Brenda’s Unfortunate Record #35


My little sister Camille and her boyfriend Carl are visiting from Canada.

Yesterday afternoon as we were finishing lunch, Carl started to tell me about his best friend.

I didn’t catch his name so let’s just call him Guy. 

Apparently the first 25 years of Guy’s life were hard. He grew up in Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal, in real North American poverty. There was definitely no pot to piss in, which in turn limited his prospects etc etc … we all know the trappings. Eventually Guy managed to land himself a pretty decent job on a factory line. Suddenly he was making like $24 an hour, more money than he’d ever seen in his life. He got a girlfriend, was able to move into some decent rental accommodation, they had a baby and he bought himself a truck. 

One night a few years ago Carl & Guy were sitting in Tim Horton’s. Guy turned to Carl and said, ‘You know what, I finally feel fulfilled. I don’t think there’s anything more I could have which would make me happier’. 

A couple days later the two of them were in the car with the baby. It was Saturday morning and mum had been up sick through the night, so Guy had asked Carl if he’d accompany them to the museum, to give her a bit of rest. As they’re driving along Guy’s phone starts to ring. He has bluetooth and the name of the caller comes up on the dashboard. It’s Genevieve from work, which is strange, as she’s really not one the colleagues he ever socialises with. He answers and suddenly the air’s filled with shrieking – incomprehensible, hysteric screams. Guy’s unable to get a word in. She hangs up and the two look at each other, ‘What the hell just happened?’.

A second later she calls back. Same thing, more shouting, only this time they’re able to make out, ‘le gros lot c’est nous autres!’ (the big win is us)
When she hangs up, Carl turns to Guy, ‘Did you go in on the lotto?’

‘Yeah I have the ticket here’ he says, pulling out a piece of paper from his pocket. 

‘We should check the numbers’.

Now this wasn’t just any lotto, it was a record-breaking jackpot for the province of Quebec, in the news and all. $50 million was up for grabs and everyone was talking about it. Nonetheless Carl and Guy maintained their composure til they finally managed to find a petrol station, around 20 kms down the motorway. 

Carl went in and got the results. He calmly walked back to the truck and Guy rolled down the window. ‘Is there a number starting with 23?’

‘Yep’ And with that, one by one the winning digits were rattled off. 

Apparently Guy kept his cool. He just got out, went over to his baby, gave him a big kiss and said, ‘Carl, if you don’t mind I don’t think we’ll go to the museum today. I’d like to go home to tell my missus and if you don’t mind, I’d like you to drive’. So they got back into the truck, this time with Carl at the wheel, and headed back to Longueuil. 

A few days later Carl accompanied Guy to the Loto-Québec, where he was issued a cheque for $2,777,777.78 ($50 million, divided by the 18 colleagues in the syndicate). They took it to the bank and nearly gave the unsuspecting teller a heart-attack. 

‘Is this for real?’, she asked. Guy just nodded his head and smiled. 

Funny thing is, Guy wasn’t even a proper member of the syndicate. He’d never played before and the only reason he partook that week was because one of his colleagues had forgotten to bring in a fiver. He had a ten dollar bill. There was no change in the box so he thought, fuck it, I might as well participate. To make things even sweeter, he worked for this floor manager who really had it in for him – you know one of those overly-pedantic, feverish at the slightest twinge of power, cunts we’ve all encountered at some point in our lives. Normally he played too, but as Guy had pitched in, that week he opted out. 

So this really is a modern fairy tale, right? Like honest to god true story. The good guy wins, Guy never has to work another day in his life. I naively say, ‘but is 2 million really gonna last forever?’ at which point I’m reminded of the interest you earn on such an amount, which gets us talking about how the rich stay rich and how basically, the rest of us are all fucked. Carl’s witnessed all the shenanigans, right down to the bank buying Guy a home. I won’t go into detail but via a web of loans and interest, turns out after 25 years he won’t end up paying a penny for the $450,000 rural casa. 

As Robert from the Royal Bank explains all this, Guy (still holding on to some of his leftie-instincts) asks, ‘but if the bank’s winning on this, and I’m winning on this, who’s footing the bill?’, to which we all know the answer, right? Yep you, me and the rest of us plebs travelling Standard. Pffffff. 

Not like Guy was unhappy to begin with, but still, to those of us who like sleeping sound let this be a reminder – once you’re in, you’re in. Be careful what you wish for. 


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