The day after Dad died I went for a jog for the first time in about ten days. Just down the hill from where my parents live, you can zig-zag along a planked path to the Farmington Canal Trail which, when completed, will be comprised of no fewer than 84 miles of carefully laid route for cyclists and runners alike. As the name clearly indicates, it was a canal, of the kind that was typically built in the first half of the 19th Century, and like those canals built in the first half of the 19th Century, it was quickly replaced by the railroad. The track was literally laid where the boats once navigated. Train travel lasted all the way up to the 1980s, when flooding put the via beyond repair. It was if the canal had distantly had the last laugh. It was not long after that new potential as a recreational path became evident, and construction has been underway ever since.
I didn’t have a bike nor was I a cyclist, but I did try to get a few k’s in to keep my body going. The heat wasn’t too bad but the humidity was atrocious, and before I had reached a mile and a half, I humbly decided to turn around and limped back home with a quiet whimper, comforted by the thought this pathetic show of athleticism was not made too public. During the march of tears, I did have a chance to sense that, despite the unquestionable beauty of the path, all lined with an amazing array of deep green New England summer foliage, there was also no doubt that if there ever was a place that was apt for the type of heinous crime that would eventually end up being featured on Forensic Files, that was it. Any kind of weapon seemed suitable, and there were scores of ideal ditches for a body to be buried in. It was unnerving.
We then planned out the day. There was no longer a need to go to the hospital, but the funeral home was a must. We set up a time with the manager in the afternoon. In the meantime, I returned to the supermarket to load up on food for the next few days. I also took the opportunity to purchase a lottery ticket, which is something I do from time to time, just in case there is an outside chance a bit of good news will fall my way. The chances are remote indeed. About 1 in 176 million. Someone told me there was a better chance of you getting struck by lightening something like 16 times than hitting the jackpot. One study in California, because this is the kind of thing scientists in California sometimes dabble in, even spent some time, and I presume someone’s money, to analyze the success rate of winning if you bet on the most frequently called numbers, the underused numbers and the random numbers to see if any one of those proved itself to be a superior strategy.
Not so surprisingly, none outdid the rest, making it clear once again that gambling is just as unpredictable as we always thought it was. The only exception was the underused numbers which performed better than the rest but by a margin so small you would have to wait until the Sun burned out for any noticeable results to make themselves known. And by then, obviously, it would be too late to reap the benefits. I have always thought it would be great to win the lottery so that we could help my parents out in these times of hardhip for them, times which have only gotten worse with the passing of more times. I could buy them a decent condo, and set it up as such that they wouldn’t ever have to deal with this situation again. That would provide some happiness to everyone. People should be allowed to land the big prize just once in their lives on the condition that they use the proceeds to help someone out you is worse off than them.
But that didn’t seemed to make a difference, according to the girl at the supermarket who sold me my potentially winning number. She claimed, “They say winning the jackpot is said to bring you happiness for only about three months. So, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.”
“I’d say it is. ‘Cause winning $267 million is great. But every three months to ensure my happiness.”