Raffles. Anyone who’s lived in a town of less than 10,000 people knows that they are to rural communities as witch costumes are to Halloween. In other words, everywhere you look. I’ve bought raffle tickets that promised me a chance to win everything from a handmade afghan blanket to $200 worth of decoys from Cabela’s. As usual, I bought the ticket, not so much because I needed a blanket or faux mallards, but because I couldn’t say no to a Boy Scout or the admin assistant’s granddaughter, the one trying to raise money to pay for her Chess Club’s championship tournament in Albuquerque.
My most recent raffle ticket cost me five dollars and bought me a chance to win a) a cow b) a rifle or c) 20 bucks worth of goodies from Wal-Mart. I never win stuff. I just don’t. I especially don’t win raffle tickets. In fact, I’ve often wondered if they’re for real as I can’t think of anyone from my small communities that has actually won a raffle anything. So I had NO PROBLEM going, “Yeah, yeah, sure. I’ll take a ticket for a cow. Here’s your five bucks.”
I won. OF COURSE I would win when the item being offered is a living, breathing animal that needs approximately 30 pounds of feed and 25 gallons of water per day. To be fair, it’s not actually a COW. It’s a STEER. It weighs about 900 pounds, and it enjoys licking salt, chewing on its cud, and scratching up against fence posts.
I received the call that I had won last week buy a guy who wanted to know when I was gonna pick it up. “Pick it up?? You mean… the steaks and stuff?”
“No, ma’am,” he said. “No, the butchering is on you. So when can you pick up your steer?”