The Idiot Tax

Across America every day, thousands of people play the power ball lottery twice a week. Much more than just delinquent dilettantes who make choices willy-nilly. Nay, these folks carefully choose their lucky numbers after scouring from records of previous winners, emerging ever optimistic with six superbly special numbers. Perhaps the dawn greets their eager eyes every Thursday and Sunday as they patiently pour over the winning numbers. A match maybe? Is this someone’s lucky day?

Or perhaps, like my previous coworkers, they sit together in solemn chapel while the omnipotent box announces numbers one by one. The whole year I worked there, they never won once, but the important thing is that they never gave up. Every evening the routine was the same, on break time we watched the lotto numbers and then we watched Modern Family. To my knowledge, Modern Family was no one’s clear favorite, but it was a tradition. America’s storied history is rife with tradition and false hope, so playing the lottery is about as patriotic as you can get.

Every week, twice a week, I go to the corner store to pay my idiot tax as well. My parents ridicule me, and I suppose it’s somewhat deserved. For those two days though, I can walk around thinking that maybe, just maybe, I won the lottery! I sit on my lunch break at work and think of all the amazing things I could do if money was no issue. Besides all the fiscally responsible things, the first fun thing I would do is buy Generic Pet Store completely out of toys. I would tack them up in a cargo net to the ceiling and when my dog least expects it, I would shower her with more toys than she has imagined in her whole life. The next thing I would do would be to ban people from coming closer than fifty feet of me, but I understand that one will take some time.

So, for the time being, four dollars a week goes into a black hole. Money can’t buy happiness is true but you can buy your best dog friend treats and that’s almost the same thing.


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