Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life is a lot like Vegas Solitaire

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For some reason, even though I can't find the time to do the things around the house like I should (like take out the garbage, mow the lawn or feed the goats), I can always find time to play one more hand of Solitaire on the computer.

And I don't enjoy just the plain-Jane version of the game --  I prefer playing the Vegas version, wracking up imaginary money, depositing it in my imaginary off-shore checking account, and buying imaginary Lear jets that fly me to exotic places because that’s what we big spenders do. Of course, that’s when I’m winning. When I’m losing, it’s a whole different ballgame.

When I’m losing, I always approach Bruno the floor manager to see if he can spot me another Grant (which in gambling lingo means a $50 bill). Bruno’s a good friend of mine. We’ve known each other since 6:30 p.m. yesterday evening when I walked into this joint. He’s more than happy to loan me the money – just as long as I know there are strings attached.

“You know me, Bruno,” I say. “I’m always good for it.”

“Yes, Mr. Farr, you’re one of our better customers,” he says, “but losing is for losers, and we don’t like losers. So don’t lose, or you’ll find yourself lost, do ya’ know what I mean?”

He has a way with words, doesn't he?

I pay Roxanne, the Vegas Solitaire dealer, $50 for a new deck of cards and spread them out. I go through the motions of flipping cards here and flipping cards there, but five minutes later I’ve lost again. I’m now $975 in the hole, and Bruno is breathing down my neck.

“Just one more chance, Bruno,” I beg. “You saw how close I was to winning. I’ll do it next time, you watch.”

“Against my better judgment I’m going to give you another Grant,” Bruno tells me. “But if you lose this time, I’ll have to call Mr. Happy to come over and make an adjustment on a leg or two. Do you get me?”

Bruno snaps his fingers, a big stocky hulk of a guy walks up, and I know without a shadow of doubt that this is Mr. Happy. And he doesn’t look a bit happy.

“Of course I understand Bruno,” I say. “No need to worry. This time I know I’ll win.”

Roxanne the dealer shakes her head at me, trying to get me to stop and pay up before I get even more in debt, but I don’t listen. I pay the $50 and play another hand -- and I lose again.

“Well Mr. Farr, I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Happy,” Bruno says. “He’s going to take you out back and make sure your mowing days are over, so to speak.”

“What did you say?” I ask.

“I thought you said you were going to mow the yard today,” my wife repeats. “Well, are you or aren’t you?”

It takes every ounce of willpower I have to get up and walk away from the computer – especially since I was so close to winning.

WARNING: Playing computers games like Solitaire, FreeCell and Hearts may seem like wonderful diversions for when there is nothing better to do, but it’s a trap – a trap that will eventually suck the life out of every human being on this planet.

And with that, dear readers, I have nothing more to say.

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