Selling 50-50, the Stop Sign at Rogers Centre

Melissa Verge is in her rookie season selling 50-50 tickets at the Rogers Centre. Half the proceeds go to Jays Care. 

Melissa Verge is in her rookie season selling 50-50 tickets at the Rogers Centre. Half the proceeds go to Jays Care. 

By Melissa Verge
Canadian Baseball Network

I have no willpower. 

I ate a box of Oreos in two days, grabbing handfuls out of the box, dipping them in milk and eating them in bed. So satisfying, yet when I’m left staring at the empty box of cookies and the drained carton of milk, I am reminded once again of my non-existent will power.

I need willpower though or I will likely be fired from selling 50/50 tickets from the Blue Jays, when they are at home at the Rogers Centre. It is a job I would be happy doing until I got so old that my teeth fall out from decay.

Willpower is needed so that I don’t run out onto the field when I walk past the bullpen every game on the way to work. It is an open path onto the field, I can see the beautiful green grass, the lights, the mound, and some players warming up. It would be exhilarating run out there to an imaginary announcer calling me in to relief pitch. But I assume it would be less exhilarating and more frightening to be arrested. 

There will be no running onto the field.

Running after the players you may encounter while inside the Rogers Centre is also a definite no no. I have to put on a calm façade every time it happens. 

I walked past Jose Bautista, and I thought for sure I would need a defibrillator if I was ever going to breathe again. My nostrils were flaring from the effort, I’m sure I resembled some sort of wide eyed pig.

And then the moment was over, I glanced after him walking away. “Would you like to buy some 50/50 tickets?” I thought about asking. But it was too late, he was gone. Plus I dreaded what would happen if he decided to give me the stop sign. It would be so humiliating. 

The stop sign is what I’ve nicknamed the gesture when people put up there hand in a high five like position. 

Warning: this does not mean they want a high five. It means “stop talking to me I don’t want to buy any tickets.”

I don’t know if the people who give me the stop sign think I’m a vehicle of some kind. “I’M NOT A CAR” I want to scream at them. You can’t give me road signals and expect me to behave.  Maybe they assume that if they don’t give me the signal to stop I will run them over, armed with my 50/ 50 tickets and an evil grin plastered on my face.

Getting ‘stop signed’ only usually bothers me for a couple of minutes. I fume internally and make angry grunting noises before resuming selling tickets.

It’s hard to stay mad knowing your selling tickets to help support the Jays Care Foundation. Half of the proceeds go to helping kids in need by introducing them to baseball, helping them excel academically, and overall live healthy lifestyles. 

I ask everyone I can to buy tickets, people in suits, people carrying their children, people with their hands full of delicious looking food.

Which is why I’ve learned to eat pre-shift. Selling tickets for four innings on an empty stomach is hard, especially when people come over and buy them carrying giant hotdogs smothered in ketchup. I’ve eye googled many delicious looking morsels.

The most memorable one was when a lady carrying beer in one hand and a hotdog in the other wanted to buy tickets. I had to hold the food for her so she could get money out of her wallet, and I was having some pretty intense eye contact with this beautiful fluffy white hot dog bun, and this juicy looking hotdog. 

I had to make myself hand the food back to her, I could feel my body resisting this idea. Stuffing it all down my throat would be so much more satisfying.

But I didn’t want to get fired from the best job I’d ever had. 

“We can’t have you working here if you’re going to eat the customer’s hotdogs,” I could imagine my boss saying to me.  

What a way that would be to get canned.

I would be ruin my chances of getting a career with the Blue Jays in the future, all with one delicious bite.

When I get home I gorge myself on more Oreo cookies. I’m not sure if this is a result of my willpower being stretched to its limits, and only now when I am in no danger of eating a customer’s hotdog or running wildly onto the field, it is safe to let out.

Maybe when I can walk past the field without feeling a desire to sprint across it, or walk past a player without waving foolishly, maybe then it will take me more than two days to polish off a box of cookies.


Melissa VergeComment