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Lottery Ticket (standard:humor, 2735 words)
Author: kidmercuryAdded: Mar 30 2005Views/Reads: 2109/1212Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A hero's undying quest to do the unthinkable: get a date.
 



I did everything they told me to. 

I worked out: I hit the gym, I pumped iron. I even ate protein
supplements. "Gimme the best stuff you got," I said to the young, 
muscle-bound boy working at the nutrition store. He handed me a large 
box, packed with some grainy white powder, a material quite reminiscent 
of sand. On the box was a large man, enormously built, wearing nothing 
but a skimpy bikini. His body was apparently freshly waxed, and a 
light, seemingly angelic glow emanated from it. 

Price of protein supplement: $77.24. The price of quality is undeniably
woeful. 

But it didn't stop there. I learned to play guitar. No, I was not the
second coming of Jimi Hendrix. Hell, it was not as though I was a top 
hat away from being Slash. But I could play songs, popular songs, and 
sing along. I played well, and I sang even better. Not being a natural 
musician, I invested a considerable number of hours to amass the little 
guitar playing skill I possessed. But I succeeded. 

Price of guitar: $176.89. Price of strings: $4.99. 

I am not one to settle for mediocrity, an illness that, in my humble
opinion, endangers far too much of humanity. So my self-improvement, my 
value-added attributes, would not end merely with a pluck of six 
strings and a hoist of circular metal plates. I ventured even further, 
educating myself in Isshinryu karate  a martial arts style hailing 
from Okinawa, an independent island off the land of the rising sun. 
Acquire a skill, I was told. Acquire a skill. So I did. I learned to 
kick and punch. I learned to twirl weapons, turning combat into a 
dance. Much to my surprise, I also gained an appreciation for the 
philosophical aspects of martial arts. My instructor's wisdom became 
the ideology behind my mindset: "A martial artist is nothing more than 
a goal setter. Set your goals; track them. By you accomplishing your 
goals, you improve yourself. Self-improvement is emancipation, the 
emancipation we've all been looking for." 

Obedience is my greatest flaw. 

Monthly cost of martial arts lessons: $72.00. Six years worth of martial
arts lessons: $72.00 * 12 = $5,400. I should note that there are still 
$44.00 in late fees that have yet to be paid. 

So, in sum, I had managed to acquire proficiency in a few
extracurricular activities, thus entitling me to present myself as a 
well-rounded person. Yet still, my goal eluded me. Motivation to 
continue my pursuit was declining, and bitterness was on the rise. 

"Dude, look at the way you dress." And with those magical words uttered
by my friend Donnie, a man who had successfully accomplished the very 
same goal I aspired to, I changed my wardrobe entirely. Out with the 
Kmart, in with the Banana Republic. 

"There's no way I can get a discount?" I said to the clerk at the
register. "I mean, I'm buying thousands of dollars worth of clothes." 

"I'm sorry." 

"You sure there's nothing you can do?" 

"Some things are just out of my hands." I smiled. I knew exactly what
she meant. 

I stood there, wondering exactly how foolish I was for even
contemplating such an extravagant purchase. "But this is a goal," I 
told myself, "and goals are necessary for self-improvement, which is 
necessary for emancipation. " So, by subjecting myself to the 
imprisonment of credit card debt, I reasoned, I was really freeing 
myself. 

I handed her my credit card. 

Purchase of completely new wardrobe: $4,672.31. Less proceeds from sale
of former wardrobe: $29.87. Total clothing expenditure: $4642.44. 



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