Hump Day: Why I never buy lottery tickets as a gift for anyone

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

It was my birthday last Saturday and – no, no, sit down, seriously, stop applauding, stop crying, seriously.

It’s OK if you forgot. I only cried myself to sleep a little bit. The booze and pills I took to dull the pain of you forgetting helped a lot.

Thank you, though. I appreciate the hysterical reaction. It means a lot, trust me. In another couple of years when I change decades, I’ll be having a hysterical reaction myself, so I’ll definitely be practising between now and then. The next time I break a dish, I’ll collapse into uncontrollable sobs getting ready for the eventual freak-out when the change of decades comes.

After the birthday cards, telephone calls, gifts and online best wishes from Facebook friends, I opened up a nice card from my son that was very touching. In it were a gift card to a coffee shop and two lottery tickets.

Now, I have to admit. I really liked the coffee shop gift card. Being a coffee fiend since I started university way back in the year 19 (Cough! Cough!) I’ve got drinking coffee down to a fine art. And by fine art, I mean drinking way too much of it before bedtime and not being able to fall asleep, then having to start guzzling it by the gallon first thing the next morning just to stay awake. I’m a mess, I tell ya! Just a bloody mess!

But it was the lottery tickets in the card that really got my attention. I regularly buy lottery tickets but rarely get them as gifts.

Rarely? Well, that’s being generous. In fact, I never, and I mean never, would give you a lottery ticket as a gift.

Is it because I’m a highly moral person who believes that lotteries are wrong? Nope. I have no problem with it as long as it’s done responsibly by an adult. Is it because I have a problem with gambling and need to stay away from it – like an alcoholic has to do with booze? Nope. I don’t have a gambling problem.

So, why would I never buy you a lottery ticket for your birthday?

Well, it’s simple. It’s because I like you and want to see you live for a very long time.

Huh? Of what does this soon-to-be-changing-decades columnist who drinks too much coffee speak?

To put it bluntly, if I buy you a lottery ticket and you win, I’ll kill you. Oh, you probably have a big smile on your face right now and you’re chuckling at my good-natured exaggeration. ‘Oh now, Brian! You wouldn’t actually kill me! You’re just joshing around.’ (Visual effect: You punching me lightly on the arm because, you know, we’re buddies and all that kind of stuff.) Wrong. No, I mean I’d literally kill you. In fact, I’d bury you so deep in the woods that dinosaurs still live there. If I buy you a lottery ticket and you actually win, you’re dead. I want that ticket. I want it bad. And I want it now, even if I have to pry it out of your cold, dead hands.

If I win the lottery on one of the tickets my son bought me, I’ll be rolling around naked in that money (cover your eyes, folks, this isn’t pretty). I’ll be dipping gold coins in honey and licking it off. I’ll be petitioning the court to marry that money. I mean it.

And the next time my son would come up from his basement lair in my house, I’d look at him and ask, ‘Who are you? Get out! It’s mine! All mine!’ And then I’d roll around naked some more. (Same warning applies. Avert your eyes. Poke them out with a fork if you have to.)

You see, after buying lottery tickets for so many years, the thought of actually buying ‘the one that wins’ only to give it away to someone else makes me want to well, you know, be sick! Million-to-one odds and I pick Aunt Mathilda’s 732nd birthday as the one time I give her a lottery ticket only to find out later that the crazy old bat won and is now living it up in a luxury retirement community and storing her daily medication doses in a mink-lined pill dispenser. I’d track her down. She wouldn’t stand a chance.

Heck, I don’t care if the Incredible Hulk won the lottery on a ticket I bought him. He’d be toast! I’d snap that thick green neck of his like a dried twig, take the ticket and run as fast as I could (OK, so I’d just walk quickly, not actually run – getting winded just thinking about it) and cash that sucker in for some inappropriate nude rolling-in-it fun. (You sure you don’t want that fork?) I admit it. I wouldn’t be able to handle knowing that I gave away the winning ticket. I’d be crestfallen. I’d be quasi-homicidal – minus the ‘quasi.’

The thought of watching nutty old Aunt Mathilda chug her liquid anti-flatulence medication from a gold-plated goblet paid for by my gifted ticket would be too much for me to handle. I hate to admit it, but I’d go insane with jealousy. I’d be so green with envy that I’d see Kermit the Frog reflected back at me every time I looked in the mirror.

So, now you know why I’ll never buy you a lottery ticket at Christmas, your birthday or for any other special occasion. I’m not doing it because I care.

And I’m not doing it because I don’t want to be roommates in the penitentiary with a guy nicknamed Big Bubba who hands me a tube of lipstick on my first night there and tells me to make myself pretty because it’s going to be a long night.

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