Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ten Dollar Post for a Two Dollar Hat

I don't think I'm a horrible person. But last year I did something bad. Like take candy from a baby bad. Except it wasn't candy. It was a hat. Let me explain.

Last May the WWE did a house show up in Beaumont, TX. I splurged and got ringside seats. It was a great time. I'd never been to a house show before, so I was enjoying seeing how much the wrestlers interacted with the fans at a non-televised event. At the end of the night, John Cena came out for his match. He went through his entrance, running down and jumping into the ring. He was champion at the time and he did this cool trick where he slid the title belt across the ring to the ref who then tossed it back to him all in one smooth motion. I laughed, then got my phone out to tweet that he appeared to have healed up from whatever leg injury he'd been suffering from.

Before I could send that tweet however, something hit me in the face (seriously I almost lost an eye). I looked down and realized it was John Cena's hat! I dived for it before anyone else could get their hands on it and came up triumphant! I was super happy. All the times I'd gone to wrestling shows as a kid with Big James I was always sad I never got a pair of Bret Hart's pink shades or got to dance in the ring with Junk Yard Dog. We always sat up in the nosebleed section, so I had no chance. But finally! I had something from one of the wrestlers. Then I heard a small voice. "That was for me you know." It was the kid in front of me. He turned back around before I could say anything and well ... I left it at that. And I kept the hat.

Had John Cena been throwing it to him? I don't know, I wasn't even looking. But I was really, really excited to have caught the silly thing. This is the point where some of you ask if I also kick puppies. (I don't) And some of you say I shouldn't feel bad because I was a paying fan who had a shot at the hat just like everyone else. Is either feeling right? Who knows.

But after the giddiness of catching the hat and posting my gleeful face on Twitter and Facebook wearing it, I did feel bad. Yeah, the hat made up for never getting Bret's sunglasses, but now that kid will have his own sad wrestling story. Unfortunately, I couldn't help him but I could help someone else.

Fast forward to July. I'd bought tickets to SmackDown in Houston. They were great seats - the first section up from the floor and directly across from the ring. But then I won a prize where I got to go backstage at the show and have ringside seats. So what was I to do with my other tickets? I tried to sell them. But I didn't try very hard. I wanted to donate them but I wasn't sure how to go about it. So on the day of, I walked up and down the line of people waiting to get in. And that's when I saw them. A little boy of about seven who looked so incredibly happy to be there. And his mom who was looking around at all the adults screaming "woooooo!" and carrying title belts, clearly wondering what her son had dragged her to. I stopped and asked her where she was sitting. When she told me up in the nose bleeds I knew what to do. I gave her the tickets. She was shocked and asked what I wanted for them. I told her nothing but I hoped that her son enjoyed being able to sit so close to the ring.

I felt better. Did I atone for my wrestling sins? I don't know. I still got to have the hat and sit ringside at SmackDown while that Beaumont boy has his sad wrestling memory. But I made a different little boy happy for a few hours. So I'm hoping my karma is somewhat balanced. Then again, maybe I put entirely too much thought into the whole situation. I'm dramatic like that.

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