“How many times do I have to tell you that I can’t swing any free tickets for The Rolling Stones? Yes, I know you’ve been generous to me in the past, but times are tough and I have to watch that bottom line.

“You have no idea how tight the profit margins are in the concert promotion biz. Sure, I made some money on The Other Ones and The Wallflowers, but that was before Axl decided to take a powder. Now I’ll be lucky if I break even this year.

“Yes, I know you’re a ‘giving’ person. A real sweetheart. My kid loves that Play Station you gave him and my wife is nuts about that Botox gift certificate you surprised her with last year, but that doesn’t mean I can just open up the ticket vault and give you anything you want. Tickets for the big shows, like Phish and Yanni, cost money, and I just don’t have the resources to hand them out to whomever comes asking for them. No, I’m afraid you’re going to have to get in line at Ticketmaster for your Brad tickets just like everybody else. And don’t even think of asking me if I can cut you a deal on the service charges.

“Huh? Cheapskate, am I? You listen here, just because you’ve slid a few gifts my way in the past doesn’t mean I can just pull out my wad of tickets and dole out whatever you want, like choice seats for Bryan Adams and Los Lobos. What’s that? Well, same to you, fella. In spades!

“Oh, all right, all right. Don’t cry. I hate to hear a grown man cry. Tell you what. I’ve been holding two tickets for for Robert Blake, but it doesn’t look as if he’s going to make it this year. They’re yours.

“No, no, no, you don’t need to thank me. Besides, I’m just giving you tickets, you’ll still have to cover the parking yourself. Just don’t hassle me for any more freebies, okay?

“Oh, and speaking of parking, if your reindeer squat in the lot, you’re cleaning it up.”