Me? The winner? Okay, I have a quick favor to ask before you nod off or click to the next must see hot bit of social media gossip — OMG Justin Bieber was seen with who? My novel Ancient Mariners is in a small contest which I’d like to win. I need votes. If you have a minute – and who doesn’t have a minute to help out a poor starving writer – please go to www.voteformyebook.com and vote for Ancient Mariners, on the right side. I win a partial critique of the book from a literary consultant in the UK. This could be my big break. If they say good things it might lead to a book deal, bestsellerdom, attending Hollywood premiers to my movies, looking down my nose at all the losers from my Mega Yacht, and best of all, hanging with Justin Bieber! I’ll be a winner,baby! Loved by all.
Although, I don’t think it’s true that everybody loves a winner. Why would I like those who win Publishers Clearing House millions, or the Mega-Lotto, or a $5000 shopping spree at Home Depot? They took my money, man. Of course one has to play to win. If you took all that money and time you blew on lottery tickets, the roulette wheel in Vegas, on the ponies, or entering the endless PCH sweepstakes, and saved it and used the time to actually work and make some money, you’d probably be better off. Unless you won. Somebody always wins big to balance out all those whose lose, big or small. But you have to play to win. Ya never know.
What If you were playing in a clandestine poker game and came out a little ahead so were feeling good and didn’t hate the one guy who won big on a couple hands. You leave ahead of him. You hear a fight behind you. Two guys, the big losers, are taking their money back with fists and a baseball bat. You’re a tough guy/gal and figure the guy won fair and square so you run off the sore losers. The guy is grateful. “You took a risk, pal,” he says. “Now I give you a reward. ”
The reward is that at the same time every year, wherever you are at a certain time on a certain date, you can see into the future for one minute. Okay! Visions of stock market winnings dance in your head. And it works, you make a small fortune that first year. The next year you’re in Vegas standing between two no limit roulette tables, you see 3 on one, 28 on the other. Next year big bets, big winnings. You spend the next year taking an enhance-your- memory course. One minute at a news stand, 30 seconds power memorizing the Racing Form, 20 seconds perusing the stock market listings, 10 seconds checking the lotto numbers. And so it goes, you’re a winner, baby! Living large, mansions, cars, travel, beautiful women or men or both.
Then, your minute arrives and you see, nothing. All black. All quiet. You try to look around, shake your head, rub your eyes. You can’t. You can’t feel, hear, see, breathe. Oh shit. Minute over. What does it mean? Though it’s obvious, you search for other reasons. You got too drunk and passed out in a dark closet, you were kidnapped and buried alive until a ransom is paid, you’re having an operation and will soon wake up good as new in the recovery room. But you’re dead and you know it. You have up to a year to figure something out. Maybe you die around the next corner, or tomorrow, or next month or in 364 days. Now what do you do?
Play the game, man, whether it’s life, work, love, blackjack or bingo. If you don’t, you might not lose, but you’ll never win.