Moving but not winning

Over the weekend, the Star moved to Altgeld Hall. In the general spirit of moving, my column was switched over to this location. Unlike Altgeld, this spot is comfortable.

I feel I should explain why I am in a new location—first of all, according to the international research organization FACT (Fabrications Andy Created Today), Southerners are less likely to read this page than the “Issues” pages. This goes along with the fact that I was tired of reading complaints about me right above my column. Also, my editor said something like, “If you’re going to rip off Mike Royko, you might as well be in the same kind of format.” Finally, and most importantly, I chose to move to this spot so I wouldn’t have to wear a tie for my stupid mug shot.

Now that I’m here, I feel I should have something intelligent to say. But, unfortunately, although the appearance is different, the message is still the same. That is, there are no profound words to be found here.

To tell you the truth, though, I wasn’t planning on ever writing another column again. If things had gone the way I thought they would, I wouldn’t even be in DeKalb right now. I was ready to quit last Friday—I even had the resignation letter written and everything, which stated:

To whom it may concern:

I quit! I no longer need this stinking job. I’m rich! I quit! Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!

You see, I really, really thought I was going to win $40,000,000 from Publishers Clearinghouse. I thought I had done everything right: I ordered stupid magazines I can’t afford, I pasted all the right stickers in the right spots, I even memorized my lucky prize numbers. All day Friday I expected a knock at the door or a phone call.

But, it was not to be and I don’t think it’s fair. It’s always old people who win these contests. When was the last time a 21-year-old won millions of dollars? I thought I’d be the first.

Maybe the contests are fixed. Most older people probably don’t live long enough to collect all the money. So, the company doesn’t actually lose 40 mil.

It’s also disappointing because I had plans for all that money. I’d squander it foolishly. I’d buy houses and boats and cars, I’d gamble and I’d go on expensive vacations. I’d have hundreds of new friends who I’d have to take care of. I would never go to school or work again. Then, in 20 years, I’d be broke and stupid and have to live a real life.

So maybe it’s better this way. It’s weird how the idea of big bucks brings out the worst in people. Greed, jealousy, corruption, hatred: they’re all tied in with money. The fatter a person’s wallet is, the more bad qualities s/he possesses (in most cases). Money is the true evil in the world, and it’s what everyone wants. I guess, in a way, I’m glad I didn’t win.

But then again, maybe the winner didn’t turn in the winning numbers and they’ll draw another winning number…