She blinked into our offices just as we finished processing the latest dates for Tiffany. “Here,” she said. “You must post the dates for The Nields and Joey Belladonna on the Internet immediately, if not sooner.”

“What’s the rush?” we asked her. “How will posting these dates affect the future? Will they eliminate terrorism? Help find a vaccine for SARS? Enable Axl to finish Chinese Democracy?”

“Yes on one, maybe on two, not a snowball’s chance on three,” she answered as she reached into her purse and pulled out a 3-d routing sheet from the future. “While I think of it, you should probably post the dates for Charles Lloyd, Richard Buckner and Cobra Verde as well. That is, unless you really want to see a Justin Timberlake / Christina Aguilera administration in 2012.”

“Say no more,” we said as we took the itineraries from her and started punching in data. She hovered over our shoulders and watched the individual dates flash on the screen as our nimble fingers accurately punched in each date, city and venue. Suddenly, her attention was drawn elsewhere.

“What’s this?” she asked as she picked up a brochure from one of the local ticket services advertising new dates for Freaky Flow & MC Flipside.

“Huh?” we responded. “You mean you never saw a ticket brochure before?”

“Oh, sure,” she replied. “However, the ticket brochures in the future are much more detailed than this. In fact, the entire ticket-buying experience is a little more difficult than just walking up to a clerk and saying something like, ‘I want two tickets for The White Stripes.'”

“Difficult? How so?”

“For starters,” she said. “You just don’t walk up to the counter and buy tickets for Keller Williams or Coldplay. You have to make an appointment.”

“An appointment? An appointment with who?”

“A ticket agent,” she answered. “Someone who can pre-qualify you before you start shopping for tickets.”

“Pre-qualify? For tickets?”

“That’s just the first step. After pre-qualifying you, the ticket agent then shows you all the tickets within your price range. Depending on your income and credit rating, the agent will try to ascertain which shows you’ll like and what kind of seats you can afford.”

“But that doesn’t sound so difficult,” we said. “In fact, it sounds as if the agent does all the work while you just kick back and wait for your tickets.”

“It’s more complicated than that. After the agent secures the tickets that are ‘just right’ for you, like maybe third row, center for George Benson or second section, fifth row for the Eagles, an appointment is scheduled for you, the ticket agent and the promoter down at the ticket office.”

“And that’s when I buy the tickets?”

“Not exactly. First you have to sign a lot of papers,” she said as she punched the time travel coordinates into her PDA to send her back to the future.

“But that still doesn’t sound so difficult, we said. “The agent’s the one who busts his butt getting the tickets. All we have to do is sign a few papers and write a check. Right?”

“Yes, but that’s only the half of it,” she answered as the familiar haze of temporal displacement descended upon her.

“What do you mean, ‘half of it,'” we said. “What could possibly come after signing the papers and paying the money for the tickets?”

“Well, for one thing,” she said right before she blinked into the future. “You still have to make it through the escrow.”