Virtual ticketing chaos '06

It's 10 a.m. Let the madness begin.

Chicago Cubs tickets go on sale today. Thus, for the third consecutive year, I've somehow managed to take a vacation day from work. And I will wait. And wait. And wait. In the utter frustration that is the 'Virtual Waiting Room' ...

You see, the Cubs have this nonsensical, unfair system of putting all the ticket-holder hopefuls in this so-called waiting room. (Well, the Brewers have it too, but who cares about them ...) And then they invite you randomly inside the ticketing center to buy your tickets for one game. Assuming you can finish your transaction in the two minutes or so they give you, you get your tickets and then they kick you back out into the virtual waiting room to wait for your chance at tickets to another game. Or you can just leave the virtual room and go back to your real life ...

But see, the problem with the system is every year, somehow, someway, the thugs of ticket scalping, the brokerage firms, the internet hackers and all the people who couldn't name the Cubs starting outfield manage to cut through the system. And before you know it, the most attractive games are sold out and those tickets are appearing on eBay for thousands of dollars. And if you don't have your tickets by the end of the weekend, you can virtually forget getting any at all ...


Two years ago. I waited until almost 11 p.m. But got really lucky and managed to get a good pair of tickets to a Cubs-Mets game in May and then one ticket for myself to a Cubs-Braves game on the second-to-last day of the season.

Last year. Not so lucky. I waited until almost 7 p.m. And all I came away with was a pair of lousy upperdeck seats to a Cubs-Pirates game in July. ... Oh, I got my retribution last June, however, when my buddies and I swiped a pair of tickets to one of the biggest games of the season. Cubs-Red Sox. Directly behind home plate. Just under the overhang. Oh, it was nice.

And this year. I wait again. And pray.

I'm hungry. I need to eat some breakfast.
* * *
UPDATE No. 1: It's now 11:34 a.m. Still haven't eaten breakfast.

And I'm still in the virtual waiting room.

The first sellout has appeared on the screen: July 1, Cubs-White Sox. No surprise. And it's ok really. I have other plans that weekend and no major desire to see that series.

In the meantime, I've reviewed half the newspapers I let stack up over the last week and completed a load of laundry.

And God bless iTunes for playing my virtual radio station as I wait in the virtual waiting room.

Back to thinking about eating something.
* * *
UPDATE No. 2: 12:19 p.m. In a stunning virtual surprise! -- I have secured two tickets on the third base side for the April 8, Cubs-Cardinals game (that's the Cubs' second home game of the season, for those of you scoring at home. The home opener was sold out several minutes ago, along with the rest of the Cubs-Sox series and the July 29, Cubs-Cards game ...)

Whew! ... I guess having two computers going with a half-dozen windows open on each and all of them set to the virtual waiting room really does pays off ...

Back into the waiting rooms for round two ...
* * *
UPDATE No. 3 12:54 p.m. Ok. This virtual ticketing chaos has now turned into a virtual coup.

In the last 20 minutes, I've secured tickets to two, yes two! more games -- lower deck tix to a May 27 game against the Braves and to a Sept. 2 game against the Giants.

Now, who's talking about an unfair ticketing system ...

This virtual man is closing shop and enjoying the rest of his virtual day, virtually happy. No. Virtually thrilled!!!!!

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