Monday, January 21, 2008

Exculpatory Excitement

Warning! Balls, pucks and other objects may fly into the spectator area, despite spectator shielding. Injury can occur. Stay alert at all times before, during, and after play or performance. If struck, immediately ask usher for directions to medical station. By use of this ticket, ticket holder agrees to the terms on this ticket on behalf of the holder and any accompanying minor. Holder assumes all risks incidental to the event for which this ticket is issued. Whether before, during, or after play or performance, including without limitation, dangers described above, injuries caused by spectators, players or entering a mosh pit, holder agrees that the management, facility, league, participants, teams, Ticketmaster, and all their repective affiliates, agents, officers, directors, owners and employees are released by holder from any claims arising from such causes.

I found a ticket on top of the trash with that disclaimer on the back and had to check it out since the event described above sounded truly wicked with all the crap flying into the stands and the prospect of serious injury. And since I hadn’t been invited to any such events lately it was also obvious that my wife was leading a stylish, mysterious and dangerous double life. On the other hand, it did reference a mosh pit so perhaps it was a ticket to a Hannah Montana show that I could sell to a silly tween for lots of money so that her family can make fun of her and embarrass her five years from now about her Hannah Montana phase. Or, given the great diversity of inherent dangers, perhaps it was a ticket to a taping of the new American Gladiators. Powerball is kind of like a moshpit and there always seems to be balls and pucks and stuff being shot out of cannons so it didn’t seem far-fetched to think a projectile or ‘roided out gladiator could go astray. The suspense was delightful, so I carried the ticket carefully to the living room and placed it face down on the coffee table while I poured a tumbler of cheap scotch and readied myself for the unveiling. Like a grizzled cowboy at the poker table in a classic western, I stared down the imaginary nemesis across the table, and without looking down I turned the ticket over. I let my gaze drift downward to find that I discovered a ticket to….
The John G. Shedd Aquarium.

Now I know recently there has been a gorilla attack at the Dallas Zoo and the tiger attack at the San Fran Zoo, but is there really a concern that the Shedd has an undiscovered land shark in their ranks? Do they expect a dolphin to shoot an errant puck into the crowd before, during or after a performance? Have the sea-otters been bitch-slapping unsuspecting ticketholders? Have unruly penguins been throwing elbows in the moshpit whenever Sepultura gets played in the Oceanarium? “Excuse me, usher, despite spectator shielding, an adolescent squid seems to have flown into the spectator area and attached himself to my face. I confess, I was not staying alert as directed by the fine print on the back of my admission ticket since the squid field hockey exhibition appeared to be over, but will you kindly direct me to the medical station?”

Damn lawyers.


keysunset said...

I don't believe it. Never. No way would sea-otters [have] been bitch-slapping unsuspecting ticketholders. Maybe the seals.

There is way too much going to court for any little thing. I'm not sure it's necessarily the lawyers fault (do you fault doctors for people needing boob jobs? Wait, let me think that over again ...).

Have a good day.

del said...

Now that would be fun... a truly interactive aquarium. Where can I get a ticket?

Oh. Wait.

You were being sarcastic, weren't you? Nevermind.

ll said...

I've been to the Shedd and recall a bit of ball-tossing and such.

Scared the bejeezus out of me!

Thank Xe they have that warning now.

HR said...

I sat one row behind the "Splash Zone" at the Baltimore Aquarium and got wet anyway. It made me cold and ruined my day. So I went home and ate a can of dolphin-unsafe tuna. And you know what? Revenge is not sweet. It's fishy.