One day a friend emailed me an invite to a minor league baseball game. It was some kind of Living Social deal, and the ticket came with the added bonus of a free hot dog, a free bag of chips, a free soda, and a free hat.
Over the coming weeks this hat became a big talking point amongst my friends.
"Is anyone else only going for the hat?"
"Don't forget the game (and the free hat giveaway) is this Tuesday."
"I hear they are playing a baseball game after they give away these hats."
Game day. I had a few hours to kill before the game, so I went to a bar. I drank a little more than I planned there. By the time I left I was drunk.
I arrived at the stadium. I handed my ticket to the lady at the turnstile. She let me through. I stared at her expectantly (drunkenly). She looked back, bored and angry.
Me: Sorry, I think I'm supposed to get a free hat too?
Her: We're out of hats.
WHAT??! I stormed away towards my seat. My friends were there waiting for me, all sporting their new hats.
Friends: Hey Tadhg.
Me: They're out of hats! This is an outrage!!!
I tore my ticket to shreds as a show of defiance.
Friends: That ticket was your voucher for the hot dog and soda.
I pieced it back together as best I could. The lady at the food counter showed pity on me and accepted it.
On my way back to my seat I passed a table full of giveaway hats. I walked over.
Me: Hey, I bought a ticket with Living Social and was supposed to receive a free hat. But the lady at the gate told me they were out.
They proceeded to explain that those hats were different than these hats, and that these hats were for large groups and blah blah blah. It quickly became clear they weren't going to give me one.
Me: Aw come on. That's the whole reason I bought the ticket!
Girl: I'm sorry sir.
Me: You are going to lose a Cyclones fan for LIFE.
Girl: Do you come to lots of games?
Me: Pff, no.
She tried a different tack.
Girl: If a group of little kids in a birthday party come through I need to have these hats to give to them.
Me: Those are some fair weather fucking kids, it's the fourth inning!
As I said this a tiny piece of food flew out of my mouth and landed on the table. We both chose to ignore it.
Girl: Well, ok.
Me: For every kid you give a hat to, I'm going to tell ten the Cyclones SUCK.
A guy now stepped in and attempted to smooth things over.
Guy (shrugging): Ha, well, we *are* a Mets organization...
Me: Oh, so they'll already know they suck?
Swish. At this point everyone threw on a very overdue "alright dude" face, and I walked away defeated.
Friends: Any luck?
Me: No! And they have a table full of hats.
Camilla, Schramm's girlfriend, heard this and stood up.
Camilla: Hold on.
She walked away. She returned eight seconds later with a hat.
Me: How the hell did you do that??
Camila: Oh, just told them I lost my voucher. Asked nicely.
I hugged her like she'd just rescued my son from a well.
An inning later some hype girls came onto the field and began throwing T-shirts at whichever fans were screaming the loudest. I was soon enough in possession of a T-shirt. An inning later they came out again and threw out souvenir baseballs. Schramm caught one. Someone then suggested I go up to the free hat table with the hat shirt and baseball and dance around in front of them. I thankfully did not take them up on this.
Can't stress this enough: Lost the hat IMMEDIATELY after the game.