Sometimes things work out and it feels like it was meant to be somehow.
A school buddy called me last Friday afternoon and said he was coming to town from the coast to deal with his late father’s property and inquired about getting together.
I’m not always a generous guy, but I thought he might be on his own so I said he could break bread with us as I had smokies thawing on the counter at home as we spoke. Not exactly steak and lobster, but he bit at the offer anyway, and I was pleased.
He didn’t mention it, but I knew there was a Vipers game that night and I was on my way to the Morning Star office where sometimes they have extra tickets for the asking.
You see, my buddy’s dad was a huge Vipers fan and had been a longtime season-ticket holder, and Bruce had been to town on a couple of occasions recently and asked about catching a game together but alas, it never came to be.
So I headed to see the editor, who was extremely busy, but always has time for a chat. Plus, I was armed with Timbits.
We shared a few war stories from the trenches when I noticed three Vipers tickets casually strewn across her desk.
“Are those spoken for,” I quietly inquired.
“No, they’re yours,” she generously responded.
That is so cool, I offered, as I’m kind of asking for a friend too, but I’m pretty sure he’ll want to go when I tell him.
I texted my buddy the good news that I got tickets he didn’t even ask for, and the price was something his rather thrifty father would have appreciated.
We were off to the game in time for the beginning of the second period. The wife and son declined to take the third ticket—likely sensing a male bonding exercise in full flight.
It was a good-sized crowd and a 2-1 lead for the home team. It felt good to be a part of it and we both confessed it had been too long since we’d been to a game.
After the period, I insisted we go for a walk and find the 50/50 people and we’d only gone half the loop around the arena when we heard a familiar refrain right behind us: “Get your 50/50 here.”
They were following us. I pulled out a $20 bill, Bruce pulled out a $10 bill and he got us both a $5 strip. I swear I didn’t do that on purpose. He immediately said we share any winnings, we fist-bumped on it, and I asked the young ladies selling tickets who the money was going to.
“Okanagan College Alumni,” they said. Bruce and I looked at each other. “That’s us,” I exclaimed. “Except, when we went, it was in the army barracks.”
They didn’t look that impressed for some reason.
We continued our walk and he hooked up with a friend of his dad’s for a long chat. Bruce is a teacher like his old man. We then settled in for the third period.
You can probably tell where this is going, but it was still quite shocking when they announced the numbers and Bruce looked at his ticket, and then at me, and proclaimed, “We won.” I was glad he said “we,” but I was also beginning to think this night was working out so perfectly for him and the memory of his dad that maybe I should let him have it all. (Actually, no I didn’t, but isn’t that a nice thought?)
We stumbled into the Vipers office to collect our $1,500 to round out a pretty neat chain of events.
A phone call, an offer of dinner, a gift of tickets, a vow to share 50/50 winnings and, for one night at least, karma was king.
It was either that or they really should mix in those tickets that are bought before the third period a little better.
Nah, let’s go with karma.
Glenn Mitchell is a former editor of The Morning Star.