There’s a whole procedure in place at Harbor View to sign up for these shows. At the end of each month, Mom and Dad receive a list of shows that will be coming to Harbor View the following month. Mom and Dad check off which ones they would like to see and drop the form off at the clubhouse office. They then receive a notice of which shows they got into and where their seats are located. It is all done by the lottery system so that no one complains they were treated unfairly. Okay, so maybe some people complain, this is a development of old people, after all. But the lottery system does at least make the process a little fairer for everyone involved.
This sign-up process always leads to discussions among Mom, Dad, and their friends about which shows they got into, which ones they got ‘shut out’ of, and whether their seats are great, so-so, or lousy. This year Mom called me to complain that she and Dad got ‘shut out’ of Du Du Fisher for the third year in a row.
“That’s too bad,” I said, not even knowing who this guy was, but immediately feeling sorry that he was stuck with such a ridiculous name.
“I don’t think I would have minded so much if we got ‘shut out’ for the third year in a row, if other people got ‘shut out’ too,” Mom complained, “But Phyllis’ sister, Harriet got in, and this is only her first season at Harbor View.”
“Well, what can you do? That’s what happens when places use a lottery system,” I answered.
“The worst part is,” Mom went on, “Harriet even got good seats.”
Of course these shows may not be the hottest tickets in town, but they’re still given by live performers, nonetheless (most of them anyway), and the tickets are pretty cheap. In fact, they only cost between five and 20 dollars per show. Five dollars gets you into a show by an old mediocre comedian from Vaudeville, while 20 dollars is warranted for relatively younger acts like Tony Orlando (yes, the one of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” fame) who will sing and dance for you. Personally, I think it should be the other way around, with the older performer garnering the most money, because you never know when it’s going to be his last performance. For Mom and Dad and the rest of the residents of Harbor View, five to 20 dollars is a great deal for evening entertainment. For the performers, I’m not so sure. I don’t think any of them are putting ‘Played at the Harbor View Clubhouse on their résumés.