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Visions of Sugarplums

I am losing faith in the world these days. I’ve just found out that I didn’t win Powerball last night. Of course, neither did anyone else so there’s some solace there. What this means in real terms is that I will still have to fly Jet Blue’s teensy tiny “narrow bodies” and strap my carry-on to the only space available, which by the time I get on will be the wing. Yes, I’m still kvetching about this.

I had great plans for the Powerball money. First up, I was never going to fly commercial again. No more showing up at the airport to find the flight canceled because United didn’t feel like it ( I can hold a grudge). No more flying into Boston and sitting in bumper to bumper traffic all the way to Cape Cod. I’d just take the Netjet to Hyannis and stop in Brooklyn on the way to load up on real New York lox and bagels.

When I got to the Cape, I’d go to the new house, which would NOT be an antique. It would be wherever I wanted it to be despite the price of homeowner’s insurance. I wouldn’t need to worry about fixing the roof, the air conditioning, the pool, the golf putting green or the hair salon because someone else would magically attend to these things. The wine room would be full of properly chilled Whispering Angel with plenty of straws. The audio/video system and whole house software programs would always work without the need to hang on the phone for hours with a customer service person whose fourth language was English. Someone else would have already gone to five different stores to find ripe tomatoes for the salad.

Travel would be even better. I’d be able to hire a travel agent to set up all my adventures and if I got to some exotic site and a coup ensued, I’d just call the plane and fly somewhere else. Instead of riding the bucking bronco of a ship through the notorious Drake Passage on the way to Antarctica, I’d take the jet helicopter and join the tour after the rough parts. To warm up after Antarctica, I’d head to the Seychelles, while they’re still above water.

It wouldn’t be all me, me, me. The Osterville Village Library would be renamed for my mother Janel Kisker Kesten and we’d have a memorial sofa to commemorate the one she lay on to read every afternoon. Whatever its name, the library wouldn’t have to worry about funding anymore. It would remain private so we could have all kinds of books, not just the ones Moms for Liberty deemed “appropriate”.

I’d also contribute to the PEN America effort to fight book bans. Mystery writer Michael Connelly gave $1 million to PEN’s new Miami office (where better?) that is dedicated to fighting book banning in the state that promotes it. If he can chip in $1 million, I’d be good for at least that.

Since I’d have money to burn, I’d set some aside to give to the Florida Democratic party so it could grow a set of balls and blast Governor Mickey Mouse to permanent Iowa residence, preferably in a cornfield. I might even set aside some funds for the Republicans if they’d send Matt Gaetz on a one-way trip to do charity work in Port-au-Prince.

I’m going to have to come down to earth pretty soon. I just learned that the $1.4 billion estimated prize for Saturday’s Powerball gets discounted to $643 million for the one-time option. That $643 million is then subject to federal and state income taxes. I’ll be paying $238 million in federal income tax (unless we defund the IRS) but no Florida tax since they don’t tax lottery winnings. So, I’ll be down to $405 million.

I’ll just have to make do.

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