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The Lottery Playas

There is a growing evil amongst us.

It can affect anyone, at any time, and without warning. It masquerades itself as benign, inconspicuous, and harmless. Chances are you have already witnessed it and not even taken notice.

I, like many people, frequent convenience stores. I often make quick stops if I'm in need of pop, chocolate bars, chips, gum, gasoline, ice, food-stuffs, popcorn, a movie rental, oil, juice, condiments, lighters, key chains, charcoal, reading material, toilet-paper, medical supplies, household appliances, building materials and, occasionally, band-aids if I've had a late night mishap. I like convenience stores, they're convenient. They're on just about every corner and are open all hours of the day and night. They usually come complete with a clerk that doesn't make small talk because he doesn't speak English very well. Convenience stores are engineered and created for quick transactions. In and out - lickety-split.

However, I've noticed a disturbing trend developing. After I do my rounds of picking up the wares I wish to purchase and I am walking up to the counter to pay for them, someone sneaks in at the last moment and proceeds to buy and/or check their lottery tickets. This takes for-ev-er. What should have taken no more than two minutes, the average time it takes to have a sexual experience, can easily soak up 25 minutes or better.

It is easy to dismiss this as a small slight; nothing more than a hiccup in an otherwise busy day, but it’s more. Much more.

A group has formed and it's rapidly growing. Its’ purpose is to slow down our economy and in the process cause us, the general populace, minor frustration.

They're the Lottery Playas, and they’re insidious. Their methods are simple yet effective, diabolical in nature yet innocuous in appearance; buy and check lottery tickets thereby holding up the purchases of all others in the store. Sound crazy? Sound trivial? Just look at the world’s current economic climate.

They don't buy one ticket, oh no, that wouldn’t have any impact of any relevance. They buy many. The buying can take quite awhile as the typical Lottery Playa is very choosy about their tickets. There are many choices to be made. Are the rules of the game challenging? Does the payload of the ticket balance the complexity of the game? Are the chances of winning within acceptable limits? Is the ticket colourful enough? Does the ticket feel lucky? The choice is a very difficult one; I know this by the look of intense concentration on the face of the Lottery Playa. You can tell the stakes are high, a lot rides on choosing just the right ticket, or batch of tickets. I can only assume that choosing a wrong ticket garnishes ridicule and laughter from the other Lottery Playas. It seems to be a very cut-throat organization.

Checking the tickets for any winners is an equally time-consuming, painstaking endeavour. This is an asynchronous process where each ticket is processed, slowly, by a magical lottery machine that scans the ticket, assumedly checking the ticket's luck-level, and reveals if it's a winner or not. Each ticket takes approximately infinity to verify. The lottery machine must get paid by the hour.

They have spotted a weakness, a chink in the armour, and they're exploiting it.

By some code of ethics, known only to the Lottery Playas, all lottery transactions must be concluded with the purchase of generic cigarettes.

The typical garb for this enterprising group of Playas is as unique as their hobbied-profession. Often outfitted in a nylon bomber styled coat and flannel sleep-pants, these people dress with distinction and stand out in a crowd. Yellowed, nicotine-stained fingers and unwashed hair are also tell-tale signs of this elite group. The final finishing touch is a splash of Old Spice for the males, a generous helping of musk for the females, and in both sexes an undercurrent of the sweet smell of stale beer or vodka.

Lottery Playas have consumed a vast amount of my time. If I had to guess I'd say it adds up somewhere between 20-35 years just in the last year alone. Despite a certain admiration I've developed for them, I have also come to detest them. They have crippled our global economy and they have taken the convenience of out of convenience stores.

I’ve witnessed that they are day-walkers. They have no fear of daylight for I’ve seen them in convenience stores, beer-stores, and casinos as early as 11:30am. They do not seem to have any interest in consuming human flesh. Observation has shown they prefer a diet of fried or baked potato slices and beef jerky. They travel alone but it has been difficult to identify whether they cohabitate wherever it is they dwell, which is typically in apartments, rented duplexes or government assisted housing. It is yet unknown whether or not they can change their shape, and if so, if they can do so at will.

There is even less known about the group as an entity since there are no eye-witness accounts of the Lottery Playas communicating with one another. They do communicate however; proof being that no two Playas have ever been spotted in the same store at the same time. One theory is that they communicate via a means of telepathy; whether they use this method to contact a hive-mind or they communicate one-on-one is up for speculation. A hive-mind would mean a well organized group, one that has been building for quite some time and it’s a frightening idea.

It could be alien control. Not to be an alarmist, but aliens could be planning a take-over and using the Playas as a vehicle to carry out their sinister plans. If this is indeed the case then my only conclusion is that the extinction of the human race has already begun and is now inevitable. If it’s the Scientologists then I’d suggest that you start hiding your assets now and avoid any Theton testing.

They’re continuing to grow, their numbers ever increasing. Whatever their plan is, it's conniving and absolute. As someone famous once said, I think it was either Franklin D. Roosevelt or Ironside – I get them mixed up, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” And there’s plenty to be fear. Lock your doors and windows, be aware of your surroundings, guard your loved ones, and may God help us all. They’re already here.

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