“I’d like a pair of your best tickets for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young please.”

“Coming right up. Cash or credit card?”

“Credit card.”

“Very good, sir. I’ll just run this through. While we’re waiting, is there anything else I can do for you? Tickets for Bush perhaps? Or maybe Nelly Furtado?”

” Sounds good, but I’ll have to think about it.”

“Whatever you say, sir. Here’s your receipt. Just sign here.”

“Hmmm… What’s this three dollar charge?”

“That’s the service fee, sir. Helps pay for the upkeep on the computer network.”

“I see. And what’s this one dollar charge listed below it?”

“Information charge, sir. I told you about Bush and Nelly, remember?”

“Information charge? You mean you’re charging me a buck just for telling me about other shows?”

“Oh, no sir.”

“Then what’s this one dollar -“

“We charge fifty cents per mention.”

“This is ridiculous. If I ask you about any other shows, like Indigo Girls or Herbie Hancock, you’re gonna charge me fifty cents per question?”

“Of course not.”

Whew… For a moment I thought these charges were getting out of hand.”

“For questions we charge a buck a piece. Here, let me see that receipt. I’ll just add two dollars to it and… There you go. Oh, by the way, where do you live?”

“Just around the block from here.”

“Then I’ve got to add an extra three and a half dollars.”

“Three-fifty? But why?”

“Convenience fee, sir.”

“Now I’ve heard everything. If I ask you about Busta Rhymes, you’re gonna charge me -“

“One dollar.”

“And if you tell me about Gov’t Mule, Sugar Ray or The Wailers you’re gonna charge me -“

“Fifty cents per act. Which reminds me, I need to add two-fifty to that bill.”

And to top it off, I see you added fifty cents for parking. I walked here, young man. I didn’t need a place to park because I didn’t drive my car.

“No, but I did. Gotta pay for that ‘reserved’ sign, you know.”

“Oh, cripe. Just give me my tickets and I’ll be on my way.”

“Very good, sir. Here you go. Thank you for shopping at Tickets Faster.”

“Hold on a minute, sport. I see you added yet another fee. What’s this five dollar charge at the bottom of the receipt?”

“Oh, that? That’s our courtesy fee.”

“Courtesy fee? What the hell is a courtesy fee for?”

“Well, I said, ‘thank you.'”