Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Tale Of My Unlucky Tresses

Did I ever mention how much I hate the lottery? I really, really do. Unless I win it, of course. Which is highly unlikely since I've only put a dollar in the office pool and we didn't win that week.

Most people just play for fun, putting a few dollars in here and there. I sell lottery tickets where I work; and it only gets painful when people get nuts. And they do. Absolute batcrap crazy nuts. "I want five rows of numbers on this ticket. Four on this one. And I want to pick my own on the first and third row, but have the computer pick the second and fourth. And on this ticket put these numbers in (she hands me a tiny piece of paper with lucky numbers from a fortune cookie) backwards first, then forwards."

If I had a dollar for everytime someone has told me "I want the winning one" I wouldn't need to work there anymore. I had a man come up to the counter who was convinced my hair was lucky, and he wanted me to rub the ticket on my head.

My hair is not, alas, lucky.

I get insane myself when I cash a person's unemployment check, then have to sell them lottery tickets for the cash they've just received. Hey, my taxes are paying for your lazy butt. Pay rent or something. And if you hit it, you owe every working person in the state a cut of your lazy butts' winnings. And the woman who cashes her child support checks to pay for her lottery fix? You should be reported. Or shot. Or both.

Saddest, though, are the senior citizens who are obviously spending money they can't afford in hopes of winning a more comfortable retirement. One older lady told me Jesus was going to make sure she won, because God had told her to send the money to Israel to help the Jews. It took everything I had to sell her that ticket. I never want to walk on someone's faith, but I don't think God works that way, does He? Obviously not, because she didn't win and I haven't seen her back since.

The kicker? All this 'income' the state gets from the lottery is earmarked for education. You know, that thing called book-learnin' what's supposed to help ya git ahead in life by gittin' a good job, so's ya don't have ta win a lottery. Of course, did all this income mean my costs for school supplies was covered?

If you believe that, I'll sell you the winning ticket.


Blogger Missie said...

One of my favorite bumper stickers reads:

"Dear Lord, please let me show you how winning the lottery won't change me a bit."

But, since you, like SELL the tickets, does that totally mean that, like, the lottery people TELL you what the winning numbers are ahead of time? Huh? What do you means that was a stupid question? I gady-ated from publik hi skool that gots its fundings from the lottery. I'z smart.

7:48 PM  
Blogger spy scribbler said...

LOLOL ... I love lottery tickets. They're a cheap evening of entertainment. For the five or six hours between the time you buy the ticket and the time you check for the winning numbers, you get to dream and fantasize away. It's a blast! I get to live in mansions, go on vacations around the world, stay in hundred-star hotels ... boy, do I have a great time!

If I'm strapped for money, sometimes I wait for weeks before checking to see if I ... er, that I lost. The dream lasts longer, that way!

In the end, you're paying for the dream and the hope. Yes, sometimes a dollar or two can buy a few hours of happiness. Well worth the money!

10:50 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Some people need fantasies more than others.
They tell us we have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting out of the slush pile and published - but we write anyway...

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

I never play the lottery. I've been an analyst way too long to trust those odds.

That being said though, I will spend hours in Vegas playing Keno. Of course, there are free drinks involved.

If the lottery offered free drinks I'd probably play that too.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Janny said...

With all due respect, and while I understand your feelings about people who cash unemployment checks and then turn around and buy lottery tickets...that condemnation of "lazy butts" is a bit harsh.

Yes, I know some people abuse the system (although how they manage that is nothing short of a miracle, when you examine the process as I explain it below). Yes, I know some people spend money they "shouldn't" and more than they can afford on these things. But to paint them all with the same brush? Come on. You know better than that.

Thousands and thousands of people face layoffs every day--people who worked faithfully for years, people who invested their time and energy into businesses that then--in order to continue to show stockholders profits--abruptly decided to "downsize" or move great portions of their operations overseas. The tradeoffs? Usually, service quality drops dramatically. Sometimes the product quality itself drops dramatically. Thousands of Americans lose their jobs. But hey, the profits for those stockholders--who don't WORK for them, only in essence buy a "lottery ticket" in the company--go up. (Yup. Seems like a good trade to me.)

In the process, then, some of these people apply for and actually get unemployment checks. Not all of them who are eligible for unemployment GET it, mind you; the federal agencies who administer these things are staffed with people who seemingly are told, "Pay this guy only if you have to. Make him jump through hoops, make him submit the same paperwork and answer the same questions four or more times, lose his paperwork and make him bring you duplicate copies, demand that he come in for 'training' sessions or 'counseling' sessions, yet demand that at the same time--yes, during the same literal hours of the same literal days--he ALSO be out looking for work every available minute, including the hours when you're sleeping--and give him hell if he can't prove that he was. If he can pass all those tests, gets firm enough with you, and preferably has a political hack or two on his side who will make heat for you if you refuse him...well, okay, then pay him. But only for six months, and if any wrinkle comes up during that time, make him go through the whole process all over again."

And after the person goes through all that--sometimes at the same time he or she is working part time trying to at least earn PART of the keep--you're going to begrudge 'em buying a lottery ticket?



5:38 AM  
Blogger Toni Lea Andrews said...

I always intend to buy lottery tickets and almost always forget to do so. One year, a boyfriend's mother bought me a year-long ticket. It was from Massachusetts, I think - you played the same numbers every week for a year. I thought it was a great idea, but after the first few weeks, I forgot to check each week to see if I had won anything. I know there are always some people who will spend money they can't afford on the tickets, but don't make yourself crazy. If it wasn't lottery tickets, it would be bingo or the nearest casino or something.

I will probably always buy the occasional ticket. The difference is I KNOW the fantasy is just that--a fantasy. But as a writer, I'm all about the fantasy...

9:37 AM  
Blogger Missie said...


I am personally appalled and disgusted that you would dare to express your opinion on your own blog without having express written authorization from all of our readers, thereby making sure that no one would be offended, inconvenienced, or in any way made uncomfortable.

At the very least, you should have checked with me first.

"you know better than that"

7:12 PM  
Blogger Missie said...

Oh, and p.s. to anyone who is stopping by here who never has before...please note the name...

Snarkling Clean.

We live.
We love.
We snark.

Get it?
Got it?

7:13 PM  

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