The Washington Nationals franchise implemented yesterday its single greatest marketing ploy, potentially unexpectedly. As you may have seen advertised on TV during the past week, yesterday the first 20,000 ticketholders to enter Nat’s stadium received a free Jason Werth garden gnome. It is, essentially, a 5 inch plastic Jason Werth likeness wearing a conical hat. In other words, a bobble head that doesn’t even bobble.
The game sold out entirely, days in advance. People started showing up at 4pm, before the park even opened. I saw a parent HIT HIS CHILD IN THE FACE to make him cry, then dragged the crying child to a gnome vendor and claimed that the child was crying because he didn’t get a gnome. That parent then took the ruse-begotten surplus gnome and put it on eBay. They were out of garden gnomes by 5:45 (for a 7 o’clock game). By 6 pm several gnomes were listed on eBay with starting bids of $50.
If I saw these Jason Werth dolls on sale in a store, I would not buy one for $50. I would not buy one for the $25 price of my standing-room-only ticket. I would not even buy one for the $2 metro fare that got me to the park. And yet. I bought a $25 ticket, left work early, wedged my claustrophobic ass into a tin metro oven stuffed with writhing sweat and flesh, and stood for 4 hours outside in DC in August in a suit and pearls. Just to get one. And when a sobbing mother pushing her disabled daughter in a wheelchair offered anyone $100 for their gnome I said FUCKOFF! This useless piece of plastic made-in-china shit is MINE. I EARNED it.
And tonight, the Warewerth will proudly grace our poker table.
The place is [———-]. The time is 8:30 pm. Note this is a little later than usual, as I have an audition at 7 and want to give myself some extra time to get back. The buy-in is $10. Delicious beer is appreciated. RSVP and maybe I pick up snacks on my way.