“There’s no way to sugar coat what I have to tell you. I’ve been going over this year’s list of expenses, and I’m shocked. No, more than shocked. I’m stunned. Shaken. Traumatized. Get the picture?

“That’s right, Zelda. I’m talking about concert tickets. Nina Storey, Less Than Jake and Iron Maiden, it all adds up, and in the end there’s nothing left but a few ticket stubs, VISA bills and zip in the bank account. I’m telling you, Zelda, this has got to change.

“Numbers don’t lie, Zelda. Oh, don’t give me that look. Here, see for yourself. Way too much money went to concert tickets this year. I tried to save a few bucks, but every week a new show went on sale, and before I knew it, there were tickets for Bon Jovi and John Tesh sitting on the dresser while I scrambled to pay the rent and kite checks to make the car payment. I mean, it’s almost as if the money sprouted feet and walked down to Ticketmaster by itself.

“I just don’t get it, Zelda. I work hard all year and where does the money go? Tickets for bands like Home Grown and Antigone Rising, that’s where it goes. It’s like an addiction, Zelda. A ticket jones. No, a concert monkey, and it’s sucking every single dollar I bring home. What do I have to do? Get a third job?

“You listen to me, Zelda, next year’s going to be different. I don’t care who’s on tour, even if it’s Average White Band or Tower Of Power, next year we’re going to save some money. There’s other things we need, and I’m not talking about concert tickets. Like that new hernia truss I’ve had my eye on. And we’re going to start recycling. You know, like old newspapers, aluminum cans and toothpaste.

“After all, Zelda, it’s not like someone else is spending all the money. There’s only the two of us in this house, and there’s going to be some trouble if we don’t get a grip on the cash situation. See this? It’s my Christmas bonus and it’s going towards rent, food and clothing. Not tickets for… for… Oh, don’t look at me like that, Zelda.

“Oh, all right. The hell with all that. I’ll buy those Yanni tickets. Also The Rolling Stones, Goo Goo Dolls and Neil Finn. Just don’t give me that look. Does that make you happy, Zelda? Uh? Uh?? Come on, say something, Zelda. Say anything.”