Friday, February 11, 2011

Betting Your Life

The snow has stopped, the sun came out today, and the drifts are starting to melt. Not a moment too soon. I made it to the office for four of this week's five workdays, and I got a lot accomplished today. Next week seems on track to being a "normal" week, at least schedule-wise, and I'm looking forward to it.

I haven't enjoyed the last two weeks, but they've been educational. There's nothing like being snowbound to help you sort out the important stuff from the chaff. I had light, heat, warm clothes, hot food, running water, plenty of diversions, and communication with family, friends, and coworkers. So what if I didn't have on hand exactly the movie I wanted to watch or the food I was craving at a particular moment? I was warm and safe and well-fed, and it would have been silly to try to leave the house for anything less than a life-threatening emergency. So imagine my surprise when a friend who works at a casino told me that people were gambling there throughout the recent terrible weather. What in the world would drive someone out in that kind of weather—in which emergency vehicles were crashing or getting stuck in snowbanks—to play cards or a slot machine? A horrible home life, a gambling compulsion that refuses to be denied? Normally I prize knowledge, but there are some things I'd just rather not know.

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