Give Me An L

Boyleing Points

I forget that I won an all-expense paid trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The tourism board of Australia ran a contest about why you were the best person for “the Best Job In the World.” 

It was a sixth month gig, the pay was a 100 grand, and the job involved lying around in the sun (missing the Rockaway winter), snorkeling, and writing a weekly blog about life in paradise Down Under. The official title was Island Caretaker. The workplace was an idyllic island off the Aussie coast.

It had my name all over it though I thought I might be overqualified with the lying around part. Anyway, you had to send them a video making your case. Unfortunately, 34,000 other people thought they were better suited than me. The judges whittled the finalists down to 16. I was not among them. 

My self-esteem flatlined. With 34,000 entrants, it was more about luck than the quality of your video (and mine was classic, of course). And when it came to luck, I didn’t have much to brag about. When I was a kid I entered a contest in which you had to guess how many lemons a year were used in Lemon-Up shampoo. I didn’t win but I got a consolation prize of a lemon-colored clock radio. And I won a two-foot sandwich at a St. Francis parish outing. A radio and a sandwich. It was about thirty years in between wins.

Some Brit was the lucky winner of the Island Caretaker gig and I hated him for it. But little did I know, the 33,999 who did not win were tossed into the Loser’s Bracket for a drawing to win an all-expense paid trip for two to the Great Barrier Reef. Again, I did not win.

But wait, there’s more. The winner of the Loser’s Bracket did not step forward. They had another drawing and the third time was actually the charm. I won. Holy shitski. They just pulled my name out of a Crocodile Dundee hat. Of course, I thought a bunch of Nigerian scam artists were behind this contest, which was basically run through email.

But sure enough, two tickets for Quantas airlines and an itinerary with hotels and transportation were soon delivered to me. To me. No longer Bad Luck Boyle. No longer Kevin Bagel. No Longer Wrongo Starr. No longer Mr. Mush. 

I remained lucky as the plane didn’t crash and the bride and I had what should have been an unforgettable time. But it is forgettable. 

I forget that I was ever lucky when I take a box in a Super Bowl or fill out brackets for the NCAA Basketball tourney, now underway. I pick teams not having a clue, yet I think I deserve to win. Or at the very least, I believe I’m due. I’ve never won anything, I start to think. The gods are against me and it’s BS. I’m due.

You know with the lottery, you gotta be in it to win it. The rare times I buy a ticket I actually get a good feeling. This ticket feels goooooood. How am I gonna spend this boatload of dough? Yeah, right. 

Better to stick with the x-ray motto: you can’t lose, if you don’t play.

I have zero knowledge of most teams but once money is riding on it, I become an expert. I can hate a coach or a player who does something wrong and extends my unlucky streak. It’s personal.

And yea, I picked Virginia. The first number one seed to ever—ever!—lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. I’ve never won anything.

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