Sunday, November 21, 2010
Unemployment Fun Zone: The Whirling Derby
So far in the fourteen days I've been without a job, I've taken up the guitar, re learned drawing techniques, been to Magic Mountain, and sat in the audience of a Kevin Smith podcast. My latest adventure in the jolly life of the jobless took me to a tiny market in Anahiem California. Perhaps rooting through dumpsters? No not yet.
My Friday adventure had me participate in an event thrown by the Lottery. Now I'd never been much for playing the lottery, the only tickets I would ever buy were during huge jackpots. Not like when I was a child and my parents bought me scratchers, apparently I used up all my luck back then. Today, after trading in all my families saved up winning tickets, I got twenty more lottery scratchers and this gave me the option of stepping inside a giant plastic snow globe for twenty seconds. That twenty second period was among the most fun, I've ever had in that short an amount of time. Spinning around like an idiot, and trying to punch out papers whirling around me. With a small crowd cheering for me and after I got over my fear of paper cuts, I managed to grab my fair share of prizes which netted me a cool twenty bucks more than I had spent. Apparently with my natural charisma, I will also be featured on the Orange County Registers website. I'll save the highlights from that interview for you guys to search.
One thing I noticed being the youngest person there and one of only five people there with a grasp on the English language, was a glimmer everyone had in their eyes in that line. It occurred to me some of these people aren't so different from some of my family. At that point it dawned on me, sure every so often the lottery makes a few millionaires but what it gives everyone is a little bit of hope. Most of the people who wait in lines at rat hole convenience stores and either drown a quarter of their pay check or a spare buck they had in their pocket, are people who have settled in jobs they never imagined themselves in or are forced to stay at. The majority of these people realize they will probably never be able to retire on their own or aren't fortunate enough to get the opportunity to save for it, so they invest in different opportunity to trade one dollar for millions. I can't count how many times my friends and I talked about the ridiculously selfish things we would do with that money, including paying someone to talk for us for a year.
No longer will I look down on big Hispanic families, Caucasian alcoholics, and old Japanese couples who played the lottery every week. To me they may not be doing a lot of things right but something they are doing is dreaming. I see even my own dad has realized he will probably have to work until the last possible retirement age but that hasn't stopped him from bringing my mom the occasional lottery ticket. It might seem like a dream but he's happy working and having the attitude "if it happens it happens". You may not be able to give your kids the best life but as long as you can show them your still dreaming, when they grow up they just might grow up with the idea that anything is possible and the point doesn't lie in a giant check it resides in that thought.
- David N.