You know how everyone in Buffalo goes around saying, "When I win the lottery..."
Well, I have!
I know, I know, the old joke, if you play the lottery, you have to buy a ticket. That is not always true! This ticket was a Christmas present from my friend Melinda. It arrived in a Christmas card and I scratched it off and it seemed -- it seemed -- I won $25.
But what to do? Coincidentally it was just revealed that Buffalo is the lottery capital of the world. But I had never played the lottery in my life, aside from a few times when the jackpot went so high that a bunch of us at work entered it together as a joke. Back then, though, someone else always took care of things.
So I did with my winning ticket what I do with all confusing paperwork. I stuck it in my wallet and forgot about it and I went back to working on Leonard Pennario.
Last night, though, I remembered. I had been to my Pilates class and there is this wine store next to the Buffalo Athletic Club where they give you a discount because you belong to the gym and are working off those calories.
They had a lottery sign in the window. So I went on in.
I waited until nobody else was at the counter. I did not want to publicize my winnings! When no one was there I sidled up with my two bottles of German Pinot Noir. Yes, there is such a thing! Pinot Noir from Germany. Anyway, I explained my situation to the slug clerk. He listened silently.
Then he took my ticket. "We'll see if it scans as a winner," he said.
What, did he think I was making this up? For a minute I worried.
He fed the card into a machine.
What happened next killed me. The machine made this big loud jingly exultant casino noise. Bing, bada bing bing bing! The slug wordlessly handed me $25. I would kind of have liked a smile, you know? Or a congratulations. Something!