Life is so serendipitous, my blogfriends. You never know what insignificant circumstances might turn out to be significant.
This morning, Farmer H ignored the paper plate note I left on the kitchen counter. I'm sure you remember our paper plate stationery. I know that Farmer H is familiar with that area of the kitchen counter, because he messes it up with regularity, either piling three-week-old receipts, or leaving grease spots from efforts to feed himself. Here's what my message said:
"Do you have a $5 bill for Genius? [the son formerly known here as #1] Here are five $1s. Or a $10 for two $5s."
Right beside that paper plate note was a $10 bill and five $1 bills. Yet they were as untouched as a scrap of cheddar left by a really smart mouse in a killing machine.
Farmer H had arisen early to go to a yard sale that to hear him tell it stretched the length of I-55. He called me at 7:40 (see, I KNEW he would try to make me wake up early once he retired) and couldn't be understood. His main refrain being, "The reception is terrible down here."
Anyhoo...he called back when I was in the shower (it's like he has special vision, calling at the most inopportune time) around 9:30. Just to say he would be home around 1:00, and that he got my text about neighbor Tommy calling for a ride to the store and bank. I asked why he didn't leave me change according to my paper plate note.
"I didn't see it."
"I am heading to the post office to mail the boys' letters, and you know I always send Genius six dollars, because my mom did that his first year of college, so he could have Chinese food every Friday. I only have a ten or five ones. The ones will make the envelope too heavy for one stamp. It's almost too heavy anyway, with his two scratcher tickets that I sent him. And I don't really want to send him ten dollars."
"No. He can make his own money!"
So...I left the envelopes unsealed. I had a larger one for Genius, too, which contained his casino free night offers. Sometime he and a friend are going to stay a free night at Downstream, the big casino in Oklahoma, near Joplin. Not so much for the gambling, as for the cheap drinks and live band and a room right there on the premises.
Anyhoo...I'm always rushing to get to the main post office before 11:00. The mail doesn't go out until 11:30, but if I rush for 11:00, I know I'll make it. I figured I could stop by Orb K. It's on the way. I could run in and break that $10, and put the $5 in Genius's letter. And what better way to break a $10 bill than to buy a $5 lottery ticket? My plan worked well. I got the newest ticket, the Black and Gold, and a put that fiver into Genius's letter and sealed it.
I had also planned to put that extra ticket into his casino envelope. I was going to have to have it weighed for postage anyway. One $5 ticket doesn't get my blood boiling. I usually get a selection, or my favorite ticket in a higher denomination. Then I thought, "Nah. Genius doesn't need an extra ticket. He's already getting two. Like Farmer H said, 'He can get his own.' He'll be making more than 1.5 times my ending salary when he starts working in January. Time to cut the cord. Farmer H and I are both on a fixed income now."
So, I went to stuff that ticket into a section of T-Hoe's console, and saw that it was ticket number 059. That's the last ticket on the roll. Great. Not one that I would have bought if I knew the number. I was almost sorry that I'd already sealed up Genius's casino envelope, too. I could have sent him that sure-to-be loser, and he would have felt like I was doing him a favor.
I made it to the post office, mailed my letters, got some stamps, went back by Waterside Mart and Casey's and The Devil's Playground, picked up my 44 oz Diet Coke at the gas station chicken store, and went home to make lunch and scratch my tickets.
You know what happened, don't you? That ticket was a winner.
A $100 winner on a $5 ticket. Poor Genius. Should I tell him? So he could see how close he came to that fortune? Right now, he's still a student. Do you know how much alcohol that winner could buy? I feel kind of guilty. But still, Genius has two other tickets like this (okay, maybe not EXACTLY like this) on the way, PLUS six dollars for Chinese food. To tell him might make him feel like I did, back when I read about Waterside Mart selling that $4000 winner to somebody NOT ME.
I think I won't bring it up just yet. Maybe I'll mention it in next week's letter. I'm not sure he even reads them. They're just wrapping for his six dollars and scratchers.