You only get one chance at a 30th anniversary — much to the dismay of Dallas fans who last weekend paid as much as $1,000 to be essentially shut out of their favorite nighttime soap opera's cast reunion. Reports today cite a surge of gatecrashers at the show's famous Southfork Ranch last Saturday, when a barbecue and meet-and-greet with Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and others deteriorated into a near-riot of confused, angry ticketholders and sobbing protests that Falcon Crest would never do its fans like this.The anguish persists into this week, with many attendees outraged at promoters who failed to honor their tiered ducats — $100 for the basic, "Corn on the Cob with Charlene Tilton" package, we hear, all the way up to the $1,000, "Who Shot J.R.?" VIP access featuring all-you-can-eat burgers and three attempts at the Larry Hagman dunk tank. In their defense, organizers argued that ranch officials allowed in 2,000 walk-ups in addition to the 2,000 ticketed guests, all of whom fought for vaguely enforced access once inside the ranch. But whomever is to blame, heartbroken fans who waited three decades for the chance to pray at the altar of Jock Ewing (God rest his soul) want answers now:
"It was a huge letdown — totally not worth it. I do feel like I got really ripped off," Elizabeth Knight, who paid $400 in anticipation of getting access to the cast, told Dallas-Fort Worth television station WFAA. "It was a disaster. It was total chaos," Mickey James, who paid $500 in anticipation of getting to mingle with the cast, told The Associated Press. "We couldn't even get close to the stage." "I'm angry," the 50-year-old Irving man said. "It was like a slap in the face."Jason Hardison, the event's executive producer, acknowledged that aggrieved fans "did not deserve this disappointment" and said he is presently looking into reimbursement options. We wouldn't know the first thing about that, but for now may we suggest a customized clip reel culled from the vast treasures of YouTube? It's temporary, for sure, but made us feel a hell of a lot better after fate so cruelly scuttled our long-awaited Passions reunion . Just an idea, take it or leave it.