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Just My Luck

My mazel, however, has never yet helped me fill my bank account, my sheitel boxes, or my jewelry rolls

I get an endless number of phone calls and even more mail begging me to cast my ticket for this prize or that, to enter yet another Chinese auction and win big.

Split the pot and triple the jackpot! Plus, in smaller font, I also get the bonus zechus of helping the poor.

My mazel, however, has never yet helped me fill my bank account, my sheitel boxes, or my jewelry rolls.

Not so my children. Between the troves of worthy gifts dealt out at the weekly Avos U’banim sessions, their rebbis’ bottomless drawers, and the birthday bags handed out by the children in the neighborhood, my boys have amassed a large collection that rivals all my earthly possessions in the form of winnings.

Today was another day of drawings. (At least they were spared the robocall reminding them that today is the final day for double tickets.)

My oldest son came home with a remote-control car. It was small and black and had seven(!) screws that needed to be removed with the smallest sized Phillips screwdriver (you know, the one you use for your eyeglasses). Each screw turned a different way: clockwise, counterclockwise, push and pull, pull and push, and only after I removed them all, was the car finally no longer attached to the packaging. I was rewarded with more screws to remove in order to open the battery compartment, which I then needed to re-screw in order to close it.

Next, I found the remote, in its own cardboard compartment, with more screws. The age-old adage “less is more” was definitely applicable here. I feared the car wouldn’t make it to its 24-hour birthday, but I will be six batteries poorer (two of which were removed from the dining room clock, since he needed to play with his car now); I couldn’t see myself doing the screw-removal program in reverse for the sake of a few batteries.

My other son, who didn’t have enough tickets for the bigger prizes, came home with a few smaller items, presumably from a larger assortment from one of the leading Chinese companies (Oriental or Rhode Island? They sound exotic, but are really the Spanish translation for JUNK, I think).

His goody bag included slimy silly putty that ruined my daughter’s new backpack, a little plastic helicopter on a stick whose propellers flew under the kitchen table during its inaugural flight while the stick slipped beneath the fridge. One part will hopefully be retrieved when I wash the floor for Shabbos, the second part will have us wondering about its origins on Erev Pesach.

He also won a slap bracelet with sequins — not the same color as the ten slap bracelets my daughters brought home throughout the summer, mind you, so at least they won’t get mixed up. Which is great, because if they would, life would probably never be the same again.

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 670)

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