By Linda Flowers


This is a story about gambling, the scratch off ticket kind. My family is a great supporter of the West Virginia lottery. In the telling of this true tale, the names have been changed to protect the not so innocent. The addicted threatened bodily injury if I used their names. Hence, I will give them code names. My sister, Ms. X, our mother, Ms. X's mom and my daughter, the ticket procurer and driver. Hey, I'm a small time country writer, not a spy novel author. You'll have to forgive the wimpy code names. Also, I'll sell the real names for 25 cents each.

On every outing, they can't pass a convenience store or tobacco outlet without stopping for tickets. Much to the consternation of non-gambling passengers and other motorists alike, each stop usually involves bowing up in the middle of the road.

It is the opinion of this reporter that the chief cause of sudden stops is travel induced conversation. Translated, driving down the road chattering like a bunch of hens, Ms. X's mom spots a Mart and orders the driver to pull over and go in and procure tickets. The driver, afraid to tick off Ms. X's mom, punished by a bony fist to the right deltoid, responds as directed immediately.

The average ticket run begins with the initial stop for procurement of scratch offs. Then, as the driver wheels the group down the road, the scratch shavings litter the conditioned air like a silver Christmas snow storm. When Ms. X and Ms. X's mother win a dollar and sometimes a few, they make the driver pull off at the next ticket selling store. More scratch offs are procured and so the cycle runs until the reaching of the destination. The return trip is simply the journey in reverse, usually with less ticket purchases than the trip there. Ms. X's mom gets a few to scratch off at home.

The scratching trio deny having "a problem". They contend that since this is their only vice, its' not a problem at all. Our next vacation is greatly anticipated because they can scratch their way through three states. Needless to say, the economy of any lottery state they pass through greatly benefits from the efforts of this group. Of course, we're all trying for the Powerball millions. If we win, you will find us on a yacht in the sun somewhere scratching tickets.

Hello and Thank You to Thelma in Glenville for the kind words about my column. Glad you like it. I aim to please and give folks a little laugh. Peace, love and joy to all my fans ... Linda

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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