Thursday, December 19, 2013

What if I had Mega Millions?

On Tuesday I went into a gas station to buy a coffee while a visiting friend and I waited in a two-hour line for the world's best barbecue (at 10a.m. they were already running out of ribs and brisket for slouchers far back in the line like us who only got there one hour before opening, so we wound up eating bbq elsewhere, but that's a story for another day).

On the way out of the gas station the clerk asked me - helpfully - if I was sure I didn't need a Mega Millions ticket too. We shared a laugh and I said no. Gambling in any form isn't in my nature, it's just not fun for me. $648 million is a lot of money, but I've heard the odds are infinitely better if you buy when the pot is down around $20 mill - I don't buy then, so why should I have bought this week?

James bought tickets in the Seattle Airport on the way home for Christmas. You can't get tickets in Alaska and his dad suggested he grab a few. Unfortunately, he wasn't the second as-yet-still-anonymous winner. But what if he had won?

We had this conversation on the phone last night, and not for the first time. Even though I don't buy tickets, I like to fantasize about winning. I know a lot of people like to say "oh I wouldn't really change the way I'm living," I think because it's natural to want to be satisfied with your own life (or to want to give the appearance of being so). But even if you are satisfied, that to me just exhibits a lack of creativity -- there's an awful lot you could do with MEGA MILLIONS.

James said he would finish school (why not?) but wouldn't feel like he had to get a career after that, that he'd probably just work on projects. Then next summer, we'd go on a giant American road trip (we're both most interested in seeing the South) in his VW Golf. Eat fancy food, stay in fancy hotels.

Then, I told him, when we got tired of the Golf, we could drive somewhere remote, stick a rock on the accelerator and shoot it off a cliff, then just hire someone to pick us up and take us to a car dealership.

James was aghast. He's a little attached. But then he got into the spirit and suggested we could buy the cliff. Then we decided we could continue to buy cars and shoot them off the cliff until the pile of cars was just an extension of the mountain. And then we decided we could shoot everything off the cliff when we were done with it: friends, personal trainers, maids...

If I had Mega Millions, I think I would live a pretty itinerate life for at least five years, switching between cities close to friends and family and countries I want to visit (presently, Japan is top of the list for both of us).

But eventually I'd have to produce something - maybe I'd back movies, or start a literary journal. Right now though, shooting a car off a cliff sounds pretty cool.

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