Powerball: Be careful what you wish for

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, January 14, 2016

“A lottery is a taxation upon all the fools in creation; and heaven be praised, it is easily raised, for credulity’s always in fashion.”

~ Henry Fielding, from the play, The Lottery (1732)

All over the country, herds of people stand for hours in long, snaking, often icy lines to buy tickets for the big Powerball. Just regular folks hoping for a break, a new life and an end to bills. Some promise to give to charity, others say they’re going to live it up with a hint of stardust in their eyes. They dream of quitting their jobs, buying big fancy new homes and cars.

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I hate to be the one to break the news, and maybe you, dear reader, will have won by the time this column comes out, but don’t write out that ‘stick-it’ resignation to the boss just yet. Hide those Lamborghini brochures under your coffee cup. Get that rich and famous show producer on hold for a while. Chances are it ain’t happenin’.

Whoever wins gets a nightmare multiplied by a billion-plus-bucks … of new-found relatives and friends coming out of the woodwork along with every stranger on the planet asking for a bit o’ the action; of taxes — with an emphasis on TAX; walloped upside the noggin by a financial tsunami that steamrolls without stopping. The funny thing is, that when people win untold riches at once, they’re shell-shocked, they forget who they are, it’s the beginning of the end. Many blow through the winnings (what’s left after Uncle Sam grabs a huge share), and end up poor again, unhappier than before.

Me, I did not buy a ticket, so it’s a sure bet I’ll remain poor. However, I did enter my name in a free giveaway for a chance. My chances are pretty much the same as someone who just blew his paycheck on those magical lottery tickets. Zero, nil, nada. I’m relieved not to have the stress of picking out which Lamborghini, yachts, jets, and world estates I’d want. Although it sure would just be nice to get that used Craigslist kayak I’ve been wanting, buy groceries and a tank o’ gas for the old truck, turn the heat up a few notches this winter and buy River dog his favorite treats. Sometimes it’s just better not to get what you think you want. However, if you win, don’t forget all your friends out there! We’ll be waiting.

Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday, with dinner served from 5:30-7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations are accepted.

Don’t forget to save box tops for Saluda School. Collection containers are located in Saluda Library, Saluda Post Office, and the school’s office.

There’s still time to honor a loved one with an engraved brick paver for Pace Park. Proceeds go toward building public restrooms at this community park to be located downtown near M.A. Pace Store. For information, contact Catherine Ross at 828-749-3534 or carnc@charter.net.

Saluda Historic Depot will have Saluda Train Tales, Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Ward’s Grill will host a free veterans’ breakfast Jan. 21 from 8-10 a.m. All vets are invited!

The Social Singles of Saluda have a potluck Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. at Saluda Center. Single men and women over 40 are invited.

Saluda Center will have a community potluck and bingo night, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. Everyone welcome.

Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) will benefit from your donations for this year ahead, or your time as a volunteer for their many community projects. Contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit www.saludasclt.org.

The Saluda branch of Tree City USA meets at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at Saluda Library.

Happy January birthday to Nora Parks Anderson, Brandy Bradley, Alex Bardos, Carolyn Ashburn, Scott Kinard, Donna Bond, Greer Eargle, Wyatt Alan Pace, Irma Anderson, Paul Aaybe, Rich Rauschenbach, Phyllis Arrington, Kenneth Justus, Cheryl Harbin and Avery Lena Mintz.

Thank you for reading this column, dear readers. As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life in a friendly little mountain town called Saluda. Feel free to contact me at bbardos@gmail.com or call 749-1153. I always love hearing from you! Visit bonniebardosart.com for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.