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Mr. Wrong

Scratch That, Reverse It

Emily Flake

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 2/15/2006

Hello, my name is Joe, and I am a Scratchoholic. Yeah, hi, everybody. I’ve been told there’s more fresh coffee now in the back, so help yourself, and some people—the same people who ratted me out for taking money out of the coffee-donation cup, which I might add has never been proven, and I will say this one more time for the record, I was making change, because I’m not paying a dollar if I only have one coffee—the same people have also made comments about me never bringing anything, so there’s three dozen doughnuts back there. Go on back there and help yourself, really, you’re welcome. Anyway and ahem, I have been coming to these meetings for longer than I can remember, and I never yet got one of those pins for any kinda consecutive-days or months or years in a row, because I can’t quit these scratch-offs, man. I don’t wanna be a downer for anybody out there who’s been scratch-free or anything, but I can’t see my way outta this downward spiral of scratchiness until I can Win Big on one of these damn tickets.

I ain’t gonna lie, I’m all involved with these “ancient treasures” deals, and they have this Egyptian theme, with pictures of golden King Tut-lookin’ heads and Queen Nefertiti—you know, Mrs. Pharaoh Amenhotep IV—and stuff, and they cost $10, man. For one ticket, yeah. But they totally got me with the 2nd chance thing. I mean, you collect four of these tickets with different li’l symbols on ’em and you send the losers in and you get a shot at being on teevee to win One Million Dollars—does anybody do the “Doctor Evil” voice anymore when they say “One Million Dollars?”—No? Just me? Is that not funny anymore?” Sorry.

Look, I know I got a problem, and I totally know I am Powerless before my addiction to and for wanting to Win Big, but look, that’s why I come to these meetings, and not one of you coffee-money-math-doing, eagle-eye change-cup watchers—who were not watching when I put a dollar in that damn cup and took 75 cents out . . . look, if I go to Dunkin’ Donuts, which I did today, which is why there’s 36 doughnuts back there, you’re welcome—try one of the “Old Fashioneds”—I’m gonna pay like a buck-eighty for the biggest coffee they got, which is this thing called “The Great One,” and that’s 24 ounces of coffee, man, and I put that change from the $2 right in the tip cup, by the way, so if I go and get one of these tiny little Styrofoam cups they got back there, that’s like, what, six ounces, eight ounces tops, I’m not putting no buck in there, get it straight, OK, I’m not a statistician, but that’s, like, a third of the ounces from the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, so I’m putting a third of the money—no, you, don’t tell me to be quiet, you be quiet. Go and go help yourself to a “Boston Creme” to muffle the sound coming out of your mouth and try and remember why I’m here, asking for help.

You’re supposed to convince me I can’t win on one of these scratch-offs. I would also like to ask again for a sponsor, because for some reason everybody with all the little “90 days” and “one year” pins seems to have a sponsor here except me, and I can’t be responsible for my last sponsor getting locked up at that “Texas Hold ’Em” thing, because that’s illegal, and I didn’t know the money was gonna be used for that, OK? It’s supposed to be for charity, and I wasn’t there, and this is just like the whole “coffee money” thing. Certain people have some sort of a problem with me and aren’t helping because they want to be up here talking about how great everything is, but I’m keeping it real, which is not all inspirational and tidy, sorry.

So look, I know it’s against the rules, but I brought a winning ticket with me—see, I won 40 bucks, man, on this one—and so I’m gonna plow it all right back into “shares,” if you will—no, you, you be quiet, it’s my turn—because I only need one more of the special “second chance bonus symbols” and I’m in the game for One Million Bucks, man, seriously.

And—heyyy, gimme! What’re you think you’re doing? What’s your problem? Good thing I gots the Catlike Reflexes. Tear it up? Are you high? I got four more chances to get the “Treasure Chest” symbol, and then I’ll have all four, man. No, I’m not ashamed. I know, I got a problem, I know, I got like 10 or 12 loser tickets, yeah, that’s like 120 bucks, but we’re talking about One Million Dollars, man. Somebody’s gotta win, and you gotta be in it to win it, right? I come up here and speak with, like, self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection or whatever and ask you to prove to me nobody can win and I’ll quit right now and you can take this 40 bucks and go buy all the coffee you want.

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