Venus’s Mega Million Dollar Afternoon

Venus's Mega-Million Dollar Day

It’s Big Money Day. It’s Mega Million Lottery Night in the USA. Close to a billion dollars can be won tonight for the person who beats the $176,000,000 to one odds. And it could be ME.

Well…probably not really. But I don’t want to miss out on the party that everyone is enjoying. I rush up town late in the afternoon to buy some tickets.

I’m in the grocery store and the line is too long for me at the Lottery counter.

I drive down the street to Mike’s Liquor, run by the two Mid-Eastern brothers.

There’s lots of cars and motorcycles in front of their little store. “Karrooom, Karooom,” more motorcycles are charging into the rutted dirt lot.

Inside the store, there’s a long line. A big lady with tattoos all over her muscular arms is buying “a pack of Camels and five Mega Tickets.” Next to her is a woman who is buying tickets for herself and her father, who stands to the side. “He can’t speak English,” the woman says.

The next person ahead of me is a man with a frizzy, curly brown beard. He buys a handful of tickets. “I’m gonna’ win!” he shouts to those of us in line.

Next up is me. I don’t know how to buy lottery tickets but I gamely say, “I want two tickets from the computer and I want two tickets where I choose the numbers myself.”

“Go outside,” says the brother at the computer.

“Go outside?” I say.

“Must go outside.”

“Why?” I’m flustered and puzzled. I’ve been watching everyone else buy their tickets at the counter.

“I want,” I repeat, “four tickets, two by computer and two from me.”

“Here!”  the brother at the computer demands as he reaches for and takes my five dollar bill.

He does something on the computer, hands me the tickets and a dollar.

“What?” I say. I look at the tickets. There are four sets of numbers on one ticket.

“No, no! I only want two computer tickets and I need two sets of numbers that I choose myself.”

The brother reaches over and snatches my tickets. “Fine! I take!”

“NO!” I shout as I grab for them. “They might be winners.”

Brother throws his big hairy arms up in the air.

Brother #2 shouts, “Go outside! Outside! Tickets outside.”

I jam my ticket into my jean’s pocket and go outside. What the heck? What’s wrong with these people?

Three men are leaning against a little table that holds a big spindle of various tickets.

Oh.

There are all kinds of tickets here but I know I want the Mega ones. Nobody at the spindle appears to speak English.

I take two sheets and study them. I can’t figure out what to do and I don’t want to screw it up and lose almost a billion dollars.

The tickets are in my hands and I’m sweating as I take them inside.

Brother #2 is leaning on the far end of the counter.

“I don’t know what to do with these tickets,” I tell him.

Everyone is watching me, of course.

Brother shows me where to mark in the first numbers and the place to put in the extra number.

Laying the papers on the counter in front of him, I start to circle the numbers.

“No, NO!” he says sternly. “Won’t read the numbers. Put big “X” on the numbers.

I put a big “X” on a number.

“No, NO!” Brother slaps his head. “Too big ‘X.’ Won’t read numbers!”

My yellow shirt is sticking to me and my bra has jumped partly over my boobs and moved well up into my arm pits. My hair is really wet. I am mortified. I have ruined the two tickets! I am pretty sure everyone here is smart with the lottery and I am stupid.

“Outside!” brother commands. “Out…side!”

Once again, I head outside where I get two more tickets. Carefully, slowly, completely, I make “X’s” that touch each little box where each number lives.

Will this work? Inside I go again, where I wait in line.

When I get to Brother # 1 at the computer, he grunts. “Yes. Ummph!” He turns down his small mouth and raises his big eyebrows and shoves the tickets into the computer. He hands me the tickets. I hope to hell they are the right numbers.

“Well…I might win,” I say.

The brothers look at me and scowl deeply.

“And if I win, you’ll get a big cut!”

“Ahh!” The brother’s are suddenly more agreeable. They give me tiny, forced smiles; only lips, no teeth showing.

Yes. They would do well to be agreeable because when we meet again when I have won almost a billion dollars and they get a hefty percentage…they will regret that they were not more pleasant.

And isn’t that the way it is in life? Maybe you are darling and polite every day but the first time you can’t contain yourself and you give someone the finger on the roadway you meet them right away at the gas station or in the grocery store or they turn out to be your boyfriend or your girlfriend’s mother.

Too bad the brothers have not learned this lesson of understanding and niceness to all, when possible. If I had won…perhaps they would have learned it.

Oh well, there’s always next week with another Mega ticket opportunity to teach the brothers how to behave. I hope they will have the opportunity to learn from me really quickly. It will benefit all of us.

*(What is your experience? Have you ever been less then pleasant with someone you didn’t know and had to “pay” later for your crankiness?)

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