Sweet Gummi Mary! It's hard being so gosh-darn lucky!
Today I cashed in a $40 winning scratch-off ticket, and a $10 winner, too, for good measure. I'll be ding dang donged if I didn't win $60. Yes, I could have taken those winners and scooped up the cash and used it for something concrete. Food, perhaps, for The Pony. Savings for his college fund. Or spent it on myself over the next several months, for 62-and-a-half soda refills. Farmer H? Meh. He would want to spend it on actual concrete.
But where's the fun in using that money for household expenses? The point of cashing in your winners is to buy more tickets in hopes of more winners. I daresay Farmer H's auction bargains don't pay back. And how much time can he spend, really, sitting in his BARn or cabin admiring them? That Little Barbershop of Horrors would eat up my winnings if I let him get his mitts on them. He spends on his hobbies, I spend on mine.
We are not here, though, to discuss Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's gambling addiction. We are here to talk about the rudeness of people thwarting her in her quest for MO LOTTERY, MO LOTTERY, MO LOTTERY!
I stopped in the gas station chicken store to cash in the $40 winner. People were standing akimbo, blocking my way to the proper checkout line, forcing me down the candy aisle and around and up the soda fountain and chicken aisle. I passed a dude waiting for his Everyman's Dream. You remember that, don't you? Two breasts and two thighs? That left me behind a tall teenage girl with a bun on her head, and a middle-aged woman with a bag of chicken boxes. They were together, I think, but not with the man and tween-aged boy loitering at the side counter doing something with their Free Gas string of red entry tickets.
The poor clerk, a somewhat older guy who's always nice to me, was really piling up the customers. Not his fault. They wouldn't move on. You'd think they'd been promised 40 square feet and a chicken. They were really putting down roots there on their new homesteads.
Take the chicken lady, PLEASE! Yeah, I had to fit in a Henny Youngman joke. See what I did there? Chicken? Henny? I crack myself up sometimes. So that chicken lady took her change. Took her receipt. Fumbled around in her purse. Messed something up. Refumbled. Took out her change purse and deposited her change and then put the change purse back in her purse. If that last sentence just annoyed the not-heaven out of you reading it, imagine how Mrs. Hillbilly Mom felt LIVING IT.
I know that clerk could see my winning ticket in my hand. He knows that's all I do lately. No chicken. No soda. Just cash in a ticket and get more tickets. Easy peasy. If I could have reached over that tall girl's bun, or across that chicken lady's purse, he could have been inserting my winner into the ticket scanner, and getting my winner's receipt ready so all I had to do was point to my tickets and say I was taking ten dollars back in cash. You gotta go big or go broke playing the scratchers. One ticket here and there won't keep you Even Steven. Just ask one-ticket-a-blue-moon Farmer H.
I finally got my turn with the chicken dude, now with Dream in hand, breathing down my neck. I went out the door and turned left to find T-Hoe around the side of the building blocked in by a tiny brown pickup. I was parallel to the side of the building, right between the parking lines, and that tiny truck was crossways in front of T-Hoe's hood. Or bonnet, if you're British. And congratulations on that whole island thing, thanks for telling me. I don't know what's wrong with people these days.
T-Hoe backed up like a champ, dual side mirrors, you know, and we went out the back entrance and up the side street. Well. There was the chicken lady and her bunned daughter sitting at the picnic tables eating chicken! I haven't seen anybody there since that lady laid her cigarette down on the seat, found it on the ground when she came back, and still picked it up and smoked it.
Never a dull moment in Hillmomba on a Sunday just before noon.