What Do You Mean You Don't Want the Money?
Today's world being as it is, with people being ruled by money and greed, it is an egocentric place. It is a place where all is bought and sold for selfish reasons. It's a norm to be greedy, it's a norm not to be unselfish. And so it happens, that in an unexpected situation deviating from the norm, when some complete stranger gives something to us for no particular reason other than "Here, take it," we feel somewhat awkward.
So, I am at a ticket office counter after lunch today, ready to buy two tickets for the evening gig of Kosmikud. As I place my order for two tickets the guy right next to me at the second counter asks if I want the ticket.
"What, for the Kosmikud evening show?"
"Why? Don't you want it?"
"I've got more than I need," he says while I observe that some 5-6 tickets are being printed. Well, if he's pre-ordered more than he needs, why not help the guy, right?
"Yeah, sure, I'll buy one off your hands," I say going for a 100 EEK note in my wallet, that's about 6 EUR for the interested parties, or 2,2 half a litre beers at the venue.
So, while I'm looking for the banknote this guy gets his tickets, puts one on the counter right next to me and starts to leave.
"Hey! Here, take the money!" I say extending a hand with the note after him.
"No, I don't want it."
"What do you mean you don't want the money?!" I stare at him in disbelief taken rather aback.
"Nah... No..." he goes, and walks away while I'm looking after him somewhat stupefied. I shrug, pay with the note for the one ticket I'm buying now, take the ticket and start the walk back to work.
Waiting for the tram I got thinking and remembered a similar incident a bit more than a year ago. Similar, only the other way around. I was accredited for Ankkarock 2007 festival. It was a pain to get that accreditation, to say the least, but I had to have it as The Gathering was giving their final performance with Anneke at that particular Ankkarock. I mean, it's not exactly on my doorstep but it's right over the Finnish Gulf, just out of Helsinki. Loving the band, not going was not an option. Though, because of the various and complicated confusing reasons I got accredited not through Metal Storm but on behalf of our local newspaper Postimees.
So it happened, that due to all the confusion and due to being somewhat late for the accreditation deadline, I got the deal with the organizers that they got me on the press list but I was not going to get the free pass. I was supposed to get the ticket myself. I was also supposed to present it on demand at the accreditation office on site. I was all fine with that as I was counting on those expenses a while ago, I just needed the photo pass in addition.
Once there, I had to go all around the big festival area to the backside to find the accreditation office, well table that represented the office, to be precise. I presented my ID card and got in return all the necessary labels to hang about myself. And nobody, nobody! asked for my ticket. As I saw from the press list, nobody was even supposed to ask for my ticket. I left the office and went through the yet closed to public festival area back to the main gates.
So, there I was walking, the festival press pass on me and spare ticket in my pocket, thinking thoughts why the hell did I bother to buy it and how to get rid of it now. I don't remember the situation exactly, maybe it was the camera bag over my shoulder that attracted the attention, maybe the fact that I was coming out of the closed area, but once back out through the gates I found myself for some reason asking from a 15-16 year old girl "You want the ticket? You really want the ticket?? Here, take it!" I said handing over the ticket and turning to leave.
That was one shocked happy look on her face. And I was actually rather pleased as I didn't have to look for someone to sell the ticket and go through the tedious bargaining. I was even more pleased that I had actually made someone happy just a moment ago.
I must have done something right that day for, as it seems, the deed got round back to me. Okay, so there is a 10 times the price difference but who the hell cares? It's the deed itself that counts.
I'd like to end this story with the excerpt from Deadsoul Tribe's "Toy Rockets."
Once we were giving
Now we are taking
We left a more beautiful world than we're making
Once we were building
Now we are breaking
Time to clean up all the mess we've been making
Lay down your hand grenades
Throw down your rifles
Now is the time to make peace with your rivals and Love
And now I'm off to the gig. Thanks to all the good people out there.
Written on 14.11.2008 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.
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