Appearances, however, can be deceptive. Did you know that the average tout owns three homes including one in Milan? Or that most can rip off unsuspecting customers in eight different languages? Or even that 73% could have played centre-forward for Arsenal but for an unfortunate childhood? Neither did I.
Where once touting was about whispering “tickets for the game?” while lurking close to a Tube station in a bomber jacket, today’s tout has moved online, created his own website (myfaketicket.com) and flogging stuff that doesn’t exist. Take the West End play Syrup For My Figs. My aunt bought eight tickets for Syrup For My Figs which came highly recommended on the website myfaketicket.com, only to turn up on the day and find it was made-up. She still had a lovely time with June and the girls, but it’s the principle.
Same with cousin Tony, who paid to see Brazil vs Dunstable Town at Harpenden Public Halls. Needless to say he came away confused and disappointed. Tony has been comfort eating ever since. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the human cost of touting.
I’m not suggesting we should ban touting. Good lord, what kind of monster do you take me for? No. I just want to ensure that tickets are genuine not duplicates, are not too heavily marked up and each has a pleasing aroma.
So there you have it, the ticket tout: threatening, sweaty, rich and usually male. Like Canary Wharf on a warm day.