The trip to the newsagency

I went looking for a 21st card at the local newsagency on the weekend. I wanted something girly and feminine that was also tasteful.  My newsagency has a large range, so the range wasn’t the problem it was the pictures on the front of the cards.  For both males and females, most 21st cards had a picture of champagne glasses, bottle of bubbly or a 21st key—none of these were suitable (and I found none that I even remotely liked).  I wasn’t impressed with the toilet jokes either.  And those cards that would have been considered “more girly” had pictures of skimpy dresses, shoes or handbags—but not what I would call feminine or even pretty.  I then looked at none 21st cards and found some beautiful ones with flowers—but—as a woman who has received many “flower” cards, I thought my niece was too young to start receiving cards with flowers (she will receive many in the future) so I left the store empty handed.

I was very disappointed indeed.  I will have one more look and if I can’t find anything I will just have to make one myself.

As a result the card hasn’t been bought yet and her birthday was yesterday—so dear niece, I haven’t forgotten you and HAPPY 21ST.  

Whilst in the newsagency I witness something else that just blew me away (and not in a nice way)—a customer handed over $1000 (Aus/USA) (I knew this as the young girl behind the counter said it out loud to another staff member) to buy LOTTERY TICKETS.  I stood there dumbfounded and walked away in shock.  I thought of all the people who would love $1 000 or even $500 —and imagined how overjoyed they would be with the money and how they would have used it for good and not evil.  

Only the other day I read a blog about the cost of groceries and how stressful it can be for some families doing it tough—$1 000 would buy a lot of groceries and keep a number of families feed for a week or two. 

It made me really sad and rather cross.

Have you ever gone into the newsagency on the day before a big lotto draw—I am often amazed at the long queres of people waiting to buy that “golden” ticket—dreaming of what they “might” spend their new millions on.  The amount of money spent on lotto is staggering—I find it really sad.



  1. Cards out there can be so disgusting - and they are there in open sight of young children, too. I really wish I lived back in the days when normal society was so much more "proper" and discreet (I know bad things happened back then, but there were some wonderful advantages too!).

    As for the lottery - it is so disturbing how much money some people are willing to spend on something so hopeless. I've read some statistics (in an article - not sure how reliable the statistics were) on the subject, and it was horrifying!! Have you done any statistics on this??

    And yes - what I could do with that $1000!!! I know I could put it to much better use! :P I'm thankful I've never seen anyone use that kind of money on lottery tickets, I'm afraid I would be awfully tempted to say something to them!!!

  2. Clara - looking for cards for adult males can be very tricky as most are "toilet jokes" and not at all suitable for anyone that I would be sending them to. It can be very annoying.

    And i didn't mention the magazines on sale!

    To the lottery tickets - at first I thought the guy had won the $1000, but the girl corrected that to her off-sider. I was too amazed to say anything but walked out really ANNOYED.

    Hundreds of millions are spend on lotto, but per capita (2007/08) the figure was $1560 per person so someone is spending yours and mine!! Lotto/tattslotto is the highest per capita expenditure of all the types of gambling, evern more that horse racing.

    If all those people who gambled gave their money to someone who needed it rather than wasting it, just imagine how many people you could help.

    However the governments revenue would decline!

  3. Jo, I agree that trying to buy cards can be defiling/frustrating - often using the "blank inside" type of cards and doing one's own words seems a good option.

    When I see people gambling - eg walk past a TAB, or walk thru the foyer of the local leagues club (to use their barber shop, swimming pool or occasionally we eat out there) past the poker machine area - I feel sorry for the gamblers, rather than angry. Whether a person's wasteful addiction is gambling, smoking, porn, Internet surfing, or whatever, it's slavery from which the Lord Jesus can set them free (John 8:34, 36).

    Even though gambling is not specifically mentioned in Scripture, we Christians sometimes see it as somehow worse than other sins. When someone buys a $8000 new huge TV, or a luxury car, but hands over a credit card instead of cash, do we feel as indignant/sad/annoyed as we do with the gambler (who's generally wasting a far smaller amount)?

    Titus 3:2-8 is a wonderful guide to how we should view those still not saved, and how "good works" are to be expected only of we Christians. If we, as Christians, Christ's "epistle", shining as His lights in the world, lived more truly as His stewards (in all areas of our use of money, time, etc.), with a gracious and pitying attitude towards those who are still "slaves", wouldn't God be glorified and our testimony have more impact? - Stephen


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