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  • Writer's pictureMichael Apollo Lira

If I won the lottery

If I won the lottery

I would not tell a single soul.

And I would learn how to pickpocket.

The world around me would become my game to play, and its people my purpose.

Just how much could I get away with? How far could it go?

I shared this thought of mine with a cashier today at the store.

Back when I was a cashier, I remember people sharing all kinds of thoughts with me. It's a peculiar dynamic, the cashier-customer one. People talk at you, and you get to stand there and be the recipient. Hopefully they say something that you can participate in, but sometimes it's simply you standing there while a person talks at you about whatever seems to be compelling them to talk at you for that moment in human history.

My cashier today got to hear about how I would learn how to pickpocket for the betterment of humanity if I won the lottery.

I am notoriously bad at picking good lines to wait in. At the gas station, at the store; anywhere that people queue up, you can count on me to choose either the slowest one, or the one that will run into some kind of weird hiccup or snag. It's like having a superpower, except it's neither super nor a power.

Today was no exception.

Just as the older woman ahead of me started getting her items scanned, she realized that she had forgotten something and hurried back into the store to find it. I exchanged a smile with the cashier while she scanned the woman's items.

After bagging the woman's items, we both looked about to see if the woman was on her way back. A minute or two passed, the cashier shrugged, and she then saved the transaction before starting to scan items from my basket.

"That's a neat trick, saving that for later" I commented.

We chit-chat. Though if I'm holding someone verbally hostage, I try to make it either pleasant or interesting (unless they are naughty).

We talk about the lottery. I tell her that I would learn how to pickpocket if I became that rich. Then I could just spend my time slipping money into peoples' pockets without them knowing. How ridiculous and great would it be for someone to randomly discover a $100 bill in their pocket without any logical explanation?

I love a good deed. But what I love even more is a good deed with an element of playfulness or mischief. I don't know why. Good deeds are often accompanied by a mischievous itch for me.

Time to pay now. I thank the cashier.

I noticed that the woman hadn't come back yet and was still somewhere in the store, trying to find whatever it was that she needed. I looked over at her bag - just the basics, really. The rogue in me started getting itchy.

"...what was the damage on that woman's bill?"

"Oh, uh not that much"

I looked at the bag of groceries for a moment.

And then I'm in Scotland. It's about 10 years ago, it's late, and it's cold. I'm standing outside on a cobblestone road in Edinburgh, waiting in line with a friend for our turn to order food and drink at a popular spot. The man in front of us appears to be quite tall, but he's sort of stooped forward and obscured by his dark clothing. When it comes time for us to order, the man ahead of us stands upright (and stands now easily over 7 feet), turns around and faces us. We are all looking at each other, in this extremely strange silence. Instead of moving out of the way or stepping aside, he very slowly and deliberately bends forward and downward, toward my friend, until his face was about 6 inches from his, and stared at him silently for a moment.

"So I die fighting a giant in Scotland for my birthday," I thought. "Not the worst."

"I'm payin' fer ye," he informs us.

He un-stoops from our peasant height and stands upright once more. We remain where we stand, still stunned and alarmed, though that was quickly now overshadowed by our subsequent feelings of relief, awe, confusion, and gratefulness.

Huh...what a nice man.

I'm in the grocery store now, back from Scotland.

"Let me pay for it - before she comes back. Let's mess with her a little."

The cashier liked this idea very much.

Good deeds live on through the continuation of more good deeds. I hope that woman goes on to do something kind for a stranger, too. Or perhaps she already has. Maybe this good had been waiting to happen to her and I in fact did choose the right line to stand in. Maybe today, getting in that line actually was a superpower in action.

I'm not rich. But I live a life that affords me some room to do good deeds for others.

I don't need to win the lottery to be that person.

...I can still dream, though.


If you enjoy reading my blogs, I bet you'd like some of the other voice over blogs that I really love! Take a minute and check out these truly wonderful voiceover blogs. Reading these is always a big highlight in my busy life!

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