I walked into the break-room as I heard a coworker say, "Man, if I had that much money, I'd just spend every moment I could with my friends and family, and that would be IT."
This is Brett and these are the things Brett says. He's got sexy, blond, wavy hair and takes professional photos of skaters (with the fish eye lens like it's 2004 or some shit). Brett is preposterously successful, ridiculously nice, and I'm super jealous of him, sure. But I also hate him a little for the same reasons. Every time he talks I think, "Wait, isn't the world supposed to crush people like you?"
He caught me making an annoyed scrunched up face at him. He laughed, and asked if I was having "An okay day." I adjusted my face and said yup.
"What would you do, Jeremy," asks Brett, "if you got a ridiculous amount of money-in-the- bank?" Brett's also the kind of guy who never just says "money", it's "money-in-the-bank" or nothing.
"It depends," I said, "Did I work hard for this money or just acquire all of it at once somehow, like from a lottery?" He says lottery. "Well... Since all this money just fortuitously landed in one person's lap, I would ensure that the whole sum of money landed in another person's lap in accordance with that particular path. Like, I would do some research, ask around, then I would go to a prison and release an innocent or mildly criminalized inmate, whose family can't afford his bail because it is so high. I'd bail him out. Something like that."
Brett looks sad. Brett looks perplexed. Brett says, "You wouldn't spend time with your loved ones?" (He says "loved ones").
"No, Brett," I said, "I think that would be extremely selfish of me to just accept this unshakable financial power as if I was deserving of it." The room died a quick, bloody death and everyone left. I was just trying to be funny. But that's normally how people turn into assholes isn't it? And that's pretty much what happened. I heard an old mentor in my head that I completely made up for lacking a real one say, "That's what happens if you go against the grain too much; you get splinters."
But with my luck, the dude I released would probably end up being a salesman for Mercury Aiire or some scammy vacuum/air purifier company. I wouldn't want to have to hold auditions in the prison. This is a bad idea...
"Why don't you just donate it to To Write Love On Her Arms or something along those lines?"
Because then I feel like I'd be squandering my one chance to do something unforgettable and awesome- It just wouldn't make a good story. That much money is a wild card, you know? And when you're a writer, wild cards are a coveted commodity.
Maybe I could go into a Village Inn, put all the money down on the table and yell, "EVERYBODY LISTEN UP! I DECLARE FREE HORSE AND PIE DAY! EVERYONE CALL YOUR FRIENDS AND TELL THEM TO COME GET SOME FREE PIE! A WHOLE PIE OF ANY FLAVOR YOU WANT FROM ANY VILLAGE INN! IT'S ON ME!" There would be uproarious cheering and high-fiving. Then someone would say, "Awesome! Thank you! ...Um... Did you say Free HORSE and Pie day? Why Horse?" That's when everyone would look out the window to see a frantic heard of wild horses stampeding through the parking lot. Later that day, I'd go to the mall to get an exotic gumball from one of the machines for a quarter. I never have a quarter on me, but that day I would.