What do a trampoline, a space canine and an oscillating cannon all have in common?

They all add to the smorgasbord of madness that is an NBA game. $18.95 and a (1/2) cents worth of NBA game I hasten to add.

Moondog! He did a flip on a trampoline and was then presented with an earth infant from the crowd

This Yorkshire Alien has been on their first value-driven excursion into native sporting culture — a real-life NBA game!

Hold on, this is not a cheap exercise!? Well, apparently now there is now a huge chasm left by he who shall not be named in the Cleveland Cavaliers — it is!

The only (significant) downside is that you are probably going to see the Cavaliers lose. Which, in this extra-terrestrial’s experience, was firmly the case when they played the Heat on January 2nd.

I am not here to tell you the ins-and-outs of a game I do not fully understand, there are plenty of natives who will earnestly, doggedly and protractedly do that for you. Simply put, the other team kept scoring from far away and the Cavaliers kept not scoring. Well, that’s enough of that. What was the experience like in a fiscal manoeuvring sense? Much more satisfactory!

For many eons the human man has walked upon two legs

In my studies of the Cleveland native in a planet that is so foreign to me, it has not escaped my observations that bipedalism is roundly viewed as very onerous. This fact is neatly punctuated by the parking around The Q stadium: park 7 minutes’ walk away for $10; park 5 minutes’ walk away for $15; park 3 minutes’ walk away for $20 and the crème de la crème, park 1 minutes’ walk away for $25 (WARNING: you will have to walk for a minute!)*.

Needless to say, this frugal operator took the few minutes for the $10 parking. All of the car was still there when we returned! Some pointless forays into addictive yet misleading google car park reviews had cast serious doubt on this outcome.

My tickets had been purchased on fanxchange which I presume is a way for ‘loyal’ fans to temporarily cast aside their allegiance, so they can spend more time at home carefully sewing a small Lakers costume onto a voodoo doll.

The tickets were then activated using the FlashSeats app…As technically dexterous as this may sound, prodding at the right words on an app till things work will eventually bring the desired result: a small bar code on your hand-held relationship management device.

Thus, tickets plus parking for 2 was equal to $37.91 ($18.95 and a half cent — I’m not sure they exist so someone must leave bitterly disappointed by being half a cent poorer).

As my pervasive objective here is to have a good time whilst maintaining the smugness of thrift, this was a very pleasing financial overview!

That said, yes it was probably an awkward time of year in which people don’t want to go out so tickets were likely being more fiercely reduced; yes, it was probably not possible to do this when the demigod was in attendance; yes, the seats were quite high up in the rafters. Despite being at the extremities of these variables, it was still a lot of entertainment for less than $20…unless, you really hope that the Cavs will win, in which case it has the potential of being painful.

So, a value riddled endeavour was underfoot. However, unlike the Cavs defence (it is not spelt with an ‘s’ in the sacred language of my home planet), you must be on your guard when you enter the arena. The desire to purchase overpriced consumables invades your consciousness from most angles when in the bowels of the stadium.

Lacking any wisdom of such events, I decided to be canny and purchase a can; it came from a bucket owned by an entrepreneurial being rather than a shiny bar. I was disappointed to discover that the slightly-warmer-than-anything-that-has-ever-been-surrounded-by-ice contents did not really give of the notes of IPA I expected and still set me back a whole $10.50. Plenty of other beers from deliciously cold-looking taps seemed to be available but all for a similar price.

My conclusion is this: you can probably pick up some cheap weekday seats to a Cavs game, not spend too much money and have a pretty good time but…not if you want to drink. Which, for me, having taken part in the strain of all the recent earth calendar exertions, was fine. Going there and simply enjoying the sporting spectacle was entertainment enough.

Christmas drinking has to stop somewhere

Furthermore, as an outsider, experiencing this spectacle for the first time, there was much interest to be found in the dizzying stream of peculiar and zealous shenanigans that happened when the basketball did not: merchandise, raffle tickets, small basketballs, free buffets, more merchandise and windscreen wiper blades were just some of the things being jubilantly hurled at or won by the screaming masses. The latter of which sparked an inordinate pang of jealousy as such a practical item was required for my car. However, with the sour knowledge mistakenly bestowed upon me by online car-park reviews, I was able to comfort myself with the underlying feeling that my windscreen wipers were, in fact, probably no longer attached to my car.

Even when you have so much, you still want free merch

So, just like the t-shirts and balls from an oscillating cannon, the earth minutes flew by and an enjoyable evening out was easily attained. Before long, I found myself persevering with the 7-minute hike back to my car accompanied by the deep tones of a street performer slapping bass in the icy rain.

Yes, the Cavs lost but there was still a heady whirl of entertainment to be found inside the Q arena. As I continue my value driven odyssey to fully understand the American native and more specifically the Cleveland native, I know that attending every major ball-oriented sporting event will be very important. A Cleveland Cavaliers game, being my first, was certainly no disappointment.

*FOOT note: Does this mean 2 minutes of someone’s non-car encapsulated time is worth $5? By such logic, I should receive $150 for every hour I spend outside of an automobile!

Recording my thrifty experiences of recently landing in the U.S from the frugal planet of Yorkshire. Stay on the cosmic shoestring whilst still being a human.

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