Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Guest Horoscope, the Onion

Aries: Though you are a vindictive, cruel, and miserable son of a bitch, you will be rewarded with great happiness and good fortune this week. This is just how the universe works.

The day before I read this I was walking past a gas station that sold California state lotto tickets. And as I gazed at the orange and yellow sun surrounding the sea and baby blue L like a halo on the Cal State Lotto Logo--sorry for all the noun strings, folks--I had something that I've only had a couple times in my life. My lucky feeling. Now, as I say, I don't have this feeling too often. Two times will hopefully illustrate the strength of my lucky feeling.

1. I had it once in high school at the Utah Sports park where I was really wanting a bandanna to tie my hair (long as was the fashion) down on the way back to Provo in my friend's convertible. The Sports Park had a game room with tickets which could be won and traded for prizes. One of the prizes was a white, with red rose, Harley Davidson bandanna. Having recently bought a motorcycle, I thought this was ideal. It only cost 450 tickets. Now to win them. There was a baseball game where you rolled quarters into holes marked single, double, triple, home run, out, strike, ball, etc. You can guess how big, small, easy to hit, hard to hit the respective holes were. Well, the bases were loaded, so if I got a home run, I would win the jackpot which was a little over 450 tickets as I remember. I'd just have to curve the quarter around a big out, have it hop some quarters littering its path, and get it into the quarter sized home run hole. Well, I had that lucky feeling and didn't have my hair whipping into my face on the way home. Yay!

2. This last Christmas BYU's newspaper the Universe had a 12 days of Christmas giveaway sponsored by the bookstore. They had daily prizes of hundred dollar shopping sprees and some grand prizes like a big flat-screen TV, a lap top computer, an iPod of some sort. Neat electronic stuff basically. Well, I had a lucky feeling and went to do the required "game" which would make sure I read the Universe to get the prize. Well, the game was completely idiotic, so I didn't do it. But, i still had that lucky feeling like the Universe--not the newspaper--wanted to do me some good. The final day, I thought of it again and entered. On the way to school I picked up a Universe--the newspaper--to check if I'd won the $100, I hadn't. I thought, shoot, and went to work. Well, i got a call, was put on speaker phone and ended up winning the lap top. It's huge. It has tons of RAM and stuff. It's the grandest of the grand prizes. Triple yay.

So, I had that feeling again. We walked past the gas station--as we didn't need gas--to get some B-grade electronics and sun screen at Rite Aid. On the way back though, I went with the lucky feeling and got my lotto ticket. The numbers were 29, 31, 34, 40, 44 and "mega" 26. They seemed inauspicious numbers. Not much of a spread. Kind of had all my eggs in one over 29 basket--though I am 29 and that could be read as a good omen. Plus, I had that lucky feeling, though it was lessened by the fact that I didn't act on it immediately, and so someone else may have come and bought the winning, random-computer-generated number.

So, in light of the lucky feeling and its track record, I lived the couple of days till I found out as though I really were going to win the 17 million jackpot to be paid out in 26 or 1 installment. Which should I go for? I thought. How should I spend it? Immediately I thought of the maid I would buy for my mom, the senior trips with one or two companions I would offer my nieces and nephews, an out-of-this-world nice wedding present, the help I could give my sister starting her MA, helping myself and others out of debt. Investing $100,000 off the bat for retirement. It's not like I'd miss that little, right? Lots of altruistic stuff. And of course the eye surgery, the car, the new apartment, the many trips to South/Central America, New York, Boston, Hawaii, Iceland, Thailand etc for me. I imagined I would still start and go to my job this coming Monday. No use letting wealth make me a lazy a$$ (get it? dollar signs?). Though I may have quit after a bit to really focus on writing before I went to get my doctorate next year. I mean, that was the plan anyway.

But I did have some darker thoughts as well. I thought, this will make me. I will never actually have to work another day in my life. I will not have to strive for anything in my life. I would be comfortable and secure as far as finances go. Period. It would never be a worry. Anyway, I thought of interacting with friends, going to school reunions, or just being known/remembered by those I know in general and I figured I'd be the guy-who-won-the-lottery guy. I wouldn't be the pilot, i wouldn't be the ukulele-maker, I wouldn't be the professor, the writer, the traveler, or anything. I'd be the lucky punk who got everything he never deserved. Cause who deserves to win the lottery? No one. I can think of people I'd be happy for if they did, but no one deserves it. And then I thought of "Teen Pregnancy: The Musical" and how it speaks out against everything that winning the lottery means and brings.

So I waited. I thought and waited and when i closed my eyes I seemed to see the horizon undulating endlessly--I was also doing a lot of boogie boarding while waiting.

Then the day came to check.

And the winning numbers were:

5, 7, 11, 20, 22, and "mega" 11.

Yep. Not even close. Though I suppose my initial disbelief at the clustering of my numbers was also fallacious. So, I don't have my money set, my mother doesn't get a maid--yet--and me and my siblings won't be set for life. Sad. Luckily, however, I may yet be known and remembered for something other than the lucky bastard who won the lottery. And that is something to be happy about.

In the meantime I'm supporting education. Yay.