The new pope was making his first visit to the United States and had chosen my parents house as the venue for this historic occasion. My wife and I pulled up in a car being driven by my father-in-law. I had foot out the door when he turned and warned us to look out for Michael Moore with a midget on his shoulders in disguise. What a stupid joke. I’m not saying that because I didn’t get it either.
I entered the front door of my house and was immediately taken back by how many people were in the house. The living room was wall to wall with guests. I guess when the pope is visiting people will find any excuse to stop by.
As I visually searched the crowd, hoping to find anyone I might recognize I saw none other than Michael Moore with a midget on his shoulders. I think he recognized me at the same time, because as soon as I saw him he dropped to his knees.
“Hello,” Moore said in his best Oliver Twist impersonation, “I’m here to see the pope.”
I shook his hand in a gesture to show that I had recognized him and his secret was safe with me. I also noticed he had shaved, that was nice of him.
I mingled for a little while before I heard someone call my name from within the crowd. I didn’t like the sound of it at all. You know how your mother would call you by your full name and you knew that you were in trouble. It was like that.
The crowd separated and revealed the person calling my name to be a woman with an FBI badge in one hand and a briefcase in the other.
I backed up a step out of nervousness. Had she seen me with Michael Moore earlier and though I was conspiring with him? I had this feeling deep within me that I was about to be arrested. I could just see it coming. But wait, I thought, can they really arrest me for that? All I did was shake his hand. I assured myself that my imagination was just running wild and I was safe.
I looked up at the FBI agent in acknowledgment that I was the person she was looking for.
“Your under arrest.”
“What for,” I whimpered out.
It seemed as if everyone just suddenly vanished from the room except us two.
“You owe $18,000 for season tickets to Shea Stadium you purchased, yet never paid for,” she told me as she pulled a New York Mets calendar from her briefcase.
I’m safe! I never purchased season tickets to see the Mets. I purchased season tickets for the Islanders, or at least I attempted to. I had called the ticket office a few months earlier to purchase the tickets with a money making scheme in mind. I planned on selling each ticket individually on eBay for a profit. I chickened out though, and hung up when they asked me for my credit card information. I assumed by doing so they had canceled my order, I guess they put the order through anyway and just billed me.
“I never purchased season tickets to Shea. I only went to a Mets game once this year, back in April, and I bought tickets individually for then. Why would I do that if I had season tickets?” I argued acting half confident, half smart-ass.
“Good point,” she conceded as she checked her paperwork.
I began to smile, knowing I was going to be alright.
“Oh wait, the tickets were for the Islanders, not Shea,” she said, and the smile quickly erased from my face.
This is where I began to cry like a little girl.
“I can’t go to jail,” I begged, “I know what they do to the new guys in there.”
“No choice,” she answered simply showing no will to budge on the issue.
“I’ll pay the $18,000!”
“What? Why?” she seemed startled that I offered, “Why would you pay for something you never used.”
This seems odd. If she didn’t think it was worth paying for, then why was I being arrested for not paying for it? Oh well.
“I don’t care. I’ll pay. I just don’t want to go to jail,” the tears ran down my cheeks.
“And how are you going to pay?” She smirked.
I think she was enjoying this, nonetheless it was a good question. None of my credit cards had a limit that high. And my checking account was more likely to have $18 in it than $18,000.
“I rather die,” I screeched as I ran out the front door and into oncoming traffic. I planned on being hit by a car, but jumped out of the way at the last second. I was too much of a coward to commit suicide.
An oncoming white Jeep suddenly came barreling down the road in front of me. I stepped to the side to avoid it, but it also moved over, positioning itself in front of me. Once again I moved to the side, and once again the Jeep moved with me. Looks like I wouldn’t have to kill myself. I was going to be murdered.
I covered my head with my arms, preparing for impact, but instead the Jeep stopped short right in front of me. The door flew open revealing my wife was driving. She was helping me escape, what a sweetheart.
I quickly climbed into the passenger seat and we sped off. We only got about a block though before my conscience got the best of me.
“Wait, we have to go back,” I said with regret, “I have to do what’s right.”