Let it be known that I got my Lotto cherry popped today. Well, it’s not technically popped until 11pm tonight, when I find out that I’ve been screwed out of $5. Right now I’ve only got Lotto’s tip in my grasp. And it’s soooo big!
It’s true; until today I have never bought a lottery ticket. But the siren call of $640 million dollars got me a bit hot and bothered. No lie. And it’s been kinda nice. All day I have surrendered to the fantasy of “What if…” But we both know the truth is that anything over $100 million is just being a blow-hard. And if I am totally honest, I could make do with just $15 million. I would happily donate the lion’s share and I would get Georgia’s labor market back in full swing by sub-contracting out a myriad of jobs beginning with digging me a pool in the backyard.
Hot Tub got in on the action, too. He gave me money to buy a lottery ticket for everyone in the family…his gift of Hope for the people he loves. Aaw. He was so thrilled to hold the sheet and when Snakebite got home from lacrosse, he could barely contain his thrill as he revealed the ticket and told her what he’d done for her. The response had all of the sadistic enthusiasm of the fellow inmate who beat Jeffery Dahmer to death with a broom handle in prison. There was yelling, belittling, gnashing of teeth, crossed arms of disapproval and full on steam shooting from her ears.
From the beginning, Big Daddy and I have always scoffed at the unfortunate, uneducated proletariat who spend their rent money on playing “their numbers”. Snakebite has especially bought into our message that lottery tickets=life’s losers.
Once, about four years ago, a ten-year old Snakebite spent the night with a friend from school. The next morning when I went to pick her up I hung around for the usual Saturday morning debriefing of “how things went”. The host mother got a big grin on her face and told me to settle in, because I was going to love what she had to tell me. Apparently, after school they made a pit stop at the grocery store to get some sleepover fortification. After passing through checkout, the mother went to the customer service desk to buy $25 dollars worth of lottery tickets. At about the time she was up, she noticed that Margaret was looking distressed and on the verge of a making a puking scene. With great concern, the mother asked, “Sweetie, are you okay? Are you going to be sick?” as she was feeling Snakebite’s forehead. Young Snakebite blurted out, “Don’t do it Mrs. Elliot! Don’t you know that the lottery is a scam? You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than ever winning!!! You need to save your money for important things like life insurance and college.” The mother was stunned; having expected to hear something more along the lines of how bad lunch had been at school that day.
Mrs. Elliot assured Margaret that the groceries had already been paid for, they were current with their mortgage and school tuition had been taken care of; clearly, there was no need to worry. Snakebite’s response? “Well, you’ll always have your property taxes to pay for!”
So, that very practical ten-year old, who is now fourteen, is thoroughly disgusted that her mother and brother have been revealed to be losers, who are going to end up living in a trailer park if they are lucky. I have long wondered what it would be that I would do that would truly offend and embarrass my child. Turns out it’s lottery tickets…unless I win. Then I bet 10 to 1 she’ll be kissing up to me and Hot Tub, big time.