking lot was getting a bit much.
As I got to the car, the previous winner in line, stepped out from his
car and offered me five hundred bucks cash for my tickets. Did I take
the money? Whaddaya think, I'm crazy?

So, I guess that made me a Teenage Ticket Scalper.

years later, I was appearing at a Chicago comedy club. On Saturday,
morning I got up, grabbed a cab to Wrigley Field to watch The Cubbies
play. An enterprising young man offered me 3rd base seats for $200,
which I took for a good sign, and enjoyed the game until the 1st
inning, when the ushers informed me that my tickets were counterfeit,
and we were escorted out.

So, I guess that made me a Ticket Scalpee!

I began to think there's more to this ticket business than meets the eye.

I felt I could now look impartially from both sides of the scam.

then…I got a chance to sit at an L.A. Laker game directly across from
Jack Nicholson and Diane Cannon! A pal who was a ticket broker (broker,
read here as in: has a permit to commit highway robbery) couldn't sell
the seats and for a favor to be named later, would take me to the game.
Great, we parked so close to the stadium, I could touch it, only two
steps from the car.

My pal told me to take his two other
tickets, and sell them to walkers-by. (the favor to be named later.) He
then gave me my ticket and said he'd meet me inside. I held two fingers
in the air and proceeded to infiltrate the crowd. Holding two fingers
in the air was, to me, the universal peace sign, but to the informed,
was a clear sign that I either had two tickets for sale, or wanted to
buy two tickets. I was told later to mutter semi-quietly: "GOT two!" Or
the converse: "WANT two!" (Evidently, if you refrain from actually
saying "Sell two" or "Buy two" then you haven't said the magic words
that can get you arrested.) After a brief to do with the L.A. Lakers
police, who didn't care about my piddling "box office price" ticket
sale, but detained me on that pretext, and challenged me to make them
laugh. I told ten jokes, made them giggle, got an escort to my seat,
and the cops scared my pal. A great time!

So, this scalper thingy bothers me. I resolved not to do
it anymore, but, then my Ticket Pal offered me $200 to stand in line
overnight at The Hollywood Bowl for The Rolling Stones. An hour before
the box office opened, he showed up, handed me $5000 to buy eight
seats. No average fan could afford those prices anyway. I got a new
printer and D-Day Invasion for my Play Station, not bad for one night!

So, I guess, now I'd become a Ticket STOOGE!

a couple of months later, some credit card company called me to ask
about the card that I apparently applied for. This was news to me, so I
asked for the relevant details. Evidently my ticket pal had used my
name and a fake address to open an account, then, join The Brittany
Spears fan club, and get priority seating! Now, using my personal
Social Security number is one thing, but claiming to the whole damn
world that I am going to see that little floozy, why that's just going
too far. I quit! I'm not dealing with those sneaky ticket boys anymore!

So, now, I'd been targeted as a Ticket PATSY!

next scam came when my ticket pal asked if he could buy me a new
computer with DSL. FREE, providing he could remote command it three
hours a day, to cruise the Internet looking for tickets to re-sell. He
said he'd call me back. I went on AOL and GOOGLED: "tickets" The
results horrified me when I found out that I had an E-Bay account,
showing four expensive Brittany Spears tickets on sale.

So, now I am a Ticket Escapee!

me Mr. Wizard! Bring me home! I don't want to be in Tickets anymore!
The moral to my story is: When you see a dark, back alley, and you
think it might be dangerous, and much more than you can handle….It
usually is! Go Back!

But, if The Blue Oyster Cult ever goes out on American tour again…I'm in!

from Lue: In the interest of full disclosure, I freely admit, this same
lifelong pal took me to see Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and later,
gave me two freebies to see Jackson Brown. Oh, and some hoity-toity
theatre tickets. Some ticket brokers are real skanky, and some, like my
pal, are cool! So, Buyer Beware!)