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Monday, 14 May 2012

A Very Big Sofa

Apparently LOCOG or whatever they call themselves have found some spare tickets down the back of the Olympic sofa. About 900,000 of them. It’s a very big sofa. So this morning I make use of my exclusive ‘presale’ window. How this be a presale when it’s after the original ballot and after the secondary sales window earlier this year... I have no idea but never mind.


It is with a heavy heart, e.g. huge expectations of failure (again), that I log on to my exclusive window, just me and approximately one million others.

I’m after track cycling, which everybody is after of course, just because they once saw Sir Chris or Vicky P in Lyrca and thought I’ll have ticket for some of that, so naturally I am correct in assuming it will be another unsuccessful attempt.

It’s also another battle with the unfathomable Ticketmaster. I promise I’ll never ever slag off SeeTickets again. I avoid Ticketmaster like the plague for gig tickets for the same reason that it’s a disaster for Olympics tickets. First there’s their obsession with ‘captcha’ and it always takes me three attempts to solve the puzzle, which in Olympic ticket buying terms is valuable seconds lost.

Then there’s their annoying way of being incapable of updating availability in real time, sometimes you suspect with Ticketmaster even in the same week is beyond them. So you pick your event, your price range and how many you want and press the button marked ‘beg’. It tells you to go for a long slow walk around the block while it consults the tea leaves in the bottom of the Ticketmaster mug before coming and saying ‘nope, not go any of those’. It doesn’t say ‘we haven’t got 4 but you can have 2’, or ‘we haven’t got any at £20 but we have some at £40’. It doesn’t even say ‘we haven’t got any tickets at all for that event you moron, what are you even trying for?’

Well I’m trying because your website says you have availability in ALL price categories, so I sort of assumed you had availability in all price categories. No? Well perhaps you did last Friday but clearly you haven’t bothered to update it since. So I change my criteria and try again, in an attempt to unlock the perfect combination that might yield me a back row restricted view seat in the velodrome behind a bunch of Moldovans who probably got theirs for nothing because no one’s heard of the Olympics in Moldova.

Each time you have to manually empty your shopping basket because it won’t let you put a second set in there until you take out the ones they haven’t got. You’d think it would do this for you. More valuable seconds lost.

Eventually with Ticketmaster still showing full availability in all categories I give and go check the comments on the BBC website to try to find someone who’s more miserable than me. Only to come up against some smartarse saying how easy it all was. Crowing about how they bagged front rows seats and a night out with Jess Varnish, all in under 30 seconds and still had change from ten grand. We all love the London Olympics.

Plan FF is Thursday and a punt on either Triathlon or Modern Pentathlon tickets. Don’t hold your breath.

I wonder if that Nottingham lad who was trying to give away the £1,000 romantic holiday for two to Malta after his girlfriend dumped him thought about swapping it for Olympic tickets. Perhaps he’s already got Olympic tickets. Perhaps when they split she got the Olympic tickets and he got Malta. No wonder he doesn’t fancy going any more.

The afternoon’s entertainment is Daughter dashing (well sort of) around Sheffield, trying to find a Co-Op bank, trying to extract enough money from them to pay her rent and then taking it to her landlords office by 5pm, having not started until about 2.30. All the time I’m assisting her by text. It reminds me mightily of Treasure Hunt with Anneka Rice back in 80’s for some reason, only without the helicopter.

I was beginning to wonder if she’d get there before 5pm but she did, with time to spare in the end. So at least that challenge went to plan.

No dog class, I take the boys on the park instead.

(Monday 14th May)

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