Dan had no skill. He didn’t know how to do anything. All he knew was that he didn’t know what he was doing. Still, whatever he did seemed to work out. Dan won every lottery he ever entered. After winning the state lottery a record tenth time, the State of Alaska conducted an investigation into Dan, looking for how he had rigged the system. The authorities could find no evidence of wrongdoing, still, The State of Alaska prohibited Dan from ever playing their state lotto again.
Dan did not take great comfort in his great wealth. It made him feel guilty knowing he’d won it by dumb luck, so he gave it all away to every citizen, writing a personal check to every one of the 698,473 people who call Alaska home. It would work out to $443.22 per citizen. It would prove to be the most popular thing one person had ever done in history of the forty-ninth state.
Dan found the popularity equally unsatisfying, knowing he was simply popular for giving away something that had never been his to begin with.
‘Any idiot could do it,’ Dan knew.
What Dan wanted most was to be a great writer, though, he had no ideas in his head. This did not deter our hero, who started pressing buttons on his keyboard with the faith that if 10,000 monkeys pounded away at 10,000 keyboards, eventually one would pound out Hamlet. Dan hoped with his luck, he could be that monkey.
Dan scattered his fingers all over the keyboard, hitting the space bar to separate sentences that he wasn’t even reading, simply typing. Dan knew a story could qualify as a novel after 60,000 words, watching his word count grow from 500 to 5000 to 50,000 to 60,001.
Dan stopped typing, he had written his novel. He believed that if his luck was real, he wouldn’t have to go back over it, his luck would have gotten it right the first time. So, he sent it off to a dozen publishers, starting a bidding war for the hottest new book ever.
His book sold for three million dollars and it went on to sell three hundred million copies. Movies were made of his book, television series spun from its pages, making Dan, (now Daniel) filthy rich.
Dan felt no sense of accomplishment. He still hadn’t read a single page of his writing, though, he had seen the movie. He didn’t recognize the story of a man fighting to prove himself by getting into a bull ring with absolutely no training, or experience fighting, or even, dining with bulls. Yet, he would dance the bull into a dizzy. The bull would pass out from exhaustion trying to keep up with the gifted matador. After enough passes, the bull stopped, moaned and fell over. The crowd rose to their feet and cheered. They’d never seen anything like it. That matador, Fernando Valenzuela, would go on to be President of Mexico, and get into secret deals under the table with all sorts of U.N. nations, using his matador skills to wear down his counterparts and opponents. It’s a hell of a story, I don’t want to give away the ending, if you haven’t seen it, it’s really quite something.
Everyone wanted a piece of Dan. Every microphone in the news corps was pointed at him. Dan knew he had nothing to say, but, he had nothing to do, so he did an interview with Sky Blue, a reporter for Naked News.
“Daniel, what makes you tick? What turns you on?”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.” Sky smiled her award winning smile.
“Good, you should.”
“Daniel, tell us what inspires you?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, what inspired the book?”
“I don’t know. I just started typing and stopped at 60,001 words.”
“You mean you didn’t think of the story, you just typed randomly on the keyboard?”
“Yeah, that’s what I did. I’m not talented, I’m lucky.”
“I’m not sure if I like your book any more.”
“Oh, don’t blame the book. The book didn’t do anything wrong, the book hasn’t changed.”
But, the story of the book had changed and that interview would go viral and Dan’s book sales would go down.
Dan would try his hand at something subjective like fishing. His first cast would net him a 1000 pound marlin. This fish meant more to him than the book. The book, he knew, had been luck. The fish had been deserved.