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 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"

On the Cusp

by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Okay, there is something seriously wrong in the Universe and I am not above whining about it. I think it is apparent to those who hunt about a little bit that the world is in an unsettled state at the moment. The ice-caps are melting. Or growing. They're doing something. Amphibians everywhere are at risk of extinction. Elephants all over the world have said that enough is enough and are attacking and killing humans as never before. We are turning the Earth into an E-Z Bake Oven with all the fossil fuel emissions and instead of saying, while the sun shines on our heads and the wind blows through our hair, instead of saying as any reasonable race might be expected to, "Whoa, this looks bad. Are there any alternatives around?" we remain willing to fight and kill and die in pursuit of more of the very fuels which are causing all the troubles. Well, not all the troubles. Apparently cows make a contribution too. And this tidbit of information might be the only ray of sunshine in an increasingly gloomy outlook for Earth and her children. I mean, we are belching ton after ton after ton of carbon dioxide, heavy metals, soot, and who knows what kind of filth into the atmosphere twenty four hours a day, every day of the year, all around the world, and some genius has the audacity to say, "Well, yeah, but what about the cows? Look at them! Tooting left and right with no regard for the Earth at all!" You almost have to laugh at that, albeit in a kind of bitter and cynical way. The kind of laugh that your mother warned you against if you ever hoped to get a man. Ha! That kind of laugh. Cows! Ha!

As if all the global troubles were not enough, I have my own set of much less devastating and yet equally distressing issues of late. First of all I have a big problem with the lottery and not winning it. I could see me not winning it while the jackpot went up once or twice. That was no problem. I am not without a little bit of patience. But come on now! This is getting ridiculous! I have continued to not win the lottery drawing after drawing after drawing and I am fed up! How much longer am I supposed to wait?

Not only am I consistently not winning the lottery, but the whole lottery business has led me into a world of one in seventy million chances that I never bothered with before. For example, I did not win a trip to Hawaii last week, or a complete home make-over, or a thousand dollar camera, or a year's worth of groceries. And why not? Somebody had to win. Why not me? What is wrong with the world?

Oh sure, I know what you are going to say, and I suppose you are right. There are plenty of things in my life for which I should be, and am grateful. But there is room for so much more gratitude. I could easily be very, very grateful for 101 million bucks! Super grateful. I could be very grateful for a brand new pick-up truck and a years worth of gas! Heck, at this point I would be grateful just to win the pecan pie raffle sponsored by the Round -E- Round Square Dance Club. It is not the prize (well, it kind of is the prize. I love pecan pie and I love 101 million dollars), so much as it is this cycle of incessant not winning that has got me down. I am trying to remember to call it "not winning." Because the other way of saying it is "losing," and I am feeling quite glum enough without thinking of myself as a loser.

My husband tries to be Mr. Philosophical about it. "Welp," he chirps every single time we do not win, "There's another big fat 30 cents we have contributed to education." Welp! That might make him feel just fine, he may not be bothered by being a great big old Not Winner, but it does not do a thing for me! Give me 101 million dollars and see what I can do for education! From Tahiti.
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" - March 9, 2006 Column

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