In lieu of winning the lottery and retiring to my private lighthouse off the coast of Maine, I thought I’d come write this blog post instead. It’s almost as good.
It reminds of of a time when I was a young doofus at around the age of 9. One day I received a piece of mail that was actually addressed to me. [Side note: For you youngsters, back in those days “mail” consisted of pieces of paper that were wrapped up in other pieces of paper, affixed with a small, colorful piece of paper saying that you had paid the United States Post Office to manhandle, abuse, and mislay said pieces of paper, and then hand delivered to someone … eventually. It was a beautiful system, really, before it was supplanted by email and the internet.) Anyway, back to the story.
I hardly ever got mail (even back then), so I was a bit gobsmacked. It was addressed to me and everything. I tore into it eagerly and found a bunch of brightly-colored pieces of paper assuring me that I had absolutely, positively, guaranteed, sho’ nuff no foolin’ won one of the following prizes.
A multi-caret diamond ring
A genuine ruby pendant
A polishing cloth suitable for polishing jewelry
I was beside myself with exuberance. I had won! Me! A regular, everyday, 9 year old doofus from the backwaters of Mississippi. Imagine that! There must indeed be a benevolent force in the universe that looks out for doofi (the plural of “doofus”).
I could barely contain my excitement as I sent off my pre-paid envelop to the sweepstakes company … along with my payment for a year’s subscription to “Gem World Magazine”. Though I had to deplete my stash of paper route money to subscribe to the magazine, it was only fair since they were sending me valuable jewelry. It was the least I could do. And just imagine the look of joy on my Mom’s face when I presented her with her own genuine diamond ring or, worst case, a ruby pendant.
The ensuing days and weeks drug by as slow as molasses at the South Pole, but my eagerness, enthusiasm, and anticipation did not flag at all. I was the very picture of confidence and optimism. If ever my hope began to fail me, I just pictured how happy my Mom would be upon receiving her diamond ring or ruby pendant.
I got my first edition of Gem World Magazine in the mail, so I know they had gotten my claim for my guaranteed prize. That bolstered my enthusiasm, since now I was just waiting for my prize to arrive.
And then one day it showed up. I tore into the envelope eagerly. I was practically shaking in anticipation. Imagine my joy and my excitement when I opened up my very own . . . felt polishing cloth. It measured about 4 inches by 6 inches and was a pale sky blue. Other than the fact it was perfectly rectangular, it looked like something that could have been picked up off of the floor of a sewing factory.
That was the day I realized I was going to have to toil for a living, because Providence did not often smile upon poor children growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in a Southern backwater.
It was that valuable lesson in life that makes me forget more often than not to pick up a lottery ticket on the way home from work on Wednesdays and Fridays. Why should I when I have this perfectly acceptable blog? I think of this blog as the felt polishing cloth of life. It may not be a diamond ring, but by golly, you could sure give it a good shine if you had one.