Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Lotto Club

Three women with whom I work and I have started a Lotto Club. We play the MegaMillions! and the Superlotto combo every Friday, $5.00 each. The club was created when the MegaMillions got past $150 million. This amount, for some reason, convinced us that we had a legitimate shot. Yes, of course, $150 million dollars with a billion to one chance. That's so ours! The pot has since dwindled back to the regular twenty million mark, but we don't care because we've already had the intuitive epiphany: THIS is what we're going to plan our future around. All dreams will be possible after we win this thing. We have so convinced ourselves that we're going to win that no one is able to tell us otherwise. We have created a super force field of winning energy that is impenetrable! When we win, we are aware that this confidence will be considered pure brilliance. In the meantime, it's a tiny bit sad.

The best part of the Lotto Club is when we huddle in our wiccan circle and blurt out strategies for better luck such as quick pick vs. favorite numbers. Or best days to play, how we should feel while buying tickets, always speaking well of other's good fortune, vowing to give two weeks notice and not leave anyone in a lurch -- we CANNOT jinx this in any way, shape or form. We are like a lotto curling team. One of us buys the tickets like the stone slider and the rest of us clear a karmic path to get our numbers to actually hit. We are brushing the spiritual ice to hit the target. We believe in this 500%. And good for us.

We also huddle up to declare what we would do with the winnings. This is something I typically only do alone while driving, and I can do it over and over again; parceling out winnings, wisely spending, contributing, winning at life in general. Saying a wish list aloud can feel a little silly: Saying "I'm gonna win at life," can attract some under-the-breath chuckles. Adding, "And help others win" sounds just as dumb. BUT I DON'T GIVE A SHIT, because we're gonna win, that's why. Our wish lists sometimes vary vastly. I say shit like, "I'm gonna volunteer and fuel some radical causes and save the entire world and, and . . ." My eyes widen with too much that needs to be done, and my co-Lotto Club member Ma says, "I will garden." And my eyes glaze over with the pure simplicity of that and I say, "Yea, garden."

Sometimes we discuss the threshold at which we will quit our jobs. We are all in agreement on the quitting thing. We joined the Lotto Club for that precise reason: So we could make our goddamn break at last, without any regrets. Most of the members say with a million dollars they would feel comfortable with quitting though since then it's slipped to $500K and maybe $250K. My bar is WAY lower. If I won a $500 scratch-off I might be history. Ironically Lotto Club also KEEPS us from storming out irrationally on a daily basis. We feel hopeful now. We feel we have a more solid plan than just picking up our purses at 10:32 am one day, thinking "fuck this" and giving our perplexed bosses the finger as we bust out for "no reason." Having a job in general can just irritate the fuck out of you. I'm learning this as I'm closing in on my third decade of working. Even if you have a good job, a well-paying job, a job that pretends to take care of you. It's mainly the Having To Get Somewhere At An Exact Time thing that digs into my schedule, and the whole Telling Me What To Do thing bugs me. And dealing with dummies. That really bugs me. I've worked with brokers for fourteen years and I've come to the conclusion that they are the exact definition of doing the same thing over and over and over again hoping for a different result. I'll say things like, "Hey Salesguy, go quote your customer 5,000 pieces of a chip I have in Europe." And then I hear the Salesguy immediately after on the phone saying, "Mr. Customer! I have your part. Yup. 10,000 right here locally. (click) Madness! I got that PO for ya!" And I throw papers in the air like I just don't care. This type of shit happens every single hour. If not with salesguys then with vendors. I'll say, "Hey Vendor, I got that PO for you. The 5,000 pieces?" And he'll say, "Who's this?" And I'll say, "I talked to you two seconds ago." And he'll say, "The price just went up." And I'll say, "Bullshit." And he'll say without blinking an eye, "Parts were just sold to someone else." More papers fly. Salesguy asks, "Can you get those 10,000 pieces here in an hour?" By three o'clock every day, I'm pounding my head on my key board.

Every person in our Lotto Club has similar stories. It all goes on and on: Up in the morning to get to work "on time." Doing stuff for dummies, bartering with jerkoffs, day in/day out. Do This Now, Do That Yesterday. Can't you pull off another miracle? BITE ME already.

