A VIP on the QT

I’ve largely been away from blogging this year due to family health issues that put demands on my time and attention and a new volunteer job that put demands on my creative energy.

I was motivated , however, to “take up my pen” again by an invitation I got this summer to participate in a blogging “festival” of sorts. Last month, inspired by BlogFEST 2012, I posted almost every day. That’s hard. I don’t think I have it in me to keep up that frenetic pace, but it’s important to me to keep my creative writing skills fresh—especially if I’m going to write “that book” I’ve been talking about for longer than I can remember.

So I’ve decided, to the best of my ability, to post twice a week. With spare time on Mondays and Fridays and ample time in between for thinking, I hope to share something new with you, fellow readers, at the beginning and end of each week. Starting right now….

One more note: One thing I learned about myself during BlogFEST 2012 is that if I’m given a topic to write about, I usually do much better than if I just pick something out of thin air. So I went looking for topics and found The Washington Post Editor’s Query.

This is a description of the Editor’s Query: “Storytelling is a tradition that has a rich history across many cultures. True stories have the power to move minds and hearts.

Do you have a 100 percent true story to share? The Washington Post Magazine’s long-standing feature ‘Editor’s Query’ is looking for your submissions drawn from your own experiences. We start each prompt off with: ‘Tell us about a time when…’”

With any number of prompts to choose from, I’ve decided to kick things off with this one: “Tell us about a time when you took advantage of a loophole.”

This past March, Gary and I went to New Orleans for the NCAA Men’s Final Four. For the non-sports fans out there, that’s the college Division I basketball championship. However, the weekend typically features much more than just high-caliber basketball games.

To ensure that fans were entertained around the clock during the three-day weekend, in the afternoon and evenings there were concerts. This year’s acts included Debbie Harry of Blondie fame; the renowned 70’s heavy metal rock band, KISS; and everyone’s favorite folk rocker, the legendary Jimmy Buffett.

As always, there was also a daytime fun zone where fans could meet basketball celebrities, including well-known college coaches and TV commentators, and participate in a variety of games (I found out just how badly I play golf, putting me off the sport even more….). In order to participate in the games, you have to sign a waiver and wear a wristband indicating that you’ve signed the waiver. No problem. Really, no problem.

On Saturday morning, Gary and I went to the fun zone to meet Syracuse Men’s Basketball Head Coach Jim Boeheim (I got his autograph!) and play some games. As required, we signed waiver forms and got wristbands, which out of nostalgia and a bit of apathy, we didn’t take off all day.

That night, we went to the concert venue to see Jimmy Buffett, only to be told at the entrance that the venue was at capacity and no further fans were being let in … unless you had a VIP wristband. There’s an exception to every rule ….

Gary and I had begun walking away when a security guard said, “You two, you have the VIP wristbands. You can go into the concert.” We were quite taken aback. VIP wristbands? We just had junky wristbands from the fun zone.

Gary often says, “We don’t want our best and brightest to (fill in the blank).” Agreed. We don’t want our best and brightest to work security at Jimmy Buffett concerts. So we played along. Yep! We’re VIPS.

We passed through level one of security and at level two, where bags were being checked, we were told, “The concert venue is closed to further members of the public. No one else is allowed in.”

“But we have VIP wristbands and were told by the security guard at the entrance that we could come in,” I said, quickly flashing my wristband. 

“Who told you that?” the second level security guard asked.

“That guy over there,” I said, pointing at a young man in uniform. The guard barring us further passage—a woman—called over to the young man. “She says you said they could go in,” she hollered. “Yup!” he shouted back, “They’ve got VIP wristbands.”

And that’s how we got into the “sold out” Jimmy Buffett concert. I still have my “VIP” wristband. It makes me feel very important—and very happy and very amused —whenever I look at it.

Leave a comment


  1. Ha ha! Brilliant Daphne. Now…question. I wrote for one of the queries but wasn’t sure where the freaking submit button was on their site. I think I hit the right thing but never got an email. You are going to have to tell me what I did wrong!

    • Jenn,
      I looked at the form and couldn’t see a “submit” button, either. Weird! But here’s an alternative way to submit: If you have a 100 percent true story taken from your own experience concerning the query, send it to queries@washpost.com. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.
      Hope this helps!

      • I thought it said 1250 words or fewer. I may try to resubmit via email. Thank you!!

  2. I, too, thought this was brilliant. Enjoyed reading this story about your experience.

  3. Now that was a smooth move!! Awesome!



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