I'd Buy That for a Dollar

Amid rampant server problems and a host of worries that are all much more real I find myself thinking how nice it would be to have $40 million dollars. Or, what -- 18, 20 mil after taxes?

Honestly, what is it about the lottery that makes it such a complete mindfuck? My odds of winning anything are so ridiculously bad that it's almost ludicrous to consider playing at all; but at the same time, the supposed benefits are so unfathomable for someone of my hamburger helper pedigree that every time money gets tight, I start looking at it like it's a pretty girl in a bar.

You know the one: Waaay out of your league - but she smiled at you when you held the door open for her? You didn't give it a second thought when it happened, but by the time you're working on your third beer you've already envisioned your life together as a happy couple.

        The first thing I would do is pay off the house, and then...

You look at the people who apparently got over, and you find yourself wondering about them. Are they real? How hard would it be to call the actors union and ask them to send over ten or twelve people who look like they hang out at convienence stores a lot? You know, just so it looks like this thing is legitimate?

But of course I do know that it's real... because I won it once.

Years ago in Tallahassee, Kim and I were driving around listenign to music. We were going through some bad stuff at the time, and it was really starting to get to her. After a while of driving in silence, I leaned over and asked, "What can I do to make you happy?" To which she said, half-jokingly, "Win the lottery."

Trying to cheer her up, I pulled into some gas station and bought a ticket. Random numbers; I don't even remember what they were. Three days later I checked the paper.

        Four numbers matched.

I went back to the gas station and the lady behind the counter made me sign a form. Then she opened the cash register and handed me fifty-five dollars.

It was pretty cool, because for a while Kim thought I possessed some sort of hoodoo that enabled me to make things happen just by thinking about it. But in the end it amounted to just sort of a cool thing that happened to me once. It didn't get me out of debt then, and thinking about it isn't going to get me out of the red now, either. And perhaps that's what's so frustrating about it.

It's not like I have to buy a ticket. I mean, I know that they're waving a carrot over my head, but I don't really have to pay attention to it at all.

Because, you know... I'm smarter than that...