Good morning! Today’s paper brings a fable for our time. It’s about a boy called Keenan Altunis, a 33-year-old banker from Long Island who has been living in London. The last time Kevin visited his mother in New York, he tossed a wadded up $100 bill* at her, since he had no use for it.
“Go buy some scratch tickets, old woman,” he barked, and strode off to board his plane. And even though Mrs. Altunis could really have used the money for a blanket or a new hip, she did exactly that, for she loved her boy so.
“I’ll have four of the new tickets, the ’$1 million a year for life’ tickets,” she told the man at the bodega, handing over Keenan’s crisp $100.
“You’re $20 short, old woman,” he said, glaring at her.
“Oh, dear me,” she said, and with trembling hands, withdrew the last $20 in her wallet, the $20 she was planning on spending on her monthly allotment of flour. Mrs. Altunis took the tickets home and spread them out on the table. Keenan had told her to scratch them, and so she did, rubbing out the dollar signs one by one. The first one, she lost. The second one, she lost. The third one, she lost. “Great,” she said. “Now I’ll starve to death for NOTHING.” But on the fourth ticket, she got a winning symbol. And another winning symbol! She had won!
Or rather, Kevin had won. Rich, rich Kevin, who is still fully employed living in the most expensive city in the world and is currently on vacation in the Caribbean. Mrs. Altunis kept the ticket under her mattress for days until he could make the trip home to claim it, which he did recently: “Don’t get me wrong, no matter how rich anyone is, a million a year is a lot of money,” he told the Post when he was here. “But I don’t expect this to change my life very much at all.”
*This is a dramatic reenactment. The events are real, but we have enhanced them because it is more fun.