Tonight’s lottery is worth fifty million. Fifty million! Imagine that! The things I could do with fifty million!
The first thing I would do would be to make a substantial donation to the local Food Bank. This group of volunteers work so hard trying to scrape together food to give to those in the town who are hungry and poor. Nothing could be worse than having to do without food, so I would love to be able to provide a little security to the Food Bank people. They know who deserve to be helped and those who are simply selfish scavengers.
The second thing I would do would be to buy a house for the local Fijian family who live down the road. He works on the wharves, but there is nothing left over at the end of the week – what with five children and all. They are the loveliest family and I know the parents make huge sacrifices for their children. How wonderful it would be to be able to knock on their door and say “Go pick a house and I’m paying!”
I think I would keep about five of the fifty million just as security for myself. But there are so many people with needs. I wouldn’t give too publically; just quietly help out as the needs arise.
You what? What’s that you say? I won? I won the fifty million? Oh my goodness! I just won the fifty million! I just won fifty million!
I wish all those bloodsucking scavengers would go away. There’s a Fijian family just down the road and they came along and asked if I could give a hand. Of course I wouldn’t give to them. If they worked a bit harder and had fewer kids they’d be able to afford things.
Then the Food Bank asked for a handout. A hand out to feed those lazy vagabonds who think life is a free ride on a bed of roses. Why on earth would I want to help them out?
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in winning the fifty million it’s this: it doesn’t take long for the vultures to come out of the woodwork. People think money grows on trees or something. I told them, yes I got fifty million. I worked hard all my life and most of that money I’ve put away for a rainy day. I’m not a charitable organization.
The band of faithful had gathered together in the little church. The vicar was reading from the Bible:
Thou Lord hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by …
Suddenly there was a great flash of light. All had to shield their eyes. A great reverberating voice boomed through the church:
Oh for God’s sake! I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Can’t you speak proper English?
At first all thought it was the voice of God, but then they realized it was the local atheist who had rigged up a system and was playing a trick. A visiting archdeacon taught the atheist a jolly good lesson by beating a bit of charity into him with a baseball bat.
Greetings! It has come to my attention that some of you are praying to God that you might win the lottery. You would like a better house and a bigger car. Perhaps you would like to travel the world. Allow me to point out the selfishness of that prayer.
Don’t you realize that the world is full of poor people who don’t even know where their next meal is coming from? Let alone having a roof over their heads. There are countless numbers of these poor people who are too lazy to work and so have to beg for money. And yet we still have to act with charity. They may be the scum of the earth but charity is called for.
So I say it loud and clear: give generously to the fund I have set up to help the poor and needy, and remember – charity in all things. Charity! Forget trying to win the lottery. Give from what you already have. There is no place for selfishness, and quite frankly, if you don’t whole-heartedly give to my fund for the poor I hope you burn in hell, you uncharitable bastards.
Some compare me to Mother Teresa (if you can remember that far back). Well I’m not Mother Teresa; I’m NOT standing at the BOTTOM of the cliff picking up the pieces like she did. I’m there at the top of the cliff. I’m at the top of the cliff helping people.
It happened almost accidentally. I started personally helping people at the top of the cliff and invited others to contribute. People cottoned on. I found the best way to get help was to promise them things; for example, if they gave ten thousand I’d make sure their photo got into the paper. I have enough connections to do that! People are so vain. You have to use their foibles in order to make charity work. I called my charity the Cliff Rockbottom Foundation.
It’s strange, but the more I help people the more I get enjoyment. It’s so satisfying pushing people off that cliff.
The first piece of music for 2016 is based on the tune of an ancient Latin plainsong hymn:
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Where there is charity and love, there lives God.
I like to think of the music as portraying the prow of a canoe or a boat, ploughing its way through waters to new and exciting horizons for 2016!! May every ounce of love and blessing be yours for the coming year!