Scratch Off Tickets

“12 times 9 is 108 Dad! I should get half that money. You’re tryin’ to tell me a story!”,Little Billy shot back, already mimicking the brusque facial expressions and tone of his father.

Joey looked up from his phone, annoyed. Six scratch-off lottery cards were set out in front of him on the breakfast table, just next to a plate of french toast that he had heavily covered in Aunt Jemima’s syrup. He had only scratched off three of them, and none were winners.

Joey looked his nine-year-old son straight the eye. “That’s not how it works, Billy. I already paid for these, and you’ve never even played this game before. If I win, I’m not giving you half just ‘cause you can multiply.”

Joey’s phone vibrated again. It was Jessica. Or was it Jenelle? Either way, he had met her last night at the bar around the corner from his house. They might have gone to high school together, but he couldn’t be sure.

“Who’s that, Dad?”, Billy asked.

“Mind your business. Eat your eggs.”

Little Billy had covered every possible inch of his scrambled eggs with Heinz ketchup. He thought they tasted better that way.

“Dad, you’re playing this game wrong. You should…”

“Billy, I’m on the phone. Eat your breakfast. I ain’t telling you again”.