When it comes to luck, I don’t have much of it. I know this because of rigorous, completely scientific tests I’ve conducted that involve buying lottery tickets and then not winning. However, my wife has told me on numerous occasions that I’m lucky she’s married to me, and she’s right. But then again, I didn’t buy her for three dollars at a convenience store.
Anyway, this all started a couple of weeks ago when I went to a heavy metal concert. One of our merry band of metalgoers was a high stakes blackjack dealer for a casino that was right down the street from the venue. He suggested that we go to the casino for a little bit after the concert, but he insisted that we absolutely had to try this restaurant/deli/converted closet that made really good corn beef sandwiches. I’m not one for corn beef, largely because combining corn with anything other than a dumpster is a waste of time. But my friends thought this was a great idea, so off we went to the deli.
As they waited for their sandwiches to be made, I stared aimlessly around the deli since I didn’t order anything. The deli consisted of two employees, random food items, and a cop sitting on a stool, apparently keeping an eye out for the raging epidemic of corn beef thieves.
After a few minutes, my friends received their sandwiches, noting how delicious they were. Because I never succumb to peer pressure, I ordered a corn beef and pastrami sandwich. It came halved in a bag, so I started gorging myself on the first half, slowly changing my opinion of corn beef.
At this point, it was close to midnight, and there was still a half hour drive back to the apartment complex, which would put me home at 2:00am if I was lucky. So, I suggested that we all walk while I ate. They agreed, and I made sure to grasp the sandwich with the accompanying paper so as not to pollute the sandwich with whatever foul germs I’d picked up at the concert venue. As I’m a germaphobe, which is a Latin word that means “he who lacks manliness,” this was the only logical course of action.
When we arrived at the casino, I had to present my ID to prove I was legally allowed to lose my money there. This proved difficult as I was holding the first half of my sandwich and was reluctant to put it down. To retrieve my driver’s license, I needed two hands as it was in a flap, snugly stuffed between clear plastic and leather. The only place to put it was on the podium behind which the greeter was standing. Since she didn’t have a look that said, “Please put your half-eaten sandwich on my podium,” I had a dilemma. How could I continue eating my delectable corn beef sandwich and get my ID?
Fortunately, there was a trash can right in front of the podium. The trash can lid was wide enough for me to set my wallet on it while I found a way to stuff the remainder of the first half of my sandwich into my mouth. After placing my wallet on the trash can lid with a level of skill and balance typically seen in Olympic gymnastics, the wallet promptly fell into the trash. I looked on in shock as my wallet quickly immersed itself in accumulated gambler filth.
Like a short, unskilled Chuck Norris, I tried to save my wallet from the garbage. In my haste, I released my grip on my sandwich, the remains of which tumbled down the side of the podium, ending up in a delicious heap on the floor. My friends displayed their sympathy for my plight by laughing hysterically and reminding repeatedly of my clumsiness. The woman at the podium had the look of someone who really didn’t want a corn beef and pastrami sandwich on the floor next to her podium.
I fished my wallet out of the trash, trying my best not to think of the variety of foul diseases that were now living on it. With some effort, I extracted my trash-infused driver’s license and presented it to the woman while simultaneously bemoaning the fact that I had wasted part of my sandwich. Fortunately, demonstrating intelligence is not a prerequisite for getting into a casino, and the woman let me in despite my display of ineptitude (I never use big words to distract people from the fact that I’ve done something stupid).
But all was not lost. I still had the second half of my corn beef and pastrami sandwich, which I consumed with great relish as I beheld all the people who felt that gambling at 12:30am on a Wednesday did not indicate a problem of any kind.
I did not gamble, as I am a pattern-seeking creature, and the wallet-sandwich fiasco seemed to be a sign of some sort. I thought it more prudent to refrain from gambling and instead adopt a sense of moral superiority.