Here's the Scoop: August 27, 2008

Meeting the stars
Like it or not, it often pays to know “people.” For instance, I was recently fortunate to have access to tickets for a few lucky folks to “Meet and Greet” (M&G) country superstar singer Vince Gill after his nearby concert over the weekend. Let me put in a disclaimer here: I have certainly heard of Vince Gill plenty of times. I know he’s a great musician. It’s just that I not heard his music. Sure, I probably am familiar with a couple of his songs from the radio or something, but I don’t have any Vince Gill in my record or CD collections.
Naturally, someone like Vince, who has carved out a hugely successful career has gained tons of fans over the course of a few decades. The dedicated fans would go to unusual levels for a chance to meet him.
It’s confidential information how I came into possession of the M&G passes, but let’s say I was more popular than a butcher passing the dog pound on his way home from work.
It took me awhile to figure out the kind of power I had with the M&G passes. That is, until I walked past a woman who gushed to her friend, “I just looooovvveee Vince Gill!”

Money-making idea
Then, the light bulb went off. I imagined how I would feel if these M&G passes would allow me back stage access to chit-chat with members of Wilco, the best rock band around. I would be thrilled.
Once the “value” of these passes became clear to me, it followed that I saw a money-making opportunity. The words, “Hmmm, I wonder what people would pay for these?” appeared in a little cloud over my head. I quickly looked up to make sure that I was the only one who could see this cloud and was relieved to discover that the cloud was only in my imagination. But the prospect of profit remained lit in neon.
This, of course, was quickly followed by guilt, a byproduct of my religious upbringing, I’m sure.
I couldn’t sell these passes. It would be wrong, wrong, wrong. And it would cost me a bundle of money if I didn’t!
On my way to deliver the passes to their rightful owners, I had to fight the urge to keep from waving the passes and using my best auctioneer’s voice and shouting, “What do I hear for these?”
I fought this evil impulse and trudged onward. As much as I tried to reason with myself about the quick profits involved (after taxes), my feet kept moving toward their destination.
Fortunately, neither recipient was really expecting the pass. One young woman had been told “I’ll try” to get one. She was a bit disappointed earlier in the evening to learn that my efforts had been in vain. So, when I appeared with the pass, she was pretty thrilled. Like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” this act actually made me feel good. Plus, I got a frosty brew out of the deal! Double victory.

What are the odds?
The other pass recipient was much more by chance. A mutual acquaintance asked me about such a pass as I walked by to try to secure the other pass. This was totally random. I received a quick explanation that the fan next to him had a crush on Vince Gill that resembled a linebacker in pursuit of star quarterback. Still, she seemed nice and didn’t have that stalker’s glint in her eye. At least not yet. Plus, this woman was from Canada and I our northern relative. I made the request for a second pass.
When I delivered this pass, the genuine appreciation again made me feel pretty good. Even if I didn’t get a Molson or LaBatts out of this deal.
Was it possible that doing something nice would start to outweigh profits for me? I guess I’ll find out at the Chris Isaak show this week at the Belleayre Music Festival — he’s really cool and I’m thinking of keeping the passes I have for myself. I’m pretty excited about this meeting — but not nearly as thrilled as my wife. That’s one pass that I’ll pass on selling — or I’d be hearing a very sad song.