Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author.

When it comes to luck, my sense of timing could not be worse.
If one lane on a congested interstate suddenly starts moving at normal speed, I just moved to the other lane, and am now sandwiched between two semis, both hauling explosives.
If I schedule an outdoor party, local weather forecasters immediately start telling viewers to expect rain the entire day. Historically, they have been correct most of the time.
I never owned GameStop stock but I’m certain I would have dumped it at its 52-week low of $3.77 as opposed to the all-time high of $483 it achieved in January, following chatter on Reddit investor forums.
Now comes word that ordinary Americans are getting rich just by rolling up a sleeve and getting jabbed with the coronavirus vaccine. Just ask Abbigail Bugenske, 22 of Cincinnati.
In exchange for doing something ALL Americans are being urged to do as soon as possible, Bugenske received $1 million as part of Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery. Four other Ohio residents will be receiving similar windfalls if their names are chosen. Not to be outdone, California is offering $1.5 million prizes to 10 vaccinated residents. New York, Maryland and Oregon are among other states that feel cold hard cash is the best way lower coronavirus numbers.
I had the misfortune of settling in Illinois, where no money will be changing hands, or arms, as of now. Some retail establishments have stepped up, however. Illinois is one of only 13 states that feature White Castle restaurants, and, through May 31, the chain was offering vaccinated patrons one of its three “desserts on a stick.” For free! I chose not to partake in that offer, feeling I was simply trading one potentially fatal malady for another. I won’t die of the coronavirus, but clogged arteries kill plenty of people annually.
For the record, I received my injections back in mid-February, when the vaccine was still in its rollout stages and states were struggling to figure out who should have priority. I asked for nothing in return, feeling I had won a personal lottery just because I was able to snag an appointment. Heck, I didn’t even take a complimentary candy from the dish that sat next to the health care worker processing my exit paperwork. My prize was relief that I was on the road to a life free of facemasks and quarantine.
But now it’s payback time. Even though I shunned dessert on a stick, I want a piece of the pie.
Somebody needs to mow my lawn.
As I write this, I have just completed the weekly task of pushing the mower up and down, back and forth over bumpy terrain, trying to keep up with my neighbor who feels grass should be pampered, as opposed to clipped. He is much younger and, I’m sure, doesn’t spend the following day recovering from the assortment of joint pain that lawn mowing delivers to my body.
Ironically, I suffered no side effects from either vaccine dose. While friends updated me, via social media, of their high fever and body aches after vaccines one or two, I went about my day pain free. I would like to continue doing so, hence the lawn mowing request.
Sure, I could use a million dollars, but other Illinois residents need it more, vaccinated or not. All I want is to wave my vaccination card at a passing lawn service truck, have the driver do an about face and follow me to my yard, where his crew would cut my grass while I lounge on the patio. I would like this routine repeated weekly until at least Labor Day. I’ve read I may need a COVID-19 booster shot in approximately eight months, which I will gladly receive.
Provided I win the Illinois “Shovel My Driveway” vaccination sweepstakes.
(Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of two books: “Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad” and the recently released “The Road To Success Goes Through the Salad Bar: A Pile of BS From a Corporate Comedian,” available at Visit Greg on the web at
You’ve enjoyed reading, and laughing at, Greg Schwem’s monthly humor columns in Senior Living News. But did you know Greg is also a nationally touring stand-up comedian? And he loves to make audiences laugh about the joys, and frustrations, of growing older. Watch the clip and, if you’d like Greg to perform at your senior center or senior event, contact him through his website at