Maybe it was that guy in New Jersey recently winning the $338 million Power Ball lottery — but then only receiving 45%, or $152 million, in the payout. That is, after the government and the state took their alligator bites, and the 29 annuity payments were adjusted to one lump sum.
For some reason this got me recalling when drugs were legal in this country, and the daily numbers and the rest of the gambling racquets were being sledge-hammered by Eliot Ness. Not to mention booze and broads.
Now, no doubt because too many organized folks are getting rich off it – I mean, besides Ollie North seeking billions in the Iran-contra scheme to sell drugs in American ghettos — we are still losing the long, long bankrupting war on drugs. And would you believe it, the biggest industry in this country — where our politicians can’t agree on how to tax corporations, the rich and lure jobs back to America — is gambling, booze, sex…and, of course, the war on the drugs we all seem to want.
So let’s talk gambling!…
Gambling – like lawyers and the ilk – doesn’t create anything. Except minimum wage jobs and 185-million-to-one odds of winning a big bang…
And it’s no secret that the lottery – the old numbers racquet – is surtax on us poor schmucks being reminded and hustled daily that ‘you can’t win if you don’t play’.
And everybody is just like me. That is, I can resist anything except temptation. We participate in this ‘surtax’. We play because it seems like the only way left for us to get thru our hopelessness.
Well, I got something to share here: I’ve fired up my fallow mathematics neurons and done some calculations: And I figured out that the chances of winning are identical –whether you play or not.
Of course, mathematically somebody eventually must win. And join the elite 1 percent of the country.
But meanwhile folks, we be taking the long pipe. When the government gets involved in anything, almost everything becomes an optical illusion. In other words, what you see ain’t what you are getting –unless we’re talking about a colonoscopy that ain’t done by no doctor. Just dear ol’ Uncle Sam.
Remember the old joke: What’s the difference between the government and the mafia?
The mob is organized.
Well, today the government has really gotten its pernicious magic show together. And now it is really out in front of organized crime. The reality it offers is an illusion. Government folk delude us that our lives are better off than we think. That is, if you actually deem to think about it, somewhere between your desperations and optimisms. And it doesn’t matter whether the fools are in Washington the state house or city hall.
You already know, if you are still working, that any job – outside of government and union sinecures — ain’t paying you enough to live. The cost of everything keeps going up, up and away. And the only thing coming down is our demeanor – and not only to misdemeanors.
Meanwhile, we are ruled by our credit rating. It has become more powerful and less forgiving than G-d. And hell is the unforgiving geeks and their sharpened pencils, gleefully sucking out our lifeblood, making us as miserable as their pathetic little constipated lives. (Remind me to tell you the story of the little house on Reed Street sometime.)
I know you are saying I should be happy for Pedro Quezada, the 44-year-old native Costa Rican who won that big Power Ball jackpot the other week. And I am. Now he doesn’t have to work 15-hour days at his bodega.
But he’s not getting what was advertised. Just like the rest of us ain’t getting what was promised for our taxdollars. Like good schools. And roads. And cops. And affordable healthcare… and all that stuff they got even in Ecuador.
At the same time I am more than a tad volcanic about the hypocrisy in this venal vapid government wasteland.
It is pretty well known that few lotto winners, sports or music stars still have their money after 5 years. Naturally, much of the drain comes from family, friends, charities, business and unsavory types looking for their bite of the apple pie.
You know, where there’s a will there are relatives.
Yet you would think that since we are paying for all those consultants and doctors and advisors on the government payroll, the government would want to see that Pedro got plenty of help to sustain his luck of the draw.
But the only thing most governments want is to help themselves to all our money – that is before the lawyers do. Pedro has already been served an outstanding warrant for back child support – something he probably would have well taken care of without the government putting a sheriff’s gun to his new wallet.
But then again, this is the same government that makes a lot of revenue on turning us into addicts. And then differentiates on which addicts it may deem to help. I mean, it doesn’t arrest alcoholics. But it does incarcerate ‘drug addicts.’ And I ain’t talking just about Big Pharma and controlled substances here.
Look, I don’t know why Pedro’s winning the nation’s fourth largest lottery jackpot lit the fuse on my tampon. Maybe it was just the headlines. They were broadcasting this one big winner. No one happened to mention that there were probably 229 million losers. No doubt because that would be too metaphorical. For there to be a big winner there has to be far more and many bigger losers.
I guess it’s like most stories. We don’t read that nearly 7 billion folks on this planet got along well yesterday. We only hear about the 50 who rob, rape, pillage and maim.
I am happy for Pedro. I guess I just respectfully decline any invitation to join this hallucination. There is nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot. And that’s the government at work. Even if that does sound like an oxymoron.
The lottery is much like my aphorism about the transvestite after 2 a.m. From the shadows she/he is advertising well. But once you get he/she back to your place you suddenly discover her chest is flatter than his workbench.
And that’s when the annuity just became a cash deal.
In the interim the lower half of ‘her’ silky red Victoria Secrets is starting to point in your direction. And you reckon there’s definitely more down there than you wanna manhandle. And that’s when you do the painful math: Win or lose you’re getting screwed.
And that’s the lottery to me. Another lost illusion. And as my dear ol’ bourbon sippin’ Pappy would exhale between omnipotent puffs on his omniscient corn cob pipe: “Son, losing an illusion makes you a whole lot smarter than tripping over the truth.”
But, of course. Obviously It would be grand to win a big bang lottery. I’ve been rich. And I’ve been poor. And rich is definitely better. Perhaps I’m just afraid … of the ineffable outcome: That all my exes would find me again.
Hmm. Talk about some serious hallucinations.
And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…