Today’s Tirade: Nincompoops


Cooper at Lemon Hill in Philadelphia

This week’s billion-dollar lottery passed me by again, after my buying several tickets which didn’t even display one of the numbers drawn. That’s my typical luck. What are the odds for not having at least a lousy numeral from the winning selection? Evidently they’re a whole lot better than getting one, or two, or even the Mega Ball.

If I recall my high-school course of probabilities and statistics correctly, the odds would be 1 out of every 1.3 tickets bought.* That make a lot of sense, for I rarely get even one number, or a Mega Ball; although, a player needs to match at least the Mega Ball number to win something: $2.00, for which the odds are 1 in 37.

The Power Ball Lottery’s jackpot is around $750 million, to be drawn by the time this tirade is done. I didn’t get any tickets for the drawing. For the hell of it, let’s pick a string of numbers and see how they make out: 1-7-42-49-67 and 18 for the Power Ball. I’ll post the winning digits when available.

Why is it that people who talk on their cell phones in public have to do so with at least twice the volume they would use in normal situations? I don’t want to hear a one-sided conversation for which is of no interest to me most of the time.

My loudmouth neighbor has a habit of broadcasting his conversations to the neighborhood while standing below my second-floor window. He woke me up the other morning before 7 a.m., during which time I couldn’t get back to sleep due to the intensity of his drivel.

I felt like shouting out the terrace door to him, “STFU,” but maintained my composure while getting up and fixing myself breakfast. It was nice anyway being up with the early birds.

Other nincompoops that hassled this chronic complainer were involved with dinging my beloved car’s door. Earlier in the week, while stopping for grub and coffee at my neighborhood Wawa, I watched an old-timer strike my passenger’s door with his as he exited the vehicle next to me.

“Oops,” the man said without even apologizing, walking off abruptly towards the store as if nothing happened. I couldn’t believe it, heading over to look if any damage was done to the Cooper’s door and finding a small ding: colored gray like the perpetrator’s vehicle.

What was I supposed to do: make an issue out of it, call the cops to file a report, handing it in to my insurance company? I let it slide, for it was too much of a hassle. Besides, the cost for repair wouldn’t exceed my deductible, probably.

Yesterday, upon my returning home and parking the car in the lot, a woman backed her vehicle in the space immediately to the right of me. I had gotten out and opened my passenger door to remove camera equipment and some packages, when out came a tyke from the back seat of the other auto, crashing his door into mine.

“Oops,” he said, looking at me with eyes like that of a deer’s staring from the side of a desolate country road, gazing with bewilderment into an oncoming car’s bright headlights at night. I moved out of the way to close my door, telling the kid he could get out. While he was exiting, I happened to glance down and noticed a silver gash in the middle of my door.

“Look what you did,” I said to the oblivious child. “You need to pay attention and watch what you’re doing.” Meanwhile his guardian, whom I presumed was the urchin’s grandmother, came over to see what I was talking about.

“I’m sick and tired of people opening their car doors into mine,” I said. “Look here at these scratches made by imbeciles, using their ignition keys in this parking lot.”

I pointed out several to the woman, for which she showed me a couple of long scrapes made to her vehicle in the same manner. “You’re lucky I don’t make your parents pay for the damage you did to my door,” I said to the youngster, adding to his grandmother that I understood he was just a kid. “Be more careful from now on, young man.”

“Yes, Sir, I will. Can we go now?”

Why that whippersnapper, I thought. He seemed clueless to the whole incident and probably just wanted to get home and eat a snack, play some video games, or get onto his computer.

“Thank you,” the grandmother said. “He needs a good scolding every now and then.”

Again, what was I to do? There was another case that wouldn’t have been worth the hassle of involving the police and insurance company; however, all these dings and scratches are adding up and prove to be a royal pain in my butt.

“Don’t worry, Honey,” the woman said to the boy as they walked away. “It’s water under the dam now.”

While wanting to tell them the actual saying was either “It’s water under the bridge,” or “Over the dam,” damn it, I kept my big mouth shut.

Thanks for allowing me another tirade. I feel better now. Happy Halloween in advance, and I appreciate your continued support.

Postscript: The winning numbers for October 27th’s Power Ball jackpot were 8-12-13-19-27 and 4 for the Power Ball. See that? Not a single digit from the drawing did I match. The results are still pending as of this notation, and no mention of any winners were proclaimed yet.

*Post Postscript: In hindsight, I discovered an error in my calculations for the initial quandary in the above essay and corrected it, making the odds even better for getting none of the digits that match any of the lottery jackpot’s winning string of numbers. The revised answer is: 1 out of 1.1 tickets bought.


About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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1 Response to Today’s Tirade: Nincompoops

  1. For the record, two jackpot winners hailed from Iowa and New York; a couple of $2-million winners for the Match 5 + Power Play came from Florida and Texas; and nine $1-million winners’ tickets for the Match 5 were bought in California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Texas. None were from Pennsylvania, which seems to be the case a lot. Maybe I should buy my tickets in NJ. I see winners from there all the time. That’s when a participant from PA would win off a ticket bought at my usual location in Philly.

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