I was really bummed to learn that I did not win the recent $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot. I was so close to winning it all. I was only off by four or five numbers. Drat! It took me a while to overcome the shock and disappointment of my razor-thin loss. But after a week of eating nothing but cookie dough ice cream and Double Stuff Oreos by the sleeve, I was able to get out of bed and face the reality that my near-term future would not include a castle surrounded by an alligator-filled moat after all.
My deep despair got me to thinking: What would I do if I actually won the billion dollar jackpot? I reflected on this question for what seemed like hours but was actually the duration of a TV commercial about hemorrhoid cream. I wrote down a list of things that I would do with the money if I were lucky enough to win. I’m not hinting that my incredible list of philanthropic plans makes me a better person than you. I’m not hinting anything at all. Let me spell it out for you. I’m a way better person than you – at least I will be, once I get my hands on that money.
As someone who is profoundly deep and constantly reflects on the meaning of life whenever I’m not hungry, I realize I have been given a great amount over the course of my life – starting with two (occasionally) wonderful daughters. But there are so many others who have been given far less. So, if I were to win the Powerball jackpot, it would be my heartfelt desire to travel to Africa to provide food and clothing to all the starving children of that great nation. (I’m pretty sure Africa is a nation.) And I would build them a modern school with clean, safe running water, and give each child their very own iPad, pre-loaded with both Minecraft and Candy Crush – for educational purposes only. I would do this because, let’s face it, it’s all about the kids. And I already have everything I need….
Except for a private jet. Yeah, I would love to get me one of those babies – um, so that I could transport food and clothing to the starving kids in Africa, of course. And my jet would come with a scantily clad female flight attendant with a sexy British accent, and she’d serve me martinis. I don’t even like martinis, but who cares? And just as soon as I got my private jet, I would immediately get to work on helping those starving, shabbily dressed kids in Africa….
Right after I bought myself one of those solid platinum smart phones like the type the bad guy has in a Bond film – right before Bond kisses the bad guy’s girlfriend and leaps into the bad guy’s stainless steel Lamborghini – which just happens to have the keys in it. And as soon as I got my platinum smart phone, I would conference call a team of helpers to fly over to Africa in advance of my arrival, to start feeding and clothing those needy, half-naked kids.
With a billion dollars, just think about how many disadvantaged kids in Africa I could help. And I would rush to their rescue on my sweet new 100-foot luxury yacht, complete with its own surfing pool – oh, and a helipad – so that my new celebrity friends could drop in as my yacht is cruising the Pacific Ocean, somewhere between Vanuatu and Tonga – which, now that I think of it, probably have a lot of kids who could use some food and clothing, too.
You see, if I win the next Powerball jackpot, I believe in giving back to those who are far needier than I –– so long as they give this post a Like on Facebook, otherwise they’re dead to me. But back to the starving, stark naked kids. They are my Number One priority, absolutely…once I get my first billion dollars….
Number one, that is, right after I buy myself a couple of masterpiece paintings. I’m thinking perhaps an original Picasso. I’m really not all that particular as to which one – so long as it has a woman with at least three eyes and four breasts. It would go nicely in my man cave next to my Seahawks lava lamp.
But as soon as that painting is in place and my indoor bowling alley is built, I’ll be on the phone lickity split, making sure nothing gets in the way of my helping those poor starving kids wherever the heck they are….
Oh, and my own wild animal park. Nothing too fancy. Just big enough for all my elephants, giraffes, zebras and lions to roam around in – oh and one of those cool safari lodges where your bed is under the stars, and you have Tiki torches – with armed guards to make sure no rhinos attack while you’re sleeping. Maybe I could hire some of those starving kids to guard the perimeter.
And once I have bought all of these necessities, nothing will keep me from placing a few calls to see if someone can airlift a couple crates of corn or millet or maybe some Huggies to those kids in Peru or Cambodia or West Virginia or wherever they are.
My point is, I care about the kids. Not sure which country’s kids at the moment, but it will come to me later. I just hope I win the next billion-dollar Powerball jackpot. Because I have some great ideas for how to use all that dough to buy some incredibly awesome toys – um, for the kids. It’s all about the kids.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2016