I’ve got The Lottery on my mind lately, and I don’t mean the Mass Millions “you can’t win if you don’t play” one; I mean the Shirley Jackson “lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” type of lottery. You know, the kind of lottery that triggers extreme emotional and physical pain. (If you don’t know Jackson’s 1948 “New Yorker” classic, go read it–right now. I first read it in the high-school lit class of Dr. Soukarosis. A rotund man with wide eyes and frizzy hair whom we called “Souk”–or if we were feeling particularly devilish, “Soooooouuuk”–he looked like a perpetually shocked Weeble–he wobbled but didn’t fall down.)
Why can’t I get a fictitious annual stoning ritual out of my mind? First, I’ve spent my entire vacation week painting the upstairs of our house with a talkative teenager, and the tie-in to the current rave book-cum-movie Hunger Games is, to me, blatant. Second, I am awaiting word from a certain lottery myself–if a marked slip comes my way Wednesday, I’m in for months of physical and emotional pain (but probably not certain death).
Yes, the lottery for a slot in the 2012 New York City Marathon will take place, gasp, Wednesday April 25th at high noon. I want a number. I don’t want a number. I want a number. Ack! What I really want is a different brain–that would be very, very nice.
My number for the lottery is 849497. I think that means that there are close to a freaking million crazy people who want to run 26.2 miles on November 4, 2012; since “only” about 37,000 are allowed to run on the course on race day, odds are against me. Which is good. I think. Maybe. Definitely it is maybe a good thing that I probably can’t possibly get in.
Will I get a marked slip, ensuring the continuity of my “Collect All Five World Major Marathons” ridiculousness? Stay tuned…and if you’re a part of this lottery, too, good luck getting whatever outcome you seek!