The Lotto Club is a little oasis within the swirling stupidity and monotony. It's a solid mirage that keeps us going, gets us laughing at work. Keeps us hopeful and prevents us from flipping over desks and telling them all to SHOVE IT, only to panic later how the rent will get paid. Soon, this will not be an issue. Soon, very very soon, Ma will garden and K will take a limo to the spa and T will drop kick accounting to kingdom come and I'll save the entire world. Maybe I'll try a little gardening first.

17 comments:

acumamakiki said...

I like your lotto club and I think you'll win too! I do. It's always the groups that win. I like to play also, but haven't really figured out the whole NJ thing.

acumamakiki said...

That's one thing I miss about NYC. You always knew what was happening with the lotto because of all the kiosks and delis and bodegas that have tickets and magazines.

Green Whale said...

Passionate and funny and amazing as usual. I've had to learn the hard way how important faith and thinking positively are. For a long time I relied on cynicism and pessimism and they simply didn't work; they threw me in the gutter and pressed their shoes on my neck. So, go ahead and dream. Teach the rest of us how to do it well -- recklessly, that is to say, and with gusto and no regrets.

Laini Taylor said...

So funny! I too feel like I have a shot at the millions when it gets really high. Then I never even manage to get 1 single number! But that doesn't stop me from daydreaming about my winnings. I hated hearing that the Powerball winners - not the last big jackpot but the one before - went out immediately to buy a Hummer. It makes me groan. I would be SO much better at spending 300 million dollars!!

madness rivera said...

Right, Laini? I'm like, yo God watch me be so responsible with this money. No, really. Watch me. Please?

GW - love the idea of dreaming recklessly. I suppose I love it 'cause I do it too much.

Michelle Fry said...

What you need to do WHEN you win, is open a vegan store/ resataurant/spa.

Glamorous Jo said...

Ryan and I spend our winnings all the time - even though we've never won. Even though we've only bought a ticket twice. And #1 on the list is to shout TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT at anyone in the office who will listen.

Jackie said...

Hell yeah you are going to win the lotto! I am too- its all in the attitude baby! It's not if- it's when.

ecm said...

This reminds me of a great story on This American Life about the cast of Riverdance having their own lotto club. (www.thisamericanlife.org under Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time in '06) I think it has a very similar spirit!

mastimaker314 said...

This reminds me of when I worked at the campus bookstore about a year ago. The week before Christmas, my boss won the lottery EVERY DAY. I'm not kidding. It was just scratch off, but still, it was just not fair. He ended up with about two thousand bucks. That's when I bought my first lotto ticket (ok, my first five tickets). I didn't win. Oh well, maybe you will!

la vie en rose said...

oh i love it! maybe i need to start one of these little clubs myself so i don't kill me some med students soon!

handandspiritstudio said...

The whole working thing is a bitch! I like your plan.

SUEB0B said...

'Just having a job in general can irritate the fuck out of you'. Perfect.

Here's my job: big companies are too stupid and lazy to buy insurance without a consultant. That way they can blame it on someone when it all goes to hell.

The consultants think up questions to ask the insurance companies so the consultants can justify their existence by providing a "service." Every year the questions grow increasingly baroque and bizarre because they used up all the good questions a long time ago.

The insurance companies need to have people to answer the questions. That is my job. I answer really complex, pain in the ass questions that don't mean anything to anyone.

It is on deadline, so we have to work like little busy rats to answer these questions between January and July.

Then in July, business basically stops. So for 6 months we sit around trying to look busy so no one fires us. For this, we have to RUSH to get to work through traffic every freaking day. Doing nothing seems like a job you could do from home, but no. You have to be there to fuck off for 6 months.

That's it. Weird, but its my job. I am going to go anonymous for this one so I don't get Dooced.

SUEB0B said...

I guess that anonymous shit didn't work. Do me a fave, Madness, and delete me.

HollyRhea said...

You could just start gardening now. Better yet, garden so much that you can live off of it. Then start a commune. I will move in.

We're supposed to be in tribes anyway.

bettyboop said...

i laughed out loud when you said you might be history for a $500 scratch off-hilarious!

andrea said...

I used to be convinced that I would win the publishers clearing house sweepstakes. so much so that I spent hours dreaming of how I would spend it. I mean, why not? why couldn't it be me?

I have a feeling if I lived anywhere close to you, I'd want in on this lotto club.