How’s this for a good idea? You want some tickets for the 2012 Olympic Games so you get on to the supposedly respectable and much vaunted organisers and tell them what you want to watch.
There are lots of events to choose from, the prices vary a great deal, they have been very heavily publicised, you know demand is going to be heavy and you may not get everything you want.
So you’re tempted to ask for more than you really need – just to be on the safe side and then you wait. And wait. And wait.
Then eventually much later, by which time you have probably forgotten exactly what you ordered or how much it will cost, money is removed from your bank account for an unspecified event but you have no idea what or when for.
Alternatively no money has been taken so you have to assume you haven’t been successful with your purchases and you’ll have to apply again and hope for better luck next time.
So now we have millions of people up and down the country either congratulating themselves on their good fortune, counting the cost but not having the faintest idea what they have purchased, or cursing their bad luck for failing to obtain anything at all.
Meanwhile tickets are already on sale in Germany and via Thomson Holidays, corporate sponsors are dishing them out like confetti and fat cats the world over are no doubt counting up their collections and busy flogging off surplus requirements!
I have to ask myself. Is this the new 21st century paradox?
Roll up roll up ladies and gents. Give us your money. Never mind what for - you’ll have to wait and see!
So just pay up and shut up. But don’t you worry, that pillar of cheesy respectability Lord Coe assures us it’s all fair, above board and transparent too. Transparently shambolic if you ask me!
I have to say if we didn’t know it was all legitimate we might well be forgiven for thinking it was one of the most diabolically clever marketing cons of all time.
And can’t you just see where it might all lead. A huge resurgence of that wonderful spoof – London fog for sale in a tin; shares in Wembley Stadium on offer to punters in Empire Way at ten quid a throw; or invites to Her Majesty’s Jubilee celebrations for a fiver!
But I am glad to say I can let all this furore about Olympic Games tickets simply wash over me completely –because I didn’t applied for any.
I am already assured of the best seat and the best view at each and every event I want to watch – my very own recliner armchair in front of the telly with glass of wine in one hand and packet of crisps in the other.
Perfect – assuming they are not still messing about with those perishing pixels that is!