My So-called Life: Luxury lifestyle? It's just the ticket

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The Independent Online

This is the tale of The Little Greedy Woman, a fable for our times, and maybe a kind of re-telling of The Little Red Hen, whose sanctimonious little neck The Little Greedy Woman has always rather wanted to wring.

This is the tale of The Little Greedy Woman, a fable for our times, and maybe a kind of re-telling of The Little Red Hen, whose sanctimonious little neck The Little Greedy Woman has always rather wanted to wring. The Little Greedy Woman never did like the hen, much preferring the cat and the dog and mouse who lounged about waiting for things to be done for them. "That's the ticket," the Little Greedy Woman thought, even when she was a child, when her favourite pastime was getting measles, ordering her mother about - "More Lucozade, mother!" - and staying in bed. "That's the life." Now, here is the tale:

Once upon a time, not so long ago, as it was only the other day, there was a Little Greedy Woman. This woman does the National Lottery, which may, in fact, be considered a modern-day tax on the greedy everywhere. This Little Greedy Woman does the National Lottery online, buying three months' worth of tickets at a go and thinking very little more about it. However, one day the Little Greedy Woman returned from holiday - economy class; smelly blanket; squashed-up legs - and checked her e-mails. The Little Greedy Woman discovered it was the usual stuff, mostly. However, among those that offered to do wonders for the penis she most certainly does not have, as she is The Little Greedy Woman, not The Circus Freak Woman With The Penis - which is another fable all together and not entirely suitable for children, particularly in its illustrated form - was one with a "from" line that read "adminsupport@camelotinteractive. com" and a "subject" line that read: "News about your ticket!"

This Little Greedy Woman felt her mouth go dry. She could hear her own heart pounding in her ears. Ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom. She felt as if her knees had turned to jelly, which made a nice change from her thighs, which, because she is lazy and work-shy and disinclined to ever get off her fat arse, are jelly, more or less. For some reason, this Little Greedy Woman had the words "double roll over" and "£14m" flying around in her head:

"Double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom..."

Of course, thought The Little Greedy Woman, I will donate a considerable amount to charity, because that is the sort of person I am, or would be, if I were. Still, she resolved to at least buy The Big Issue every now and then instead of always avoiding eye contact with the vendors outside Tube stations and wondering why they are out in all weathers. Don't they have homes to go to? The Little Greedy Woman realised she might never have to travel by Tube again. Or fly economy. Who will fly first class from now on, in one of those pod things with proper beds and massages and cashmere blankets as recently advertised by Virgin? "I will," said The Little Greedy Woman. "I will!"

"Double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom..."

The Little Greedy Woman opened the e-mail. "Dear Deborah," it read, for that happened to be the name of The Little Greedy Woman, "we have some exciting news about the ticket you bought for last Saturday's draw. Please sign into your account on the web." She would, she decided, be discreet about her winnings. She would not gloat. She would carry on working as per normal, particularly if it involved phoning the office, laughing very hard, and telling everyone to go stuff it. Who will ride past her former work place in an Aston Martin Vanquish going "nah-nah-ne-nah-nah" and waving her diamonds and furs? "I will," said The Little Greedy Woman. "I will!"

"Double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom..."

She would have to give some of it away to family, of course. Parents, brothers, sisters, cousins. First cousins, thought The Little Greedy Woman, but not second cousins. One has to draw the line somewhere. Come to think of it, she further thought, how well do I know my first cousins anyway? Not very. And as for my brother and sisters, are we that close? My parents? What have they ever done for me apart from be there whenever I needed them and help me through the measles and every financial crisis? Nothing. Who will, from now on, pretend she's an orphan with no family ties whatsoever? "I will," said The Little Greedy Woman. "I will!"

"Double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom..."

No, she would not let such a vast amount of money change her in the least. Yes, a fully-staffed yacht and a new house - nothing too showy or vulgar, she thought, while simultaneously thinking "Bishop's Avenue!" - but apart from those, the money would not change her in the least. She would loyally stick with her partner of many years, even though she might not give him the keys to Bishop's Avenue or tell him where the yacht is docked and would generally wash her hands of him. She would keep all her old friends until she dropped them in favour of better ones. She would maybe dock her yacht next to John Travolta's, who would ask her over for fun times and on-deck barbecues with the Douglases and Brad and Jen. Who will come over this evening for fun times and an on-deck barbecue with the Douglases and Brad and Jen? "I will," said the Little Greedy Woman. "I will! Count me in!" The Little Greedy Woman would prove to be excellent company, as well as a natural at quoits, and would be invited back again and again and again.

"Double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; double roll over, £14m; ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom..."

The Little Greedy Woman reached the National Lottery website and clicked on "My Account". By this time, The Little Greedy Woman could hardly breathe and had, in her mind, become World Quoits Champion and godmother to the Douglases' next child. A message popped up on her screen. "Well done, Deborah A Ross," it said, for that was the full name of The Little Greedy Woman, "you won £10 in last night's draw!"

After some consideration, the Little Greedy Woman decided she might not give up work after all. She might also carry on living in the same shabby house while driving the same Micra (old shape) and buttering up her partner so she could plunder the joint account for her own purposes, particularly cellulite cream. The Little Greedy Woman felt she had learnt the full extent of her own pathetic greed, but still thinks she might have been good at quoits. That is something to hang onto, at least.

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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