As a co-worker was my witness, I solemnly swore that the Florida lottery scratch-off card in my hand was the last one I would ever buy.
Had to swear to somebody.
I have been faithfully buying one $2 scratch-off ticket once a week for about four years. Hereís why:
A. As the saying goes, ďsomebody has to win.Ē
B. I want to retire before Iím at risk of being the subject of an end-of-life decision.
C. Iím mathematically challenged.
So I scratched my ticket, and lo and behold, I didnít win $1,000 a week for life.
In fact, Iíve never won more than $4 off any lottery card in the four years I have been playing the game. When I do win, I usually buy another ticket. And lose again.
Without consulting my accountant, I came to the conclusion recently that Iíve spent more than $448 on lottery tickets in the past four years or so. Thatís a waste of beer money.
Guess Iím just not lucky, either. I donít seem to win at games of chance. Every time I try, I seem to end up in jail. I stink at Monopoly.
Tried betting on the slot machines in Las Vegas a few decades ago, and all I ever got was zapped, thanks to the static electricity. Never seem to get anything higher in poker than a one-of-a-kind. Since Iím no longer going to play the lottery, I have to gamble on something. Iíve always embraced the competitive spirit.
So, Iíve decided to gamble on a sport I know something about: the Dunedin Duck Derby, a rubber duck race to be held June 22 at Weaver Park.
I have a lot of experience with fake ducks. In 2006, I took a picture of a decoy on a lake in Seminole, thinking that it was a real duck. A reader sent me a letter pointing out that I had run a picture of a fake duck in our newspaper. Which goes to show you that if it looks like a duck and moves like a duck, it might not be a damn duck.
It didnít quack, which should have tipped me off.
Since then, one of my friends, at least she calls herself that, has been buying me rubber ducks. I have a flock, gaggle or whatever you call a shelf full of ducks, Iím wondering if the duck derby directors will let me bring my own duck. I swear it doesnít have a propeller.
I took the jaws of life to my wallet and spent $5 to sponsor a rubber duck. Its name is ďDack.Ē After all, the duck derbyís for a good cause, the Dunedin Historical Museumís programs. And it certainly is a better investment than a lottery ticket.
And Iíll be there rooting for my duck: ďGo you dumb @#$ duck.! Youíre lagging behind!Ē
Maybe I need to bring some cheerleaders to the event.
ďAnybody want to sponsor a rubber duck for the derby?Ē I asked my staff. Nobody even raised an eyebrow.
Theyíre going to be soooo jealous when I bring home a prize.
But it would be my luck that my duck does an about face and heads for shore during the race just like the players in the electric football game I had as a kid Ė running the wrong way to the goal line. If my investment does that, heís going to be a dead Dack.
Iím ready for the race. Up with ducks. Down with the lottery.
Folks will be coming from near and far to compete in the Dunedin Duck Derby.