Wordlotto ©2007


Wordlotto ©2007

8 – Part 2 A senior’s moment.

“Actually the beginning of the WordMeter was before my time, but my parents repeated the story many times …lest we forget.” He said with solemnity, lifting his glass. I had

almost forgotten how a person without a WordMeter could talk so much. It was overwhelming “It all stemmed from Americans unwillingness to think beyond the immediate payout”, he continued “things like “Instant Millionaire” and “Super Jackpot Powerball” had a stranglehold on America. The public slowly lost their ability to deal with everyday issues and long term planning. All they were

willing to digest were tax cuts and low interest rates in order to get more money to keep scratching and picking. This resulted in illiquidity and impending economic disaster. deficits. The government had no money and this drove up The deficits required the government to borrow

more money, which in turn increased interest rates, causing unemployment to rise and government spending to get be cut. Anyway, Joe Six-pack couldn’t afford to buy lotto tickets to “Hit-It”! Jackpots started to shrink and people became 2

Wordlotto ©2007

totally depressed.

At one point people would drift from

M©Donalds to M©Donalds collecting Monopoly game cards in order to satisfy their addiction. M©Donalds finally decided to discontinue the promotion. It got so bad that in order to “Hit-It” people would step into traffic and get hit by an insured driver. But since so many drivers couldn’t

afford their insurance premiums, the odds were against you even if you were willing to be dragged across the pavement all the way to the hospital. These were extreme behaviors, but they illustrate how the culture had degraded. Something had to be done. ‘No Lotto – No Hope’ was the battle cry. The

Americans turned to their elected officials. government was only too eager to help. simple.

Its proposal was

Instead of playing Lotto with money, why not play Talk is cheap and there is plenty to go

with words? around.”

I’m not sure I’m buying this story, but I keep listening anyway. I am fascinated by the way this guy talks with such careless consumption of unnecessary words. “The idea was a hit!” he explained, “Within months, it seemed like everyone slapped on a WordMeter. At first, it was a voluntary thing, you see. But as time went on, the pressure started for everyone to strap on a WordMeter. Anyone who refused to submit was eventually forced by law 3

Wordlotto ©2007

to comply. My parents were in the group that didn’t cooperate when the law was passed. We were ostracized but

that was just the beginning. They vandalized our house, terrorized my mother; they pitted the neighborhood kids against me and generally made our lives impossible. The

breaking point came when the neighbors threatened to cut my tongue off. If it weren’t for my rotting teeth and He claims. I ask. I have lived in

horrendous breath, I’d be mute.” “Did you finally submit?”

“Never. My parents decided to flee. seventeen different countries.

Always moving when the Even

WordMeter became the fashionable trend from America.

the Arabs, who are supposed to hate our guts, have adopted the WordMeter to silence their women.” “So couldn’t you get in trouble coming back here?’ “I’m not getting any younger and I get home sick. After my parents passed on, I looked for ways to return home. I first gave serious thought to submitting to a

WordMeter. If everyone else had one, how bad could it be? But every time I stopped short, owing to the memory of my parents. And then I met her.” of Ms. Third World. I turned to look at the stage. At that moment, Rob rolled a five-dollar bill into a tight tube and held it 4 He smiled in the direction

Wordlotto ©2007

between his teeth.

He then rested his head on the stage so After a

Ms. World could smother his face with her breasts.

moment Rob began to twitch his legs, as if he was running out of air. The discriminating audience roared with approval and started a countdown to see how long he could last. I turned back to the odd little man. “When I’m with her, people tolerate me. She opens doors.” The old man brings his story to an end. I respond, staring into

“Wow! That must be great.” space.

“To speak freely without a WordMeter?” asks.

The old man

“Yes, of course.” Actually, I was talking about traveling with Ms. World. “It’s not all that great. Nobody wants to listen to an old man.” He said as he slipped off the barstool. I hate talking to old

I can’t argue with that. people.

Most have spent their whole lives saving up words

– only to turn around to use them in their final years to bitch and moan about everything. old. Miss Third World’s act is over. I turned to my mysterious companion but he is gone. I see him charging the 5 Words are wasted on the

Wordlotto ©2007

audience wildly handling out business cards. The crowd is screaming for more. “Got Milk! Got Milk!”

I see Rob walking toward me. “Heck, I’m glad your back, we’ve been here over an hour. What the hell am I going to tell my boss?” I whine

as he sits on the empty stool. He ignores my comment and hands me a small menu with a variety of lurid acts that Ms. World will do for a nominal fee. Rob looks at me with puppy dog eyes. “What?” I ask. Can I borrow some?”

“I don’t have any more money.

“Hell no! Use your credit card.” “They don’t take credit cards,” he says shoving the menu in my face. I can see that the thought of missing the opportunity to explore Miss World’s lubricity is tearing him apart. “Come on. You can take some money from the ATM over there. I’ll pay you back tomorrow.” He says pointing

to an ATM machine in the corner. “And what do I say to my wife when she checks the statement and sees withdrawal from the Batman?” “They use a fake name on the statement. know. I argue.

She’ll never

Besides, you need some money to take a taxi.

Because I’m not leaving.” 6

Wordlotto ©2007

I curse Rob and every member of his direct lineage. He’s got me. I walk over to the ATM to take out $100. I

plug my card into the machine and out comes purple dollars with pictures of topless girls. “What the …” I turned to Rob asking him to explain. He just grabbed all $100 and disappeared backstage the same way the little man had gone. I was now late for work, penniless and forced to walk back to the office. The walk gave me time to reflect on the nature of friendship. I wasn’t angry with Rob; I can understand a man following his primal nature. Nothing wrong with that. If you ask me, the real problems start when men try to repress their urges. They get weird and start repressing everyone else as well. Don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t fart, don’t speak. That sounded like a liberal thought that just went through my head. Maybe the little man’s story had affected me. I know to stay away from such dangerous intellectual acrobatics so I decided to employ my thoughts elsewhere. For the rest of the road I pondered on the peculiar allure of a formidable pair of breasts.

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