Do you remember when, as a child, you would see something in a magazine and think to yourself, “I WISH I had that!” For me, this was typically the latest Veronica Lodge outfit in my Archie comic book. Say what you will about Ronnie, but that girl had a killer wardrobe. The best part was that there was a small part of you that actually believed that if you merely wished hard enough – you *would* get that double breasted trench coat you were coveting so hard. (What can I say? Even six year old Maggie could get on board with fashionable work wear.) Well, as is the usual course of these things, young Maggie quickly discovered that things don’t typically work that way. In fact, it became obvious very early on that, while I have always lived a very lucky life in general, luck was never one of those things that I was actually lucky about. This is a nice albeit slightly convoluted way of saying: I never win anything.
I sincerely mean that. Scratch off tickets? Nope. I could scratch that sucker with a 2,000 year old Roman minted coin and I still wouldn’t win a brass farthing. Call-in radio shows? My phone invariably chooses that moment to remind me that it hasn’t been turned off in 73 days and needs a good reboot RIGHT.THIS.SECOND or it may just explode.
I hardly ever step foot into a casino; mostly because I’m convinced the sounds and smells are specifically created with insanity in mind*, but also because I know there’s no point. I won’t win. Basically, if it requires luck, you are better off staying far, far away from me.
Until today. Today I was notified that I had actually (drumroll please) won something. Fans of the cult classic The Jerk will understand when I say that I feel like Navin upon discovering his name in the phone book.
Navin R. Johnson: The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!
Harry Hartounian: Boy, I wish I could get that excited about nothing.
Navin R. Johnson: Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 – Johnson, Navin R.! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity – your name in print – that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.
Of course, Jerk fans (if you haven’t seen this movie yet, get thee to Netflix/Amazon immediately) know that the next part of this interaction is a sniper going through that very same phone book and choosing Navin Johnson’s name at random for sniping. And therein lies the rub. Let me extrapolate this for you: I have won something – but there is a catch.
In this case, the catch is what we won: A family four pack of tickets to the Octonauts Live. The Octonauts, for those not of the parental persuasion (and if this applies to you, please bear with me here. Obnoxiously unnecessary description of a children’s tv show to follow:), follows an underwater exploring crew made up of stylized anthropomorphic animals who go on undersea adventures. The show does focus on the exploration/discover of real life marine creatures, but I have difficulty taking this seriously when it’s coming from the mouth of a talking penguin/medic who is making nice with his captain – an anthropomorphized polar bear. (For the record, Captain Barnacles would eat the crap out of Peso the penguin. If they didn’t reside on OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE PLANET, YO. Boom. Science.) Compounding matters is the fact that the brave Octonauts crew employs a team of half vegetable/half fish servants called the Vegimals broadly and with names like Hallibeet (half halibut/half beet) and Yamchovy (half yam/half anchovy) individually. Also there is 90 minutes of this. Live.
The upshot is that the kind purveyor of this prize also included a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant that happens to serve the best damn bloody marys this side of Wisconsin**.
Suffice it to say that I intend to drown my sorrows ahead of time thoroughly. And if things turn out the way I hope, I subsequently won’t have to restrain myself from charging the stage and attempting to eat Tominnow, delicious Tominnow. These are the things parents do for their kids.
*This guy agrees with me: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-excess/201307/the-money-maze
**Apparently, Wisconsin wins as the state where the most bloody marys are consumed. Or, perhaps more aptly (since this is based on Yelp data) the state where the largest concentration of whiny bloody mary drinkers are located.