I may be getting too old to leave the house except to go into the woods by myself. My tolerance for being played for a sucker is running out. As is my tolerance for how my fellow citizens accept it like happy cattle. It’s only a matter of time before I bite somebody in the ankle.

Last night, for example, Michelle and I went to hear music at a place I’ve gone to for 25 years. The tickets were $59.50 each. So that’s just shy of $120, right? Yes, except for a service fee of $8.90 per electronic ticket. And a processing fee of $1.75 per ticket. And a facility charge of $3.50. So $120 becomes $143.80.

What’s next, a methane-offset fee in case you fart during the show?

When we got there, I asked for a glass of water. The waitress said they now only have bottled water, two bucks a pop. I asked if she was kidding. She wasn’t. I asked if it was fizzy water. It was not, she said. “So it’s just some Coca-Cola brand of municipal water that’s in a plastic bottle that costs two bucks?” I said. She nodded.

I didn’t say anything for a moment. This is often a good move under absurd and idiotic circumstances. “I can bring you a cup of ice,” she said. I said that would be wonderful.

Then I went outside, walked back to the car, and retrieved two of my own water bottles. I don’t go anywhere without them these days. They’re good to have when you’re hanging treestands, scouting, and—if I remember correctly—after dragging a deer out of the woods.

Anyway, we had cold water to drink during the show. And saved maybe six bucks. Heck, that’s a six-pack of beer right there. Which might save the ankles of some person I haven’t yet met.

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