Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Holy Buckets.

Let's talk for a moment about excess.

The Powerball drawing this evening prompted even me to buy a ticket. (Technically a few, in league with others.) So of course the conversation around here -- and on Facebook and just about everywhere else -- is what would you do with over a billion dollars?

A billion.

A sudden, unexpected billion.

... I don't even know how to wrap my brain around that number.

That, my friends, is excessive. The number of tickets we've purchased as a whole. The amount of money that will almost certainly (95% chance or better, according to FiveThirtyEight) land on someone tonight. The number of things a person could do and buy with that.

The number of ways you could totally screw up your life.

The number of people that have effectively wasted money ... again.

All of it. Absolutely excessive.

Of course, it is that very excess that draws us. The chance, no matter how small, and you and you alone get to be That One. The ways your life could change. (For some, the drama you could perform as you leave your job.) Ours is a culture where excess is on display on a regular basis and this particular jackpot is an extreme version of just that. Even better, it offers the chance to watch as said excess completely alters the course of someone's life -- and after all, if there's something we like better than excess, it's drama.

I'm certainly not an exception -- I'll be watching "The Martian" this evening because I lack self-control and had to own the DVD the second it was released. (And the book. In print, e-book, and audio form. Excess!) And I, too, will be waiting to see what those magic numbers are this time.

Over a billion.

Good luck, whoever you are. We're all watching.

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