BY REBECCA AGULE
Last Friday I found myself promptly awake at 9:42 for my 9:45 class. I took just enough time to don my trusty been-to-hell-and-back white Virginia hat, and I sprinted – yes, sprinted – across the quad outside of the Hark; the computer bag-shaped welt on my back can prove it.
A comment on that hat, if you don’t mind. I love this hat. It’s grungy and ill-fitting and held together with packing tape. Ben Olsen signed it. (Yes, I am aware you don’t know who Ben Olsen is. If you did, do you really think I would wear the hat?) Were it possible, I would have children with this hat. Lovely, perpetually late, but always well-covered children. I imagine my section-mates appreciate this hat as well, for while it hardly makes me presentable, it certainly reduces my level of offensiveness.
Class unfolded as expected. I found it interesting. I found my professor intimidating, and my classmates only slightly less so. I did my usual “What on earth am I doing here?” questioning, and we were dismissed.
I returned to my room to sort myself out for the day and weekend ahead. Several days ago, I sent an email to about 50 or 60 of my dearest friends and family members, begging them to register for the lottery by which tickets to any upcoming Red Sox American League Division Series games would be allocated. One by one, I received replies that the Sox had rejected them. One by one my dreams were dashed. But there was still time, and I held onto a shred of faith as I checked my e-mail. Something wonderful was coming my way from California.
“becks – look who comes through in the clutch, again!! god, this is getting ridiculous. you owe me BIG!! here is the e-mail i got. You’ve got 6 hours to purchase these things.”
Lots of love, my friend, lots of love.
So I immediately signed on to the Sox site, ready to pounce on my two allocated tickets.
First hurdle, tickets wouldn’t be available until noon. Six minutes, I can do six minutes.
At noon I refreshed my screen, and found myself entering the virtual waiting room. A message on the Sox site said something about long lines; essentially that every thirty seconds the page would be refreshed. Steady patience coursed through me.
At about 12:30 I saw something glorious. I was asked which game I wanted and was shown a seating chart of Fenway Park. I could taste the beer. I could feel peanut shells crunching under my feet. I clicked ‘best available,’ and prayed.
“We’re sorry; we were unable to process your request due to high transaction volumes. Please try to submit your request again by clicking the CONTINUE button. (21428-13)”
I clicked ‘CONTINUE.” Same message. And I clicked “CONTINUE.” And I clicked “CONTINUE.” I was like Bill Mueller in there, switch clicking all over the place. Left, right. As Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” That’s fine. Call me insane. I wanted those tickets.
I paused just long enough to check my Contracts homework, and was promptly booted to the end of the line. Once was enough for me to learn my lesson. I would click “CONTINUE” till it killed me.
As 1:30 rolled around, I began to sense my Friday dwindling with some frustration. We can make babies in test tubes. I could get a new nose if I wanted one. I can “Google” the boy I loved in eighth grade (in case you were wondering, contrary to his proclamations at the time, he never made it to the NFL). It seems that child birth and the purchase of baseball tickets are the only things upon which technology cannot improve.
For those not lucky enough to live on my hall and to have been following the saga that has been my computer, let me give you some background information. For my poor hall-mates, please skip this paragraph. Basically, this machine is a lemon. A nasty, squirt-acid-in-your-eye lemon. It’s on its way back next week when my new one arrives. But in the two hours during which I was trying to purchase Sox tickets it functioned better than it had the rest of the time I owned it combined. I took this as a sign that fate wanted me to have these tickets, that some God of something somewhere wanted me sitting at Fenway, deep into the playoffs.
And what did I get for that hopefulness? For being so trusting? Oh, let me tell you.
I thought I had won. About 2:00 (yes, that’s over two hours after this process began, for those keeping score at home) the site finally told me that I had two tickets in the grandstand and one and a half minutes to make my purchase. I clicked “CONTINUE” for what I thought would be the final time. Nothing. The little Internet Explorer flag didn’t wave. The page didn’t move. Frozen. I gave it a moment, breath bated. Dead in the water. I felt my entire body shudder, wrenched back tears, and restarted the piece of sh…
Relogging in, the process began again. I won’t rehash it; you can read above if you forgot what it was like the first time. Finally, just about clicked and “CONTINUED” out, the Sox spoke to me.
“The ticketing system currently indicates that no seats are available for this performance. This performance may not yet be onsale, may be sold-out or have other issues. Please try at a later time or contact customer service.”
Sold out. I had been had. Taken. Fooled. Heartbroken.
I could pretend that I will boycott the series out of frustration, but there is no need for me to make a liar out of myself. I can’t hate the Sox, so I will blame the computer. But in reality, I wish I had never checked that e-mail. I should have gone straight to the library and studied all day, like a good little law student. Then I would never have even known I had the chance for tickets, and what you don’t know can’t hurt you, right? At least not like this.
Rebecca Agule is a 1L who is reveling in the BCS’s dropping of strength of schedule. It’s called 4-0, baby, and she will teach the Good Ol’ Song to all comers.
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