No, this isn’t a post about Washington (I’d have to title that Hundreds of Fools and Someone Else’s Money), but it is about throwing money to the wind….literally! Now, first off, I hardly ever carry cash. When I have it, I’ve got a tendancy to either leave it stuffed into the corners of my pockets or lose it altogether. I feel no shame in whipping out my debit card to cover a three dollar purchase, and have had to write a check to get out of a parking garage before–which I did without batting an eye. About the only time I have any greenbacks on me is if they were given to me…the stash of Christmas money, birthday gifts, etc. And so it was yesterday. A friend who owed me a few bucks paid me back with cash, which I intended to deposit into my bank account right away.
I rolled up to the bank around noon, and while I normally like to give the tellers some face time when I have to make a deposit (you never know when you might need one of them to forgive a fee or something), it was cold and the wind was blowing like Larry Craig in an airport bathroom. So I pulled into the ATM…which is the last lane in the drive through. I inserted my card, pressed a few buttons, and I was ready to drop the money into the little cash-eater. You can guess what happened next. The wind whipped through and my money went airborne. I sat in the drivers seat, paralyzed, for a moment. The ATM machine was too close to allow me to open the door. I put the car in drive and pulled forward, lept out, leaving the door open, the car running, and my wallet lying on the console. By some miracle, I was able to grab all the cash and complete my deposit without anyone stealing my car, my wallet, or the impromptu stimulus package I’d let fly through the air.
And speaking of fools and money…West Virginia has TONS of video lottery “lounges”. And most of them are filled with patrons who don’t look like they could finance the downpayment on a pack of chewing gum, let alone put hundreds and hundreds of dollars into a video poker machine. These lounges can be quite fun, they have a law-mandated max of five machines–each of which has different slot and keno games on it. I am not one of these people who will spend the light bill to gamble, or bet the max on each spin, but almost every time I go to WV I will stop in and play $10 or $20, and sometimes I will parlay that into a $40 or $50 win. More often than not, I don’t. I may as well throw the money into the air and let the wind carry it away. (oh, wait, I did that too) But myself, along with all of my friends who play, dream of “locking up” a machine–that is, hit a big jackpot that literally locks up the game until an attendant comes to wave her magical IRS form over it.
This is going somewhere, I promise.
I haven’t heard from my crazy mama in a few weeks. When a week or two of silence happens, it almost invariably means that she is shacking up with her felonious ex-husband again and she is too embarassed to call and let me know that. (I’m not sure why, I long ago stopped making any comments to her about her unhealthy relationships.) At any rate, she gave my phone a jingle the other night to see how my follow up with the urologist went. (It was scheduled for Monday, but rescheduled for next week.) For all her faults, she has always been a good source for all things medical–she went to nursing school, though God forbid she’s never worked a day in her life. During the conversation she said, “Did I tell you about Doug?”
Hmmm…no, last I heard you’d sent him packing AGAIN.
“He locked up a machine the other night and won almost $20,000.”
Well, there you have it, as good a reason as there ever was to take him back for the 84th time.
Let’s not even get into the fact that neither of these people work, that she constantly hits up every family member that will still answer the phone for money, and that she routinely bemoans the fact that she can’t even scrape together enough change to get a two liter of Pepsi. What were they even doing gambling? There must be some new government subsidy for needy people with a gambling problem. So what were these two indigants planning to do with their windfall?
Use it to move to a property that has less than her current 8 acres to maintain? Noooooo.
Set some aside for a rainy day? Heaven forbid!
Rent a storage unit for the three decades of clothing she has hoarded? (I’m not kidding—she has turned the entire master suite into one giant walk in closet, the second bedroom has likewise been turned over to storage purposes, and there is literally nowhere to sit in her house save for ONE recliner and TWO kitchen chairs because every single other surface is covered in piles of neatly folded clothing, Nascar memorabilia, and bric-a-brac secured from yard sales, flea markets, and discount stores. She could earn another $20,000 on eBay getting rid of all that junk and not miss any of it.) But no, that wasn’t the plan either.
“We’re gonna get Doug a truck, and give my car to So-and-so, and get me something else that’s more reliable so I can come see you!”
Now what do two people who don’t work and don’t travel need with two cars?? Particularly when one of them (him) doesn’t even have a damned driver’s license? They’ll spend every last dime of it before the month is over, and next month the water will get shut off. Mark my words.