“Let us read and dance; these two amusements will never hurt the world. -Voltaire
Scrooge is alive and well. The Grinch steals Christmas. The Nutcracker has been hijacked and we are being held for ransom.
I know now that some of you are thinking, well, he finally lost his mind. It was a good race. If only chroniclers could be retired and put to pasture like old thoroughbreds. Well, some thoroughbreds are retired to stud. Former chroniclers are treated more like geldings.
All I wanted was to enjoy an evening at the ballet. I tell you one thing. If I looked as good as those ballet dudes in tights, I mean, those guys have no secrets! A secret from my past is that one year Jeff’s parks and recreation department offered free tap and ballet lessons. I was the only guy in the class with all the girls and it was during those puberty cursed college years. I was wearing sweatpants.
It all started with an internet search. Usually a lot of my problems start with an internet search. Every time I want to buy tickets for a sporting event, a theater, a concert, book a hotel room or just about anything else on the Internet, I seem to become an innocent victim (although some somewhat ignorant and simple in computer science). I should tell the story one day of being charged $400 for a hotel room I didn’t know I had booked and never used. Even the voice in India could not help me solve the problem.
Brief happy ending – after a year-long struggle and sending a two-page registered letter with acknowledgment to the CEO of Hilton Properties Worldwide – we now have a certificate for a free night’s stay at a property Hilton all over the world. I have a healthy mix of respect and fear to order anything on a computer.
It all started with a search entry – the Nutcracker Suite tickets.
A few different venues appeared and all closely mimicked the Kentucky Center for The Arts, Whitney Hall, or Louisville Ballet. Most are not. They are ticket scammers and/or ticket resellers.
What I eventually found out to be $40 tickets were listed for $89 and if I didn’t order they would sell out. Some dates are flashing, no tickets are available for the dates I selected. Even after the overpriced tickets have been “purchased”, a small warning indicates that additional fees and service costs will be added. And all the while, I’m not even on a legit site that should be selling tickets. I left the site.
I then came across a Louisville Courier Journal article from 2019 and several other internet warnings of Nutcracker scams. Seriously, a well-educated guy like me (my closest theater friends call me “Buttermilk”) can’t even appreciate the art of ballet without having to walk through scam landmines on the internet. The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy! Is there nothing more sacred?
And it’s not just ballet. I saw an opera production in full dress. If you ever attend a live opera performance, you know the extreme parameters of the human voice. You’ll also know where the saying that it’s not over until you know who’s singing comes from! I’m so cultured that once I watched an entire foreign movie with subtitles. Well, I say whole, the brief nap in the theater lasted no more than five minutes.
The articles I read regarding The Nutcracker stated that some scam sites will even present you with authentic looking tickets which will not be accepted when you show up at the door. And the scammers have your credit card information.
I almost gave up but called the Louisville Ballet Box Office at 502-583-2623. A very helpful young lady took my order and sent me a confirmation email. She said tickets would be left at Will Call next Friday night for the 7:30 p.m. performance. If not, The Nutcracker will live up to its reputation as a big top!
I hope that will be the case when I get to Will Call. How easy it is for traveling guys like me to find these criminal and despicable sites on the internet. Of course, it looks like the authorities could just as easily find them and bankrupt them.
The lady on the phone and I talked about these scam sites. Legitimate businesses are just as vulnerable as the rest of us.
Here is an idea. As Congress wastes years of time and tens of millions of dollars on Hunter Biden and January 6, I think I have found something that needs to be investigated.
And those sweatpants from my ballet days would look more like tights if I put them on today. It would definitely keep me on my toes!
#DODD #COLUMN #started #internet #search