I’ve always believed that pumping gas is the job of a husband, but today I found myself out in Simpsonville with thirty minutes to kill while my daughter had a riding lesson. I figured I’d go over to Huck’s* for a sparkling water and to take advantage of those low, low small town prices on gasoline.
A trip to Huck’s is always an interesting cultural experience because you get every strata of Shelby County society, from saddlebred people to migrant workers to farmers to doctors who commute to Louisville. I heard there was a pig loose in Huck’s recently; I’m sorry I missed that.
Today Huck’s was filled with locals playing the Kentucky Lottery. And I mean everyone in Huck’s was there on lottery business. The man in front of me took about ten minutes cashing a stack of lottery tickets, and then buying more lottery tickets from his $50 winnings. The man behind me used a lottery ticket machine to scan tickets, and when he learned he won $10, he used that to buy more lottery tickets, too.
The line got considerably long because of the man in front and his complicated lottery ticket transaction. I waited patiently, warming my hands near the heated fried chicken dispenser. Since this is Kentucky, some of the people in line knew each other and the ones who didn’t made pleasant small talk about the lottery.
The man behind me was buying lottery tickets but prefers the Boat. (The Boat is Kentucky speak for a casino right across the river on the Southern Indiana side, although I heard it’s no longer a boat, but old habits die hard, so it’ll always be known as the Boat). He takes $200 once a month to the Boat; he gives Courtney $5 and she can play on that for a couple of hours (!!?). The acquaintance he ran into doesn’t like the Boat; he prefers lottery tickets. The two women behind them both haven’t won more than $100 at once in the past few years, but they still keep playing. The man behind them helpfully added, “Get rich or die trying,” as he bought a ticket from the machine. I was the only person in the whole place without something to contribute to the big lottery conversation.
I guess I didn’t realize how many people played the lottery, but it just goes to show that I learn something new every time I go to Huck’s. And the real lesson here is that these people are adults, and the Kentucky General Assembly is never going to be able to legislate morality to these lottery-loving, God-fearing citizens of Shelby County, so we might as well just go ahead and stick slot machines in all the race tracks, get the revenue, and be done with it.
* The Yelp reviews for Huck’s are gold.