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  Random scratch marks in the digital dirt...

September 09, 2003

They Say It's Your Birthday

Well, I've survived yet another year. Thankfully it's been a better one than last year, although this one has had its moments also. But that's dwelling in the past, and I've made myself a promise this year to look forward more than backwards.

After spending most of the day deep in the guts of one of the master files at work decoding hexadecimal number strings, I realized that my age in hex is thirty. The base 10 numbering system is so ordinary, so why not be unique and branch off into base 16? Thirty years old... I kind of like it!

Among the cards, both real and electronic, was an intriguing insert. Killer placed a Mass Lottery scratch-off game card in the envelope. When you're, um, thirty years old, you start to reflect on life. Wonder what's missing, where you can make amends, what you can do to inject a bit of excitement into an otherwise normal existence. So with anticipation, I dug into my change bag for a bright, shiny dime. I tend to believe that dimes are best suited for scratch off games. Quarters are too clumsy, and nickels have too much weight to them to perform efficiently. Before starting to remove the coating on the card, I paused to fantasize on what life would be like if I won the Grand Prize -- a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

So I begin to scratch off to see what numbers I'm playing with.

16 - $100. Hey, I could use $100...

I've been led to believe that owing a Harley is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. It's not like you can just hop on one wearing your Dockers and Top Siders. Accessorizing is crucial, and I had to pause to take an inventory of what clothing I own.

5 - $100,000. Hoo Boy! I could buy a few Harleys for that kind of cash!

OK, I own enough faded Levis to get me by. A few of them are even worn out just right at the bottom of the leg by the heel. While I might be able to get by for a few days with my cowboy boots, they're really the wrong color, so I'd need some black motorcycle boots.

12 - $40. Oh come on, quit teasing me...

Oh, and a new belt -- probably one of those ones fashioned from a primary drive chain. Alas, I don't own any black T-shirts either.

11 - $1,000,000. Yes! I could find something to do with a million dollars!

I'll have to get several H-D T's, though I don't think that Denise would care for some of the slogans on the back. But the T-shirts are required, though washing them regularly seems to be optional.

3 - $500. Admittedly a bit of a letdown, but it would be a nice down payment on a new computer.

All of the Harley riders that I've seen seem to sneer at the thought of wearing a helmet. Perhaps helmets are just for Gold Wing riders. Better put a Do-Rag down on my shopping list.

18 - $10. An even bigger letdown. But I console myself with the fact that a cool million is in play.

I guess the alligator skin billfold would be out. I'd need to get one of those long leather ones with the long chain on it to attach to my belt.

14 - $5. Hey, what's going on here? This won't even cover a trip to Starbucks for Bailey and I.

Cool sunglasses. Eye protection is important, but you've got to look cool in the process. No aviator shades for a Harley rider.

9 - $200. OK, back on an upward tick...

Chaps? A pretty bold statement, and one that I'm not sure that I'm up to yet. Better get some miles under my belt before considering chaps.

2 - $1,000. Alright, keep going! A thousand would pay for a pretty kewl laptop computer!

Let's see... I think that my physique would work well in the Harley motif, though I'd probably have to put on a few more pounds around the middle for the proper effect. I'm not sure if I'd be entirely comfortable letting my jeans slip down far enough to moon the motorists behind me, but perhaps I'll get used to it in time.

1 - $50. The last of my numbers, and they end on a down note.

My heart is racing now, and I can almost feel the wind as it courses over my body as I'm flying down the highway. My body is one with the machine, adrenalin flows through my veins. I sneer at those hapless executives driving their SUVs or talking on their cell phones in their Lexus. This is freedom!

And the winning numbers are: 10 14 13 15

Five dollars? FIVE DOLLARS IS ALL? What about my dreams? My do-rag with the Confederate flag on it. My chilly bottom! My organ donor card... Don't the Mass Lotto folks know that I deserve a million dollars, that I'm ENTITLED to it?

Dreams are what keep us hopeful. They refresh us, they are good for our soul and sometimes they become our destiny. I've had glimpses of what God intends for me in this life, and I don't think it's me as a, um, thirty year old biker. But the fantasy of strapping on a Harley was a wonderful birthday present from a very dear friend. Thank you Killer!

Posted by mjwoods at September 9, 2003 10:24 PM

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