Monday, November 10, 2008
Carolina Cookie Mission
I may have mentioned it once or twice, but for those that don’t recall, my son is in the marching band at Georgia Tech. The full band plays at all the home games and selected away games (To Hell With Georgia!) but sends smaller pep bands to the more distant road games. Each year one road game is an all-freshman road trip. This year that game was against North Carolina.
Since Chapel Hill is roughly half-way between Baltimore and Atlanta, we decided to road trip down and see him play. We lollygagged around making arrangements and had to buy tickets in the visitor’s section from TicketScalpingWebsite for a significant by not exorbitant mark-up over face value. We also had to book rooms in nearby Durham rather than Chapel Hill proper which was completely sold-out since this was the Tarheels homecoming game.
Part of our mission was to deliver to him two boxes of Girl Scout cookies that my wife had brought along. Gametime was noon and he called us about 10 saying that he had about 45 minutes to kill, but we were still at the hotel. By the time we drove into town, parked at the local mall, boarded the Tarheel Express shuttle bus as the only passengers not wearing Carolina Blue, and got to campus, it was 11 am and we had missed the window of opportunity.
Our strategy was then to go find our seats in the stadium and wait for the band to arrive. But first we had to make it through security. The gate checker was strictly enforcing the “no outside food” rule as applying to our plastic grocery bag of cookies. We appealed to the chief of security who must have had kids of her own and she let us through.
When the band came in, I went down and crowded through the saxophone section to let my son know that we had cookies for him and not to get on the bus without them. We even intercepted him for a quick picture as he made a brief foray out of the band section.
After the game our goal was to follow the band out of the stadium and catch up with them. And here we made a strategic error. As the crowd started clearing, we headed up and out instead of waiting around and following the band out at field level.
As we rounded the back of the stadium, I saw the band disappear into a parking garage tunnel, but the trail went cold when we got to the other side. We eventually spotted a sea of white shirts heading up towards the Dean Dome. A long uphill climb and two cell calls later, we made it to the bus and handed off the cookies. No word yet on whether they even survived the bus trip back to Atlanta.
So when you figure in the game tickets, two night hotel stay in Durham, and gas for the 600 mile round trip, it may be the most expensive care package ever. But as they say in the credit card commercials:
Chance to see your son play on the road: Priceless.