I have never played the lottery in my life and never will. Voltaire described lotteries as a tax on stupidity. More specifically, I think, on innumeracy.—Daniel Tammet
So, you lost the lottery. Again. Please excuse me if I don’t feel too terribly sorry for you. My opinion of lotteries is right down there with wet shoes and jeans that don’t fit right. Sure, the concept of $1.4 billion is alluring, but no one is going to get that. There were no fewer than three winning Powerball tickets sold. The amount will be divided, half will be taken in taxes, and what’s left will be less than what one might make from investing wisely. What bothers me is that I’m sure there was more than one person who spent their last two dollars on a damn lottery ticket instead of food, and are now both hungry and broke.
The country has been so obsessed with the lottery over the past week or so that its passing leaves a bit of a void in the realm of mindless office conversation. With dreams of telling the boss to fuck off having gone out the window (for now), whatever shall we do? Wherever shall we go? Oh, the hopelessness of humanity! (Please tell me you’re picking up on the sarcasm there.)
I’m not inclined to leave everyone stranded this morning, though perhaps some of you deserve such. So, here’s a list of options for you, carefully crafted over the day’s first cup of coffee, of things you can do today despite not having won the lottery.
- Go play in the snow. Make it more exciting by doing it in your underwear. Really brave and daring? Do it naked. Just, uhm, pick me up before you do that last one. We need pictures or it didn’t happen.
- Drop by your favorite coffee shop, order coffee, drink it there. Too often we’re in such a hurry that we don’t take the time to enjoy the little things around us. Relax. Sit. Drink your coffee. Maybe even strike up a conversation with a new friend.
- Get your hair done. Hair deserves to be pampered when it’s this cold. If you don’t have hair, maybe get a scalp massage.
- Have lunch with someone who loves you. Maybe your mother, or a sibling, or a spouse. Call them up, meet them for lunch, enjoy the company.
- Adopt a pet. Winter is an especially rough time for strays. Two of our favorite kitties are ones we brought in out of the cold last winter. They’ve now acclimated and become the best lap cats ever. Many shelters are full. Gain a friend and save a life by adopting a new pet.
- Try a new cuisine or, at least. a new restaurant. Kat and I are fortunate to have both been around the world and privileged to try many different foods. Still, there are plenty of restaurants around we haven’t tried and each one offers the chance for a new culinary and perhaps cultural adventure.
- Have sex in the middle of the day. I’ll leave the details to your own imagination.
- Discover a new local artist. There are artists everywhere, even in smaller communities. Look around, ask your local arts organization. Meet someone creative and maybe even buy something. They’ll appreciate your time and patronage.
- Read a book; it doesn’t even have to be a new one. I can think of no better way to spend a moment’s down time than to pick up a book and read a few pages. Your brain really could use the exercise.
- Have your picture taken! Okay, so not every photographer you know is going to be available on such short notice, but I know I have openings today and I’m guessing a number of my colleagues do as well. As with our first suggestion, you can always make it more exciting by doing it naked. In the snow. Contact us.
See, you have options! Okay, so they don’t involve quitting your job and buying an island in the Caribbean. You really don’t want all that hassle anyway. Relax. Enjoy the life you have instead of wasting time wishing for you one you don’t. You don’t need to win the lottery to have an amazing and rich life.