The Bargain of a Lifetime

I do not usually go to the Super Bowl game in person. But when I heard a few days before the game that Super Bowl tickets were going for $8,000 due to ticket broker overselling, I began to wonder. At that price, it must really be worth it! I called my neighbor Bud to get his reaction.

"My thinking exactly," he said. "I just told Betty to cancel our party and bring the refreshments back to the store to get our money back."

"Why?" I asked. "Your party is the best in town."

"I need dough so Betty and I can see the Super Bowl in person. At $8,000 a ticket, you know you're putting your money in the right place."

I told Bud I'd go to the store to save Betty the time. When I got there, a shopper in a Patriots sweatshirt nearly snatched away the six grocery bags full of chips, dip and cakes decorated to look like footballs, but I wheeled the cart to customer service and got $127.19 in change for Bud.

"My neighbor," I let her know, "decided to buy Super Bowl tickets, so he won't need these."

The woman just about keeled over.

When I got back to Bud's house, he was coming out of his garage, carrying a sponge and a can of wax.

"The ticket price went up to $9,200 since I saw you," said Bud, "so I'm selling my car."

A young dad pulled into the driveway, with two children in the back seat. "Is this the 2014 SUV you're selling for 50 percent off?" he asked incredulously.

"Yep," said Bud proudly.

Just then, Betty came out of the house. "Bud," she said excitedly, "I just saw online that Super Bowl ticket prices have increased to $250,000. We'll have to sell more than the car!"

"Sorry, kid," said Bud, "I need my vehicle to drive to the hardware store."

Bud drove off. I went home to look for spare change to help Bud buy his Super Bowl tickets. At $250,000, it takes a community to get a neighbor to the Super Bowl!

"Here," I said to Bud, handing him $23.79 I had found in a cluttered drawer, "use this towards the tickets. What are you doing?"

Bud was hammering a "For Sale" sign in front of his house. "Super Bowl or bust," it said, "Blow-out sale!"

Betty came out of the house, and wept with joy when she saw the sign.

"Betty," I said. "How can you be happy when Bud is about to sell your house?"

"It's wonderful," she said. "We'll be able to go to Super Bowl XLIX!"

A buyer drove up with a lawyer to buy the house. Bud went in the house to call a Super Bowl ticket broker. He came out, shaking his head.

"Ticket prices have gone up to $575,000, and there are only two of them left." He took Betty's hand. "You're included," he said, "if only I can afford it!"

Betty had sat down on the snow blower, but she sprang up. "Grandma's stocks!" she said.

I followed them into the bedroom. Betty was turning a key in the lock of a metal strongbox.

"Here," she said, handing Bud three stock certificates. "Grandma's DuPont shares, bought in 1947. She told me to save this for a good purpose!"

"Betty," Bud said, "start packing. It's the Friday afternoon before Super Bowl, and I have to get to a stockbroker!"

Bud got to a stockbroker just in time, and on Friday night, they flew off to the Super Bowl.

After the Patriots won, I called Betty in Arizona.

"What was it like," I asked, "to see Malcolm Butler live inside the stadium when he intercepted Russell Wilson's pass?"

"I don't know," she said. "After we got to our seats, Bud decided he didn't want to miss the TV ads, so we went back to our hotel room and invited the whole floor to join us. Even the bellhop came. It was a great party!"

"Wow," I said enviously. "How was the dip?"