Today, I celebrated International Women’s Day by buying my wife a valuable lottery ticket, potentially worth $20 million dollars.
I had to drive all the way from Alabama to Georgia to buy this ticket because, of course, Alabama has strict laws against gambling.
We Alabamians oppose the lottery. We consistently vote against it. Because, you see, the lottery is sinful. It is offensive to good morals.
If you are caught gambling in Alabama, for example, state officials appear on your doorstep, yank out your toenails with pliers, and force you to watch Jim Bakker reruns.
But this year for Women’s Day, I wanted to give something to my wife that really said, “I love you.” So I drove to Georgia and bought her $20 mil.
Currently, there are only five states in the Union that outlaw the lottery, most do this for sacred reasons. Those states are Utah, Alabama, Hawaii, Alaska, and Nevada.
That’s right. Nevada outlaws the lottery. The state that is home to Las Vegas. The only state where prostitution is legally practiced within licensed brothels; where public intoxication is allowed; where public nudity is not only legal but strongly encouraged by local clergymen, has outlawed the lottery. Thank God.
Alabama is not far behind. The lottery has no future in the Twenty-Second State. I recently interviewed an Alabama lawmaker about this hot-button issue, asking whether Alabama would ever have a lottery.
“Probably not,” said the official. “Gambling was outlawed in the 1901 state constitution, and most of the state has a religious opposition to it.”
It’s important to note, these laws haven’t stopped ALL forms of Alabama gambling. You can still place bets in Atmore, Montgomery, and Wetumpka.
“But remember,” the lawmaker adds, “if you gamble in those places, you must be prepared to drown in the Lake of Fire.”
So I drove to Georgia.
I crossed over the state line and I found a place that sold tickets, right on the state border.
George Strait was playing overhead. They sold coffee. I availed myself of a cup. The coffee was so thin and tepid it brought to mind a urine sample.
That’s when I noticed my cashier. She was a friendly woman. She was chatty. She struck up conversations with everyone in line.
She talked to everyone like they were old friends. She made them laugh. She was a breath of summer air in a wintery world. They don’t make them like her anymore.
When it was my turn, I approached the cashier. Her smile was genuine. Her personality was platinum.
She was a young woman who, at first glance, looked about 12, but was clearly older. You could tell by the lines on her face and the faint traces of tiredness in her eyes. I wished her a happy Women’s Day. She thanked me with a laugh.
I asked if she had plans for Women’s Day.
“I’m going to the Ritz,” she said flatly.
Then she said, “Actually, I’ll probably just order pizza for my kids and tell them to quit punching each other in the throats. Does that count?”
I asked how many kids she had.
Amazing. This girl looked like she just graduated grammar school yesterday.
“I’m almost 30 years old,” she explained. “I just look young for my age. Always have.”
Her story isn’t an uncommon one. Her husband has a disability. He lost his arm in a work accident. He raises the kids; she works. They are dutiful parents.
She is the sole income in her household. The young woman works multiple jobs. Late nights. She works as a waitress. As a cashier. In a stock room. She works wherever anyone will hire her.
“Sometimes I work 18-hour days.”
Other days, she goes without sleep. She does this so her children get all the things they need in school.
Recently, one of her kids wanted to join the school band. So the young woman took an extra job to buy her daughter a trombone.
Another time, her son wanted to go to Europe with his soccer team. So the mother worked overtime to pay for it.
“I ain’t never even left the state of Georgia,” the girl adds with a laugh. “But my son’s seen the world.”
“You’re an impressive lady,” I say.
“Not really,” she says. “I’m just a mom.”
She handed me the lottery ticket, but I told her to keep it. Because in my opinion, if anyone deserves Georgia’s $20 million bucks, it’s her.
Happy International Women’s Day.
David in California - March 9, 2023 4:11 pm
Moral considerations aside, what you actually did was the best gift you could have given “the math teacher”* for IWD.
* Currently reading You Are My Sunshine