03 April, 2007

The Letter Part I

I got home from work on Thursday 29th April at about 5:30, the usual time, give or take. Saying a quick hello to Moe, Larry and Curly who were submerged in a PlayStation cricket game, I could tell TLOML was pretty excited about something and failing miserably to appear nonchalant. Ushering me out onto the back veranda, she told me we’d received some bad news today but her face and body language begged to differ. That incandescent smile was threatening to light up the whole backyard and her big, Natalie Wood brown eyes were as wide as I’ve ever seen them.

I didn’t rush her as she loves surprises and it looked like I was in for the full treatment, complete with that special kind of bad acting kids of around kindergarten age specialize in. I love the way she does this. So I played along.
“What do you think it is?” she asked.
“Oh I don’t know, another speeding fine for me?” We’d had three on a return trip down the Princes Highway to Barwon Heads last year.
“No, it’s not a speeding fine.” Still with the big smile.

She handed me an envelope with the Tattersalls logo on it and I reached inside for the enclosed letter. It told me that their records showed her registered number had come up as being a winner in a recent Tattslotto draw. Okay, so it’s not bad news after all.
“You’re such a good actress,” I told her. She believed me, so my acting at least was pretty convincing. The letter went on to say that she had won a prize in excess of $1000 and would need to either go in to the St Kilda Rd offices of Tattersalls to collect or she could post the winning ticket and receive a cheque in the mail.

“So how much have we won?”
“What’s this WE business?”
We both laughed and then she pulled out a piece of paper with some numbers on it.
“I checked that draw on the web and there were three divisions that delivered prizes above $1000: Third Division paid $1500 odd dollars; Second Division paid around $20000 and First Division $2m.”

“Alright, which of those categories do we fall into?”
“Again with the WE. Well, I’ve lost that ticket thanks to a fairly serious handbag cleanout but because I’m registered the ticket isn’t essential, just a declaration and proof of ID. But I can’t remember what numbers I had so there’s no way of knowing how much until I actually collect.”

Alright, so we have a prize, which is great. And at worst that prize will be around $1500. At best, the prize will be around $2m.

We were both due to finish work and be on holidays at 2:30 on the Friday, so TLOML would howl in to the Tatts offices asap after work, gears crunching and road rage threatening to spring forth in full bloom and then text me when she found out the results.

How do you think I spent the next 24 hours? Trying to make my mind completely, totally, flotation-tank blank so I wouldn’t get any hopes up. We both agreed that it was probably only going to be $1500 and we should set that result in our minds to avoid any disappointment.

I was determined that Friday was going to be a day just like any other. I was going to concentrate on work to the exclusion of all else. Really. Intended to stay up late doing work-related stuff but polished that off and went to bed early. There were indeed two restless souls in our bed that night and with little chance of sleeping naturally, well we just had to ....

(tasteful lap dissolve to morning).

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