roll with it

i voted for barack obama. and i’m still okay with him. except for one little thing.

online ticketing for the annual white house egg roll.

the egalitarian in me appreciates the idea that anyone should be able to have a chance to get tickets. i appreciate the sentiment behind this idea. but i wonder whether obama consuted with some pointy-headed wonk when this decision was made and not with someone actually familiar with a) the experience of online tickets and b) the experience of the overnight party campout that has been, for many years, the cornerstone of the white house egg roll experience.

is the white house the only group of people unaware of the scandals in online event ticketing? do they not realize that there are outfits in the world who harness the power of banks and banks of bots whose goal in life is only to call in persistently and in a lightning speed manner to snag tickets? this has been worse than trying to snag springsteen tickets. at least when you do that online, you get a message telling you that tickets are all sold out. this method prolongs the agony — when you can get through. and people who get through have been reporting that they get mucked about and sometimes, after waiting or even getting numbers, the server tells them that the tickets are then gone.

this is not a way to run a circus.

and then, there are the unhappy campers.  there are people who have taken lemons and made lemonade, and now, they’re back to lemons again. these people took spending a night on concrete in the District and have made it into an all-night family party. people take the days off, for crying out loud, to do this. yes, i know – not everyone lives here.

but do i really think that patti in paducah should be compensated for this by having the tickets go online?

hell, no.

you know what? i don’t get to go surfing in san diego. i don’t get to swim with dolphins in key west. i don’t get to rub elbows with celebrities in LA or NY. i don’t get to enjoy all sorts of wonders in this country because i don’t live in those places. there are plenty of exciting events that happen in places and i have no shot of doing them because i am here, not there.

well, guess what. i live here. i put up with all the crap i have to put up with precisely because there are events and experiences i deem important enough to make this wonderland of angst my home.  and by gum, i get so tired of everyone in this bloody country assuming that where i live belongs to them. i know, i know. nation’s capitol. la la la. but you know what? maybe if tourists treated this place and the people with a little more sense, maybe people like me wouldn’t be so bitter about it.

i mean, it has hit the point where locals can’t do certain things at certain times of year because so many blessed people from podunk get on their donkeys and ride the herd in to town. they are obnoxious because, of course, this is THEIR nation’s capitol. nevermind that they throw trash on the ground, behave like drunk morons in the streets and on the metro, and are often plain rude. their bodies crowd out other people’s bodies, people who might have classes in the museums or camps at the zoo or whatever.

and the best part about this? people on a message board in chicago were applauding this new system. now, “normal” families can attend. what? unlike the families who live in the washington metro area? unlike all the families who were sitting out in the cold and in the rain because they wanted to do something together? we’re not normal? our kids play t-ball and attend girl scout meetings, too, people. just because we didn’t vote for Dubya for the past 8 years doesn’t mean we’re aliens from another planet. it just means we’re more educated than you are. (which we are, by the way. go look it up in the surveys.)

anyway, i’m tired. four hours of trying, and i have nothing to show for it. this year, i’m not rolling eggs.

i’m throwing them.

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10 Responses to “roll with it”

  1. Of course we’re not normal. Don’t you remember – we’re communists (thanks Joe McCain).

    Gotta love tourons. I had a group of them cross in front of me as I was trying to go through a green light in the district a few months ago, and then look at me funny when I bleeped at them. Apparently they don’t have traffic signals in the “normal” areas – and this is coming from someone who grew up in a town that got its first traffic light when I was in high school.

    Just let me know when it’s tourist season – I’ll throw eggs with you.

  2. OMG I feel soooo much better now, and I only tried for 15 seconds. Painting break. Let me know if you (or any wrekereaders) score any! Then I will feel karmically better about this thing.

  3. I was thinking it was a good thing, because I did the overnight campout thing for concert tickets in high school and college and am SO over it. On the other hand, as you point out, this method pretty much precludes anyone local from getting tickets at all, so it’s a lose-lose situation.

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more. Saw some already on craigslist, this really sucks.

  5. Just got 4 tickets from the site (It is 7:35PM) – try again!

  6. My husband and I tried ALL DAY LONG, for TWELVE HOURS, and got nothing except two tantalizing glimpses of the ticketing process that went nowhere (well, the last one went to ticketing, only to say there were no tickets at all for any time whatsover). My daughter is sad she can’t go to a party at her beloved Barack Obama’s house. And now a bunch of jerks are going to be making money off her unhappiness and that of lots of other kids and parents. They could have done it online properly by making it a true lottery, where you had to use a real e-mail address and say who would be in your party–that would have outwitted most of the resellers and could be done over a few weeks to avoid the madness of a day like today.

  7. agreed. this was a comedy of errors.

    1) they picked a vendor who was not ready for the task (those servers were melting down all day long from the sheer volume of ticket requests — if someone like ticketmaster or live nation were doing this, this would have been a cakewalk in comparison.)

    2) they’ve merely enabled scalpers now to sell these things at insane prices. i heard from someone that the asking price is somewhere in the hundreds now on craigslist.

    3) i wish the obama administration would crack down on these idiot resellers who have betrayed the public’s trust.

    4) barring that, i would love for armies of people to mark these sales pitches on ebay and craigslist as inappropriate. kick these people’s tails off these sites. let them sell them IRL, not online.

    i am so steamed. two words: goat. rodeo.

  8. Won’t these “tickets” have some sort of name and/or address on them so folks have to present ID at the White House on April 13th? If one were to buy these for $100 off Craigslist or eBay, they would be shocked they couldn’t get in. I don’t know as I got shut out. My tale of woe is on my blog as well. I tried all day and got through various stages in the process but got no tickets.

    I’m glad they went to online ticketing as there was no way I could wait overnight to get these tickets. Next year if they choose to do this again online, the White House needs to get a reliable vendor that can handle the amount of traffic something like this generates.

  9. Well, I live in DC and did manage to get tickets, but I agree that the system is very flawed.

    I think it should have been a lottery. Everyone logs in, puts their names down (the exact names of the people who will be attending) and then have a drawing and email those who got in.

    At the very least, to prevent scalping, we should have been required to enter the names of everyone attending with our family.

  10. Thanks for your inspired words. You’ve said exactly what I’d like to say. Argh!

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