I noticed another news story on my internet news feed a couple of weeks ago about the ding-a-lings who still claim to believe the Earth is flat, in that it’s not ball-shaped. They apparently concede that it’s round, but why not say it’s flat and square? Or a flat parallelogram? For that matter, why not a Bucky Ball? They need to get creative with their delusions.

If you spend any time on the net or social media, odds are you’ve seen this kind of stuff. Other absurdities people like to promote are the Moon is hollow, the Earth is hollow, their craniums are hollow … sorry, I don’t mean to editorialize, but … there are enough conspiracy theories and hoax absurdities to fill any tin foil sombrero.

I guess the Buddha was on to something when he said three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.

I’ll insert here that I’m normally not one to go down the conspiracy rabbit hole, but I confess to one irrational belief; that if I buy a lottery ticket, I just might-possibly-maybe-hopefully win some money and retire in a castle.

But another way to look at it is that New Mexico supports the lottery scholarship program.

It always kind of made me feel a little better knowing that my money goes to help a worthy student get an education, and that’s what I say to my friend who ribs me about buying a lottery ticket. “Why don’t you just flush it down the toilet,” is one of the more family-friendly comments he has made, along with a snicker, or “Oh, you really are a big-time gambler.”

But I don’t think of it as gambling, but more of a game of chance, and buying a Roadrunner ticket every few days at one of those big red vending machines doesn’t really put a big dent in the household budget. So what do I get for my dollar? Well, dreams and fantasies, or should I say, a fairy tale for us grown-ups.

It’s like when you’re little and reading a fairy tale about the kid from a poor family finding a pot of gold. For instance, the lad Jack takes a chance and trades his cow for a few beans. And because of that wins a lot of money. A little like a lottery, except that he risks his life to steal the pot of gold from the giant who lives in a castle in the sky. Or was it a goose that lays golden eggs?

I have never decided if there was some hidden moral truth in that tale and others like it, but it doesn’t matter because when you get down to it, we’d all like to win a big sack of money, preferably with little or no effort.

When you come home with a lottery ticket, the conversation routinely drifts over to how to spend that imaginary money. It’s one heck of a conversation starter. Pipe dreams and what-ifs abound, and the conversation always ends with a chuckle or two. By the next morning, it is forgotten.

When I lived in Santa Fe some 30 or so years ago, the closest thing to gambling I did was on the occasional Saturday night at the big bingo hall out on the Tesuque Pueblo. This was a few years before the lottery started up in the state and before the proliferation of all the casinos.

You’d go in and buy your cards and a big fat marker and find a place to sit at one of the long tables set up with folding chairs. The emcee called out the letters and numbers, and everybody – usually a couple of hundred – scrambled to blot out the correct space on their cards. I wasn’t very good at scrambling, especially if I had six or eight cards in front of me, but sometimes it didn’t matter because one night, a big husky scary-looking guy sitting across the table from me would peek at my bingo cards and reach over and mark them for me if I was too slow.

Bingo at Tesuque was a very social affair, and everybody would cheer when somebody yelled, “Bingo!” There was food and drink and music and a lot of conversation, like a big party every Saturday night. A far cry from the rows and rows of people feeding money into slot machines, which can be fun for a while, but it’s just not as much fun as the old bingo hall on Saturday night.

But I digress.

I’ve always known the Earth is a sphere, but I’m unsure about the moon. It could be the Death Star in disguise.

Shoot, I forgot to buy a lottery ticket again.

But hey, I still have my dollar.