This piece was featured at Found Magazine
during the week of December 8 - 14, 2002,
before gracing the pages of Clever Magazine and Ticketstubs.

Betting on Señor Beckett
FOUND by Alan C. Baird

Loteria Nacional

Madrid, Spain, 1993

Shivering on a frozen bench, exhaling my puffy clouds of Absenta-flavored
breath into the frigid air and waiting for el Museo del Prado to open...
ah, the midwinter splendors of Parque Retiro.

What the hell was I thinking?

That loco pack of Madrileños had kept me out all night once again,
dancing with their Eurotrash "friends," and it was beginning to feel like
the entire month had slipped away, shrouded in an alcoholic haze.

However, I was hoping against hope that a few Goyas and El Grecos would
sober me up, so I stood on wobbly legs to make the two-block pilgrimage,
desperately searching for something which might purify my jaded soul.

Suddenly, a lottery ticket from last week swims into view on the
next bench:  why is this penciled note in English?  Is it a sign?
Just shove the damn stub into your sport coat, chucko;
it's probably another Absinthe hallucination.

But it wasn't.