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Ticket scalpers! Besides Ticketmaster, they are enemy number one to any concert goer. The other night I attended the Alabama Shakes concert at the House of Blues. Luckily, I was able to get in, but trying to find one single ticket was a battle, right up until show time. I showed up about an hour and a half before the band was to come on, hoping that somebody would have just one extra. I was hoping not to pay too much, but willing to pay a fair price.

It had been awhile since I had showed up to a sold-out show without a ticket, and there was one major variable I had forgotten about: those no good, scum-sucking ticket scalpers (who will now be referred to as vultures). They were spread out on every street corner within a couple of blocks of the venue. Up 5th Avenue, down ‘C’ Street, across Broadway—they were everywhere.

“Got any tickets…any extra tickets…who’s selling tickets?” It’s non-stop with these jokers, and when trying to score a single ticket to a sold-out show, it’s you versus a whole flock of them.

“That jerk just ran in front of me, bought two tickets and isn’t even going to the show,” I said (pretty much just voicing my frustrations).

“What?” replied vulture #1. “You think you’re more entitled to those tickets than he is?

Okay, here we go…this is America, we believe in capitalism, supply and demand, blah blah blah. I’ve heard this story about 100 times, and I’m sure I’ll have the pleasure of hearing this sorry excuse some time again in the near future.

“Only the strongest survive,” he said. Only the strongest survive? What is this…Vietnam? The ghetto? The Animal Kingdom? Give me a break! Only the strong survive. Please.

Basically, when buying concert tickets nowadays, you have two choices: bend over and take it from Ticketmaster, or bend over and take it from the vultures that work the street corner harder than a $10 hooker. But not me. Not this time. I’m not giving in. Not that easily. And there’s no way I’m paying $50 over face-value.

Over and over I went up and down the line of people asking for “just one extra ticket,” with no luck. I nearly lost my damn hot dog dinner when I turned around and saw that some concert goer was selling his ticket to vulture #2 for under face-value.

“Way to go, man—support the scalper,” I said. The guy chuckled, while I grinned and clenched me teeth at the same time. At this point I’m probably starting to sound like a whiny cry-baby, and about to start stomping my feet like some infant who just lost his pacifier (or binky, whatever it is people call those suckers), but it’s principle. Sell the ticket to someone who will actually go into the concert. Come on people!

I continue this charade and dance up until 9:00, and decide to take a walk down to the corner and try my luck there. Vulture #3 was working this corner, but had run back to “Big Papa”— vulture #1, so for a few minutes I owned this street-block.

“Just one extra. Anybody got one extra ticket?” I asked over and over. Just as I was about to give up, two ladies came around the corner.

“Hi, ladies. Would you happen to have one extra ticket for the show?”

“Actually, we do.” Yes! Score! I’m in! Fifteen minutes before the show was to begin, I secured a ticket. As I stood in line, I eyed the vultures—I gazed at them, held my ticket in hand, smirked, held the ticket up and walked into the House of Blues to see the Alabama Shakes.

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