I’m 99% sure I threw away a million dollars in 1985.
Popsicle® was running a promotion at the time where baseball stuff would be printed at the business end of the stick. The TV ad campaign that spread the word starred a strapping young man with wavy blonde hair, not at all unlike John Schneider, my favorite Duke Of Hazzard. My mental VHS of this commercial is pretty garbled, save for when he takes that one last beauty bite, holds the stick up for all to see and says, instructively, “Home Run.”
Being six and not diabetic, I ate my fair share of Popsicles® that summer, and, being me, I never got a “Home Run”. I don’t think I ever got a double, single, or foul tip. “Please Try Again” became the denouement of every summertime treat.
I’d built up a good disappointment callous by the end of the summer, such that when I ate that fateful Popsicle® with “Grand Slam” upon the stick, I had no idea what it meant. I knew only that it didn’t say “Home Run”, which, according to John Schneider, meant I didn’t win. Into the trash went that trash, which again was all I understood a non-winning Popsicle® stick to be.
At dinner that night, I asked my Dad what a Grand Slam was. He told me. I said, “So that’s better than a home run?!”
I don’t have a strong sense of what may have happened afterwards. I think I remember my parents reading the Popsicle® box, searching for rules and prizes. Sometimes I can picture them looking through the trash, but then I can’t remember if I ate the winning Popsicle® at home or at Nana’s house, which means the story at this point is more projection and assumption than recall.
If I had really, truly thrown away a million dollar Popsicle® stick, I’m sure my parents would have searched the trash with passion and fervor, and not stopped until they found it. I doubt they would have never brought this story up later in life. So it’s more like I’m 1% certain I threw away a million dollars in 1985. But that 1% has become a constant. I can’t shake the sense that I tossed away my once-in-a-lifetime, dumb luck, million dollar chance.
This is why I’ll never win the lottery, which is why I never play the lottery, which means this long-held likely-misremembered anecdote has probably saved me a couple thousand dollars over the years. Yes, it’s at the cost of the hour or so per week the average lottery player spends fantasizing about what they’ll do with their winnings, but I’ve never been wholly comfortable dreaming big anyway. I tend to dream about the things I already have, and how nice it is that I have them.
There’s a sixth installment of the epic car poem ”Fast and Furious” coming out soon. Here’s what you need to know if you’ve never seen a Fast or a Furious movie, but want to see them all in reverse chronological order starting with number six:
1. Air Conditioning, Power Locks, STICKER SHOCK
2. Not The Rock
3. Speed Starring Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper
4. Video Game THRILLS TO THE BONE
5. “check the gate”
6. Rack AND Pinion
6. Extra six
7. Exotic Locations
8. Should be nine
9. Do NOT Try This At Home
Now you’re ready to watch those movies or read those novelizations. ADULTS ONLY!
60 days. 60 Tumblr posts. Part One here, now, wherein I allude to the near life experience of Friday’s meeting, and how I’ve got 60 days left to tread water. Maybe less. Then, I pick a direction and start swimming.
Robert Frost only had two roads in his wood. I’ve got three, four if you count doing nothing. I get Corleoned every time I try to start this med school thing. Life really does seem to be playing hard to get, which is such a waste of everyone’s time.
I’m going to write something here on Tumblr every day for sixty days, because that’s so fucking hard.
• Returned to hockey
• Returned to college
• Returned to auditioning
• Returned to not auditioning
• Returned to Blue Lagoon
• Returned to Disney World
• Returned to packing and unpacking
• Returned to car payments
• Returned to Becky 365 times
• Returned to Pittsburgh too few times
• Returned to listmaking