This is a true story about New Year's Eve.
My niece and her new husband are visiting from California. They wanted to spend NYE in New York City, to see the ball drop on Times Square and what not. Of course, we didn't stop them, but warned them that it's not all it's cracked up to be -- mostly a mass of bodies freezing in place. That evening they head to the action, but the streets are already blocked off, from 50th street all the way to 42nd. There's no way to get in.
My niece sees a restaurant just on the other side of the barricade, and gets an idea. She found the phone number for the restaurant, called it, and asked if they could seat two more people.
"We can try to squeeze you in," they said.
With restaurant reservation in hand, and an escort by someone from the restaurant, they were able to pass through metal detectors, and brought in to the restaurant. The meal, I'm told, was amazing.
After dinner the manager stopped at their table to make polite conversation. He asked if they were from the area.
"Oh, no. We're visiting from California."
The manager asked why they were visiting. And here is where my niece shows how brilliant she is. She says "We just got married, and this is sort of our second honeymoon."
The manager says "It is? Oh, I'm gonna set you up."
The manager, who is, or knew, a retired police officer, had my niece and her husband escorted by four officers through more metal detectors and were dropped off right underneath the ball. This was about as close as you could get, closer than all the regular people who were behind a barricaide, whom, I'm told, were distinctly unhappy with this.
That's what hitting the jackpot looks like. I wish that you, too, hit the jackpot this year.