Axl and I ended up at a high school football game Friday night. His idea. We arrive at halftime, somewhat intentionally. As we are walking in, Axl strikes up a conversation with the school's assistant principal. And by strikes up a conversation, I mean, she scolds him for driving across the grass as we were parking.
I thought most schools stopped taking up money at halftime. But as we get to the gate, I notice two girls at the ticket window, apparently purchasing tickets. I ask Axl, "Do you think we have to pay?"
He says, "No. It's after halftime." And proceeds to walk thru the gate.
Let me insert here that Axl is what I would call, unconventional. If there's a conventional way of doing something, he does it a different way. He questions why we have certain rules. And sometimes thinks those rules shouldn't apply to him.
As he walks in, I see this short red-haired lady who looks to be in her late forties or fifties maybe, standing by the gate. She is evidently taking up tickets. And as I would soon realize, firmly believes that her job is the most important job in the world. We'll call her the Ticket Nazi.
I stop at the gate. Axl keeps walking. She looks towards him, then back at me.
"Who is that?" she asks.
"Uhh, he's with me... I think," I respond, already on the verge of laughter.
"Well, he can't go in without a ticket. Sir!!" She calls out to Axl, but he is almost thru the concourse and into the stadium by this point, and continues walking. "Where are my police officers?" She begins looking around.
I'm thinking, dude, Axl is about to be escorted out of a high school football game. I try to distract her. "Is it not free after halftime?" I ask.
She shakes her head as if to say, "Nice try sonny boy, but no dice."
"Well when do you stop taking up money?"
"At the start of the fourth quarter," she says, smugly.
Well, that is absurd, I think to myself. I step around to the ticket window, but first decide that I should call Axl. His phone goes straight to voice mail. From where I'm standing, the ticket office is shielding me so that the Ticket Nazi can't see me. I decide to wait a few minutes before purchasing a ticket, wondering if Axl will come back to see what happened to me.
After a minute or so, two or three police officers appear out of nowhere at the gate. They look my way. I try to appear inconspicuous. They go back inside and I decide to purchase a ticket. I walk quickly thru the gate, not stopping as I hand my ticket to the Ticket Nazi, careful not to make eye contact. She remembers me and calls out "Sir," but I keep walking, pretending not to hear her.
Once inside, I find Axl standing in front of the stands by the fence. I tell him what is going on, and he decides we'd better go up in the stands and lose ourselves in the crowd. You know, since him paying the five dollars admission would just be ridiculous.
Turns out that was only the beginning of the weekend excitement.... or actually, that was most of it. But nevertheless. After an intense day of football viewing Saturday, the night ended with me watching this Cold Case Files on A&E about the Sunday Morning Slasher.
When it went off (midnight old time), I was really tired. But my bedroom door was open, and I was getting freaked out. I kept hearing noises and was afraid someone was going to come up the stairs and try and kill me. Perhaps it was the Ticket Nazi, come to collect her five dollars.
I knew I needed to get up and close the door. Because obviously, that would keep the killer out. But I was too tired. So I flipped the TV over to ESPN, thinking it would be less freaky, and went to sleep.
Still, when the door bell rang early Sunday morning, don't think I answered it.
"I fight authority, authority always wins..."