Saturday, May 21, 2011

What a night.

I'll accept with poise, with grace / When they draw my name from the lottery - Jimmy Eat World, "Big Casino"

I've got a story to tell you that is only tangentially food-related, but I think you'll enjoy it and it does make sense in the context of this blog. It's all about my day yesterday and how, if I were the type of person who really was living on three dollars a day, the events of yesterday would have affected me far more profoundly than they have affected me. (For new readers: I have not yet begun the experiment. The "eating on three dollars a day, using my bicycle/public  transportation to get everywhere"part starts in June.)

I started out the day yesterday attending a luau at work. Yes, I got "lei'd" by someone from Human Resources, a joke that surely never gets old - but I had a good time talking to people from my department in a more casual setting and the food was good. Like, really good. When I mentioned eating free food in an earlier blog it was events like this I had in mind. The food was plentiful and masterfully cooked and it took some real willpower not to go back for seconds (or thirds!).

Anyway, after all the food was eaten we had a little raffle giveaway. Now, I'm sure this is confirmation bias or something similar, but I've always held myself as being uncommonly lucky. I've been to casinos dozens of times and only lost money once, and then it was only $2.50. I win games of chance more often than the average person, or at least it feels that way. So when I was chosen to pick the first winning ticket out of the raffle - well, it came as no surprise to me that I picked my own name. I won a twenty-five dollar gift card to Publix, a regional grocery store, and I immediately thought of this blog - after all, twenty-five dollars would buy almost two weeks' worth of food on a three dollar a day budget - but when a colleague who doesn't own a car won a twenty-five dollar gift card to a gas station, it only made sense to trade.

With my new, free gas in my car, I thought it'd be nice to take a trip over to Tampa and specifically to hit the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. After all, I was having a lucky day, it makes sense to try and make a little money while I'm at it, right? (I promise this isn't a story about how much money i won or lost; I wouldn't really brag about that unless it was enough to pay off all my bills).

To cut through a long story involving me winning money, at the end of the night I'd turned sixty dollars into two hundred dollars - or so I thought. As I reached into my pocket to put my newest shiny hundred dollar bill into my wallet, I noticed that my wallet was missing. Long story short, it appears some sly person stole my wallet while I was gambling. I've reported it to the police and so forth, but I started thinking: the biggest things I lost were the hundred dollar bill and my driver's license. (I also lost a professional license related to my job, but that's of lesser concern at the moment.) I've already hopped online and ordered a new driver's license (the state of Florida makes that surprisingly easy, much to my relief) and, truth be told, I won't miss the hundred dollars - it was money I'd won, after all, not earned.

But what if I had no internet access? I'd have had to go to the DMV to get a replacement license, possibly having to miss work in the process, something few people can really afford to do.  What if I'd been gambling with my rent money (as more than a few people are prone to do) - how bad would that have sucked, to have that stolen out from under me by someone who's likely a professional thief?

Even a small setback like getting your wallet stolen can be a major stumbling block for someone on a limited budget, even more so if you tend to carry cash (as many people I know do - poor credit leads to them being unable to get a "regular" checking account and so they simply cash their paychecks and carry the cash - which, of course, means they never establish proper credit and the cycle continues.)

Anyway, that's all for today. Here's hoping none of you get robbed this evening, it's a real bummer.

11 comments:

Turtleftw said...

Neat, I used to work as a line-cook, and ofcourse I spent much less on groceries, because I could make a meal for myself and girlfriend to bring home. So I know how you feel about free food events.

Megan said...

Very nice idea for this blog. You seem to have taken that pickpocketing surprisingly well... Makes you come off as a very optimistic person.

Your blog immediately reminded me of this man, the "No Money Man":

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/jan/25/mark-boyle-no-money-man

I admire that quite a bit. Also, following you!

Jack said...

nice story bro

Blk Jesus said...

sorry to hear that ur wallet got stolen! that sucks i hate theives

kxxthanxx said...

great post

Admin said...

This is a really cool project. Keep it up!

nohone said...

cool story..looking forward to more

VenomForMasses said...

"I win games of chance more often than the average person, or at least it feels that way". I could use you where I'm going next week. Great read!

Jack said...

Damn son, that sounds crazy!

Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

That lei'd joke is pretty much eternally funny, I chuckled just now thinking about it. Actually it was more of chortle.

Al3xaG said...

One of my friends used to have to live under a really tick budget. And he always went to the casino under the idea that he could make a lot of money from that. However he wasn't as lucky as you. So he ended up having to sell most of the things he owned. Atm he still gambles in the casinos quite often.