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by Rose Madeline Mula

I just read about a truck driver who hit the lottery for two hundred and fifty million dollars.

Whooopee! No more fighting traffic. No more trying to stay awake on those overnight hauls. No more driving through rain, sleet and snow to meet delivery deadlines.

Well, not exactly. This particular truck driver loves his job and does not plan to give it up.

Is he crazy? Would you do the same? Not me.

If I had won a humongous lottery when I was working, the first thing I would have done (after writing my letter of resignation) is renew my passport. Next, I would have made reservations to travel (luxury class this time) to all my favorite locales I visited before on the cheap — first in the US, from the rocky coast of Maine to the hills of San Francisco, and all the spectacular places in between. Then Rome, Venice, Capri, London, Dublin, Zermatt, Paris, all those sweet little towns along the Rhine in Germany, Copenhagen, Stockholm, the fiords of Norway, Mexico, Rio, Canada, the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Ditto the Caribbean. After that, I would have set my sights on countries I have never seen, from Australia to Zimbabwe

Today, though, I would probably scale back those plans. Now that I’m older, all that traveling might be a bit taxing, despite the first-class flights, limos, and deluxe five-star accommodations I’d demand. I guess I’d have to be realistic and mind my ABC’s — Arthritis, Bursitis, Colitis…

So I’d probably stick closer to home. A new abode, of course. One with enough closets — finally! In fact, I might consider building two adjoining homes with a connecting indoor walkway. I’d fit two of the rooms in the second home with mirrored walls and racks. One would hold all my winter clothes and another my summer togs (all with designer labels, of course). No more seasonal switching! A third room would house wall-to-wall ledges for my shoes, and I’d divide all the other rooms into storage nooks and crannies for all those items now crammed under my beds and on the floors of my crowded closets — luggage, extra blankets, pillows, holiday decorations, vacuum cleaners, umbrellas, beach chairs, gift wrapping materials, unwanted gifts to be re-gifted…

In my living quarters I’d equip the kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, and it would be large enough to accommodate not merely an island, but maybe a small continent. Oh, what the heck, why not a large continent? And in addition to several large bedrooms, each with its own luxury bath and dressing room, I’d also demand a spacious living room (think the Great Hall at Versailles), a dining room with a table for thirty, instead of the four guests I’m presently limited to, and a room that would serve as only my office — and not also have to double (or, rather triple) as a den and guest quarters. Of course, it would have ample space to accommodate all my computer equipment, file cabinets, storage cabinets, book cases, and a pool-table-size desk …and, hey, maybe a pool table, too. I don’t play, but what the heck.

Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) all of the rooms would be equipped with surround-sound music systems and gigantic wall-mounted plasma TVs that would be tastefully camouflaged and hidden from view, coming forth only when bidden.

Of course, I’d hire a cordon-bleu chef, a cleaning staff, and a crew of landscapers to transform my surrounding acres into fantasyland.

It occurs to me that since I wouldn’t be doing my own cooking and home and garden maintenance, I would need to exercise. So I’d better add a fully-equipped gym to my blueprints, complete with a hunky personal trainer. Oh, and an Olympic-size indoor pool with retractable roof for warm, sunny days. So what if I can’t swim; I’ll hire someone to swim for me.

Also high on my list of priorities is a capacious garage so I wouldn’t have to clean snow off my car all winter long. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t need to live where it snows in winter any more! I could build duplicate living quarters on the shores of a tropical beach to which I could retreat as soon as the temperature dipped below 70 degrees.

But back to that garage. Naturally I wouldn’t leave it empty. I’d buy a new luxury car or two — every year for the next fifty. I’m not going to live that long, you say? Hey, whose fantasy is this? Furthermore, I’d look young and beautiful forever because I could afford plastic surgery to erase every wrinkle as it appeared.

Okay, okay. I admit it. This all sounds extraordinarily selfish. A more commendable plan would be to distribute my new-found wealth to worthy causes, relatives and friends. Actually, I already have a list (that’s true!); but it’s not necessarily complete. If you’re really good to me, I might add your name.

But you have to be nice before I hit the jackpot. Fawning over me afterwards doesn’t count.

©2009 Rose Mula for

Editor's Note: Rose Mula's most recent book, The Beautiful People and Other Aggravations, is now available at your favorite bookstore, through and other online bookstores, and through Pelican Publishing (800-843-1724), as is her previous book, If These Are Laugh Lines, I'm Having Way Too Much Fun.



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