FROM THE VALLEY: Lottery tickets, race cars and golf

Tom Valley

Other than some gray hair and a ball cap, I have a few things on my mind. Let's get to it.

Have you ever done something that turned out to be surprisingly fortuitous and someone suggested, “Wow, you should go buy a lottery ticket”? As if that single circumstance of luck was a legitimate reason to throw money down the drain? And, of course, I usually follow that advice and end up with a dozen worthless scratch-offs on the car seat or in my pocket for a couple of days.

But what's up with connecting a fortunate incident with what the future presents? It reminds me of the old joke about a guy who woke up at five o'clock in the morning on the fifth day of the fifth month. It happened to be his 50th birthday and on his way to work he found $50 on Fiftieth Street. He thought opportunity was knocking, so he went to the race track. He waited until the fifth race and put $5,000 on the No. 5 horse.

It came in fifth.

Yeah, I know … you saw that coming. Maybe you should go buy a lottery ticket.

Next: It was raining the other day and so I took a break from building picnic tables, a hobby which pays for itself. (Blatant self-promotion.) I turned on the TV and there was a car race on. Not just a car race but the Monaco Formula One race where the cars look so fast, it seems they could break the sound barrier, if given the chance.

What drives me nuts is the course. It's like having jumbo jets racing up and down the aisles of a supermarket. With the odds of passing each other at practically zilch, they might as well be racing 10 or 20 trains on the same track. What a waste of sleek-looking machines.

That may have not been very interesting or amusing, but it's been stuck in my craw for a week and the only way to get rid of it is to pass it on to you. Did I tell you I have picnic tables for sale?

Next: My wife is a good person. She volunteers her time to help those who are less fortunate. But I think sometimes she takes me for granted. The other day, she forgot her cell phone and knowing how much she uses it, I texted her at least half-a-dozen times to let her know. Do you think she responded? No! She completely ignored me.

And I know she needed it, some idiot kept texting her while it sat there on the table.

OK. That was just plain silly. Of course it's a joke. I only texted her twice.

This coming weekend, my buddy, Dave — a.k.a. Buck — and I are in a two-day golf tournament together. He couldn't ask for a better partner. He tried, but everyone else was already teamed up or couldn't play.

Minus the first six shots, I usually play the par 3s quite well. I'm hoping I can shoot my "A game." When the club pro asked Buck what I brought to the table, he said, “Usually, peanut butter crackers and root beer.”

Dave is a good golfer. He has won several events at Shelridge Country Club, our course in Medina. He's been a member there for 31 years. He learned the ropes from some old timers.

He told me about the time he was playing with a guy in his 90s. The guy was naturally a little slow and was breathing heavily as they plodded along.

Dave, making conversation and looking for tips, casually asked the veteran golfer what was the best side of the fairway to be on.

The old-timer smiled and said, “The top side.”

Nice. I'm lucky to have Buck as my partner. In fact, when I told the pro who I was playing with, he said, “Wow, you should go buy a lottery ticket.”

I don't need to; I'm already a winner.

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

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