Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jan 24 2002

Lotto-mania has been sweeping Taiwan in recent day…

Lotto-mania has been sweeping Taiwan in recent days. The government-sponsored lottery has accrued an amazing amount of money. Some call it a tax on the poor, but I prefer to see it as a tax on people who are bad at math. I can’t remember who said that first, but it’s true. I know, since I have always been terrible at math, and thus I followed all of the other low-SAT-math-section-scoring lemmings down to the local lotto seller and bought two tickets for NT$100. I choose one set of numbers based on the scientifically redoubtable “ages that were good for me” theory, and had the computer select the numbers for the other ticket.

And guess what? I didn’t come close to winning even the NT$200 consolation prize. And the real tragedy is that I will probably try again, just setting myself up for cruel disappointment every time and sending myself into a spiral of depression to rival the time I opened up the publisher’s clearning house letter to find that I hadn’t, in fact, won 10 million dollars.

I have a theory that for most people, no matter what they happen to be doing, their level of wealth at a certain time is fixed. It doesn’t matter if you’re working at a job or choosing lottery ticket numbers. Poor people tend to stay poor and rich people tend to get richer. So my ability to pick a winning lottery ticket is next to nothing, while Mr. Benz-driving Gangster/CEO will have a lot better chance than I do at winning large prizes. It’s in the stars, as they say.

My theory was tested and did pretty well at today’s office raffle. They might as well have named it the “Everyone But Poagao Wins Big” activity. As I walked down to the finance department where the drawings were being held, I saw people walking out with DVD players, home stereo systems, digital cameras, large flat-screen TVs, the Hope Diamond, etc. Naturally, these people were mostly upper management types. I picked a random number (#4, not the luckiest of numbers in Chinese culture), and was rewarded with a Starbuck’s coffee mug. Oh, the joy and rapture. Even Whiny Woman won a refridgerator, and she’s been whining about it all day. “This looks like the refridgerator from a hotel room!” she’s been crying. “What’s next, glass ceilings?” She was so distressed that she called herself and asked if she was in. I’m not kidding. God knows what she would have done if she had gotten the coffee mug. Now she’s trying tell the refridgerator for way more than any kitchen appliance that is not gold-plated and equipped with its own shuttle launchpad is worth.

For lunch I went to the G’day Cafe one last time before we move. I’ll miss their chicken frajitas and the sunny aborigines who make it. One of those language exchange things was going on at the table next to me. It was the typical array of young Taiwanese women crowded around a foreign guy who looked to be in his mid thirties. Luckily I had brought a book to distract me from the mixture of giggling and bad pronunciation. Since more people look at my photos than anything else on this website, I should have taken my camera with me to capture it on film, but I’m sure I’ll see it again soon.

I don’t even know what the hell we are supposed to do tomorrow. Our system is being shut down tonight and even our crappy computers won’t work. We’re supposed to spend the whole day packing, but for me that will take about five minutes, and I might as well do that before I leave today. Hopefully they’ll let us leave when they realize that they’re only tempting us to get drunk and let out our frustration by popping all of the packing material bubbles.

So, I won a coffee mug. And I didn’t win the lottery. Some day this is turning out to be.

posted by Poagao at 7:31 am  

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment