When I was younger, my dad used to take me out to sporting events a lot. And when we attended these games, there were certain traditions we'd always follow. We'd wear clothing advertising our allegiance to the home team, pick up sandwiches on the way to the game, and, invariably, my dad would trick me with the ticket gambit. We'd be walking towards the entrance gates from the car, immersed in conversation, when my dad would casually ask me, "So, you've got the tickets, right?"
Of course, he always had the tickets, and not me. Even now, I can't really be trusted not to misplace valuable objects like tickets, and I certainly wasn't given that kind of responsibility at age 7. Still, Dad asking the question invariably threw me into a minor panic, and I'd pat at my pockets while stammering, "No, I don't... don't you... I thought you were going to..." until my dad grinned and produced the tickets from his pocket, to my enormous relief. And it worked every single time - I don't think I stopped falling for the "Got the tickets?" ruse until I was 14 or 15.
(On a related note: My dad, sister, and I attended the Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert in 1998. After a ten minute walk from the Shoreline parking lot to the amphitheatre itself, Dad turned to Megan and asked if she had the tickets. "Ha ha," said Megan. "I'm not falling for that one." Of course, since Megan had bought the tickets, Dad really didn't have them this time, so we trudged back out to where Megan had left them, in the glove compartment of the car.)
I thought I was unique in having my dad pull this trick, but a few friends have shared similar stories about their own dads. I still maintain that my dad has taken "Got the tickets?" to an art form, but apparently this is something dads just have an intuition for. Or maybe they learn at Dad seminars, between learning the best way to pretend to take a child's nose, and lectures on sink repair. Whatever the foundation for this trick, I certainly plan to use it on my own children, as long as technology doesn't make it obsolete.
Scene - Geodesic Sports Arena Dome, 2021
Sean: Remember where we parked the hovercraft, son.
Sean, Jr.: OK, Dad.
Sean: Say, son, did you remember to bring the tickets?
Sean, Jr.: What tickets? Aren't they just going to have retinal scanners at the gate like usual?
Sean: I think you may have forgotten the...OK, yeah, they probably will just have the scanners...Hey, I've got your nose!
Sean, Jr.: That's obviously just your thumb, dad. By the way, the sink in the kitchen is leaking again.
Sean: I'll have the robot plumber take care of it tonight.