We really don’t know what made that guy give us the free tickets to the hockey game. K. later said that he looked kind of dejected as he came over to us, so we think maybe he was a scalper holding onto tickets he knew he couldn’t sell. That or he just got stood up for a date. We’ll never know because he took off right after giving them to us.
There’s a follow-up to our little ticket story though.
The next morning I got up early to head down to the Washington Monument to be in line for tickets to go up to the top. We’d tried a couple days before, but they were all gone for the day, and we were really disappointed.
The sign at the counter said get there early, so I arrived 45 minutes before opening to stand in line. I chose an entry time of 12 noon, thinking that would give us time to see something beforehand.
We met up in the original Smithsonian museum and then went over to the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing for a fascinating tour of the inside of original plant, where you can see them printing all those rapidly shrinking US dollars.
We then went over the monument and arrived spot on 12 to find a line-up so long it looked like we’d be standing there for at least an hour. We asked around and it turned out they’d let in a huge tour group that backed up the queue.
We walked down the slope again to the little house where they give the tickets away and found a woman with her young daughter standing in front of the counter peering in. The sign on the window said tickets were all gone for that day.
“Do you want to go up the Monument?” I asked, showing them our tickets. “You’ll have to wait at least an hour for the 12 o’clock entry because it’s running late, but we don’t want to stand there, so if you want them, they’re yours.”
“We only need two,” she said, so I gave them a pair and off they went.
They were so happy! They ran as fast as they up the hill to join the queue.
I stuffed the third into the slot at the counter, knowing someone would soon be along to take it.
I don’t know if you’d call it karma, and of course they weren’t $65 hockey tickets, but I felt like I was passing along a little of our good fortune from the night before in the same way we’d come across it: to strangers, no questions asked.