Merrillville, IN. Nineties singing sensation Michael Bolton has cancelled his "Everybody Just Relax, Lets Have A Good Time" tour due to the success of his 'Meet and Punch' ticket packages. For US$1200 'fans' got a platinum ticket that would guarantee them a seat in the front row and then the opportunity to meet and take a swipe at Bolton after the show. The punch would be captured by Bolton's own photographer and then mailed to the 'fan' within the week.
The ticketing innovation was a result of Bolton's own exploration into alternative income strategies. "With stuff like the internet and file sharing the public just don't buy records like they use to." he said. "The 'Meet and Punch' package was an obvious next step."
The packages were an instant hit. "I clocked him real good," said Frank Haberfield early on in the tour. "One punch - bang - he went down. But he's such a professional. He got straight back up, dusted himself off and got ready for the next guy."
More recent reports leading up to yesterday's cancellation however were less than glowing. "You could've knocked him over with a feather," said a disgruntled Sally Surlarkis. "I was looking forward to giving him a real nice brush up but he was already a mess. They let me spit on him and that was it. I'm seeking a full refund."
Another recent 'Meet and Punch' buyer was more determined to get his money's worth. WWE wrestler Ric Flair: "He was so beat up he couldn't stand. So I said 'Just leave him there and get the camera ready.' I dropped the leg and then got him in my signature figure four. Whoo!"
"I honestly thought the botox would take most of the heat," a relaxed but bruised looking Bolton said yesterday. "And it did, but when it started leaking I knew it was all over."
Bolton's lawyers are looking to franchise the concept. "We have received numerous inquiries and not just from musicians either," explained Bolton's lawyer Eric Neal. "I don't want to name names, (coughing) Danny Bonaduce, (sneezing) OJ Simpson, (coughing) Richard Gere, the interest is there, we just have to do some repackaging."
Bolton, due back on the road when he stops sipping his food, remains optimistic about sustaining his end of the 'Meet and Punch' deal. "Psychologically I'm fine. When I see those clenched fists flying my way, I just think about the hundred dollar bills they were holding before I came up with this great idea. I don't want this to get too old too quick. I'm thinking of growing my hair long again so the fans can grab a handful and slam my head onto their knee. Punch alternatives."
The doctor's report is due Tuesday.