My lottery winnings are piling up. Who knew I was so lucky?
It’s something of an adage among journalists and writers that having a weekly column is like being married to a nymphomaniac ‘— it sure sounds like a sweet deal and in the beginning it gets pretty wild. But it’s inevitable that sooner or later the weekly columnist approaches the blank sheet and says to him or herself, ‘“Hoo boy, here we go again.’”
This is not one of those weeks. In fact, there is so much to write about this week that I have been finding myself wishing I was married to two nymphomaniacs, but then I remind myself that not every week is like this one. This was the week Michael Jackson walked out of the courtroom a free man, the week President Bush dined with a porn star and the week the autopsy of Terry Schiavo was made public, showing all her would-be saviors once and for all (hopefully) that there was nothing left to save.
This was also the week that our website, yesweekly.com, cleared 50,000 hits, a number that can be attributed in no small part to our dedication in covering the Hooters beat.
Things start to happen, by the way, when you crack the 50,000 mark. Your name rises in the ranks of Google searches, which are largely based on hit counts and, in our case, stories from the site make it onto the Google newswire. These developments have made us feel very high-profile in our little offices on the outskirts of town.
But even this is not the biggest news of the week, the story that I’ll fork over to my slutty little column and let her have her way with. The big news is this:
I have won the lottery.
I found out by e-mail this week. That’s right ‘— a million bucks, and I believe that all of it is tax free because it’s the Canadian lottery. I don’t remember buying a ticket, but who’s gonna quibble with details like that when he’s staring smack at a million dollar pile of loot? Not this guy. There’s also a bit of confusion on my part: the e-mail said that I had to get my money from a bank in South Africa, which is about as far away from Canada as you can get, being in a different hemisphere and all. Something to do with the Olympics. But hey ‘— I checked the numbers on the Canadian lottery website they provided and the numbers are good.
And listen to this: before I could even answer the e-mail, I noticed another one from a company called AS CV telling me I had won another lottery in the Netherlands, a million Euros this time, worth about $1.2 mil at today’s exchange rate, sponsored (according to the e-mail) by ‘“Mr. Bill Gates of Microsoft Inc., [and] eminent personalities like the Sultan of Brunei.’”
That’s pretty fancy company.
And then ‘— this part you’ll never believe ‘— then I see something from London in my in file and it says that I won another drawing, the Orbit Sweepstakes, with a purse of ‘£650,000. That’s $1.18 million American, my friends, and certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Then things in my e-mailbox started to get weird, probably because word had gotten out about my trifecta. I expected the local and national press to latch onto the story (none did ‘— shame on you guys) but I didn’t expect that my fame and sudden fortune would have such an immediate and international effect on the reputation of my character. People began seeking me out for help, which I guess happens to rich people all the time.
The first plea came from Evang Marttha Koroma, the daughter of a deceased lawman from Nigeria. The poor woman is dying, it seems, from a liver problem, and she has no use for the money accumulated by her husband, a Brit who is also deceased. She says she wants me to disseminate her wealth ‘— more than $15 million ‘— ‘“for the work of God all over the world.’”
Isn’t that beautiful?
Then a man from Senegal who found himself reborn on his deathbed asked me to take what remained of his fortune after his kids picked it apart ‘— $8 million ‘— to distribute to ‘“charity organizations’” in the US. He said I could keep 10 percent.
Rose Muthulabi offered me 20 percent of the $18 million her dead husband kept in his safe if I would only help her and her surviving children move to the States and help them invest the rest.
A Dr. Joshua Vosloo offered me 20 points on the $9.7 million he says he pinched from a South African gold and diamond mining operation if only I would invest the rest for his family, whom he plans on moving overseas soon.
I even got an offer in French from a woman named Tatiana which, when translated, spells out an offer for a piece of her $20.8 million that’s been sitting in a bank since 1990.
So as you can see, my own week was probably the most interesting in the news cycle. Though it’s a shame that I couldn’t finish the piece I’ve been working on about the super-psycho relationship between Tom Cruise and whatshername. (I’m not buying it, by the way.)
To comment on this Crashing the Gate, e-mail Brian at email@example.com.