Friday, 22 February 2008
As you may remember, I'm not very hopeful of a lottery win anytime soon, since I don't buy a ticket. I don't really think lotteries are very good. You're far better off with the horses, or in a casino. Not that I bet on those, either.
However, a lot of people don't agree with me. In Marano in Italy they think the lottery is such a good idea that there should be one for dead people.
There's clearly no point in giving them money, since by all accounts they won't be able to spend it in their new homes. In fact the prize is precisely that, a new home.
There is a severe shortage of burial plots, so the lucky winners will get their very own space. Currently they're making an unplanned stopover at the local morgue.
Apparently, the problem is only a temporary one, as a new cemetery with space for 1,000 will soon be opening. However, I think that the idea of prizes for dead people is a good one, though I'd do it a little differently.
I think that the first prize should be a memorial. Different weeks they could do a different one. Maybe get a composer to write a song, or a poet an Ode, or a sculpturer erect a statue in a town square or whatever. Or a street named after them. People in generations to come would say "Who was that? What did they do?"
The point is that the people honoured in this way would be chosen entirely randomly. At the moment a lot of the great and good chosen for these sorts of memorials are military leaders whose forces slaughtered more people than their opponents. Or politicians who possibly attained their office through less than honorable means. Far better to pick someone who had a more "normal" life.
When I first saw this story, I thought I'd make something funny out of it, but actually, I'm serious. Deadly serious.