Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom makes no secret of her fondness for playing the lottery. Scratcher tickets, specifically. It is a rare day goes by without Mrs. HM buying a ticket. At the end of the week, she buys two tickets specifically for Genius.
Even though Genius still lives in Missouri, and could buy his own tickets, what with the exorbitant salary he is raking in right out of college...I continue to send him two tickets per week. Just because I can. Let the record also show that I have cut off his $6 per week for Chinese food, which I continued in honor of my mom, who always sent him that, but passed away the second semester of Genius's sophomore year. I figure he can afford his own Chinese food now, and I doubt that he can find it for $6 in Kansas City.
Some weeks, I'm in a rush, and stop to get Genius's tickets on the way to the main post office to mail his letter. Other times, I'm prepared. I buy his tickets along with mine, all in one batch, and set aside two random ones for him once I get home. That's what I did today. Tucked them in the envelope already addressed to him, just like the money I send The Pony instead, him living nowhere near the Missouri border, with no wherewithal to cash in a winner if he got one.
Well. I had a particularly sad scratching session today. All the more disappointing, since yesterday I doubled my money! I was not content to have only ONE winning ticket, in the amount of $10. I kept thinking about Genius's tickets, laying within arm's reach, inside that envelope. He'd never know. I could get him two more tickets on the way to the post office. Surely, by the law of averages, there should be two more winners from the batch I'd bought today.
Usually, I can resist that thought. "No. I bought those for Genuis. They're meant for him. Hands off. You can get yourself more tomorrow." And that works.
Today, it didn't.
I took Genius's two tickets out of that envelope, and scratched them. The first one won $5. I KNEW there was a winner waiting! The second ticket appeared to be a loser, until I scratched its back. They don't all have playable backs. But this one did, and won $10.
That made me feel bad! Not only had I taken $15 of winnings from Genius, but I'd taken away the joy of winning, and thinking for a few nanoseconds that he might have a big jackpot. I confessed what I'd done to Farmer H over supper. He said, "You're not going to tell him, are you?" And I said that I WAS, and that I was also sending him the $15 with that revelation, AND two tickets to scratch.
I asked Farmer H if he had change for a twenty. He said all he had was a ten and a five. A likely story! I traded him a twenty for them, though.
So...my dishonesty has cost me five dollars of tip money to Farmer H for providing the smaller bills for Genius, plus ten more dollars to buy two more tickets, so I can send them as usual. Don't tell me not to send the tickets (which may be losers...or WILL they). And don't tell me to withhold Genius's rightful winnings.
I'm in the hole $15 for my lack of willpower. That'll learn me!