“No, you weren’t seeing things. That was my man Otis hanging around the trailer park. He was in prison for counterfeiting concert tickets, but he bribed the parole board with Prince tickets and they let him go.

You know that Otis can’t stay away from trouble. That man started scheming as soon as he came home. I guess old Otis was feeling a bit nostalgic because he dusted off the old ‘ticket examiner’ routine.

“Yep, you know how it goes. Otis calls the grannies at the Lazy Daze retirement trailer park and tells them he’s the ticket outlet examiner and he needs their help to catch an employee suspected of stealing tickets.

He tells them to go withdraw their life savings, take it to the ticket outlet and buy as many tickets as possible. Otis gets them to turn all the tickets over to him so he can check to see if the employee marked them as ‘sold.’

“Oh sure, it’s an old gag, but Otis said that if it was good enough to fool his own grandpa, it’s worth a try. Worked fine the first couple of times, and Otis brought home tickets for Waylon Jennings and Molly Hatchet. In fact, there were so many tickets we were gonna celebrate Christmas early this year so we wouldn’t have to buy presents. T. Graham Brown for Aunt Velma, Vernon Reid for Junior Unified Theory for Peewee, and so on.

“It was Otis’ third victim that got a little suspicious and turned him in. When he went to her double-wide, he was picked up by those ATF boys, you know, the Alcohol, Tour and Firearms people. Had the tickets for Status Quo and Wailing Souls right there in his hands.

“Otis is in the county pokey right now, but I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m back to visiting him on weekends up at the state penitentiary.

I just couldn’t believe that woman would turn him in. Can you imagine that? Otis’ own grandma snitched on him. Well, it’s like my mama always said. ‘You can pick your nose but you can’t pick your kin.'”