A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster
August 9, 2023 – The only reason I put that date at the beginning of the column is Mary just told me that on that day a super jackpot in the states reached 1.8 billion dollars (about $6 per person in the US and a hell of a lot more in Canada). $1.8 billion is a sizeable amount of money; some of us won’t make that much in our whole lifetime.
The question running through what is left of our minds is, “What would I do with that much money?” For some, like a new homeowner in Ford’s greenbelt developments, that bit of cash would make a fairly substantial dent in the mortgage, maybe leave them a bit left over to buy one of those refrigerators that makes its own ice cubes. I have always thought having one of those fridges in your kitchen is a sign that someone has really made it today. We have a 1946 Crosley at our house. It has a little steel freezer thingy near the top that only holds two little ice cube trays with a space underneath for two popsicles and a small box of Birdseye frozen blueberries but not at the same time. That was the extent of fridge technology in the 40’s but a big improvement over an iceman carrying a big fifty-pound block of ice across the living room rug and on into the kitchen.
I have read that a lot of big winners spend thousands upon thousands on new luxury cars, and some bozos blow a king’s ransom on huge trucks, trucks so big they clog up parking lots and make us more sane persons nose out of our parking spaces only to get dinged by some other jerk with another big truck cruising by. Once they have finished doing whatever they were doing they drive like maniacs down the 400 until they finally get somewhere, realize they don’t know why they went there in the first place, toss a couple of hundred bucks worth of gas in the tank and drive home. I’m sure it makes sense to them but not to me.
Mary and I have a 2008 Chrysler Sebring and I suppose we could spring for something a little newer, but it only has 75,000 kms on it so it would be a shame to scrap it. I passed a Rolls Royce the other day on Hwy 12 and thought, ‘If we won $1.8 billion, we could trade the Sebring in on it.” The Rolls did look quite impressive. On the other hand, his monthly payments must be a bitch. And the insurance – I don’t even want to think about it.
Mary keeps talking about buying a place on a lake someday. That would be nice, but if we did, we would feel obligated to buy a boat to keep up with the neighbours, maybe even a cruiser with a real toilet inside so we could drink cocktails and sneer at the peasants in rented rowboats as we speed by swamping them. But then I would have to get a boating license. I am not too bright to begin with although you would never guess that from reading my columns. I find that starboard/port business so confusing I know I would never pass the exam. Plus, I don’t know a boat’s poopy deck from its mizzen mast. What if I pooped where I was supposed to mizz and everybody on the dock laughed at me? That would be so embarrassing.
We could always move somewhere of course. Some yoyos are supposed to be building a bunch of high-priced condoms along the lakes and any work down there usually takes forever. Mary and I probably don’t have much more than thirty or forty years left before the kids stick us in a geezer home somewhere around Sebright so moving there is out. I think we will stay right here. Besides, moving is costly unless you know someone with a truck, but then you have to buy him a few beers, so it adds up. I can see my $1.8 billion dwindling to practically nothing already and I have yet to win a nickel.
I guess we could think about sharing some of our wealth with our relatives, but I heard that a lot of people who suddenly become wealthy can’t handle the pressures that go along with it and spend it foolishly, or drink it away. I wouldn’t want to inflict that kind of misery on my family so rather than risk ruining their lives I will take the highroad and cut them out altogether. I am starting to feel better about my windfall already.