Play interests me very much, but I am not in the position to sacrifice the necessary in the hope of winning the superfluous.–Alexander Pushkin
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART FORTY: KINGDOM COME
“Talking of gambling,” said Count Victor Justin–as he rolled what was probably the crookedest set of dice ever made against Pappy O’Day, to see who would buy the next drink. “Gambling ain’t the sport of kings. It’s the sport of fools.Why bother with it? Life is a gamble. That’s what I always say. There’s no such thing as luck. Good or bad. Either you got brains, and you know how to use ’em, or you don’t. It’s just that simple. I could show you a hundred ways to cheat at cards. It’s simple if you know how. But you better have twin derringers up your sleeve or somewhere handy, because if you get caught, you’re liable to be shot full of holes like a Swiss cheese.”
Count Victor Justin easily won every throw of the dice. But the joke was on him. Pappy didn’t have any money. Never had. But the Count took it all in his stride.
“Yea, Bo, Life’s a gamble. Playing little games may be an instinct for some, but being alert and keeping your mind on the game of life is no small matter. You can be walking down the street and some Uglyface Bluto out of nowhere might decide he don’t like your phiz, and the next thing you know, there’s a tag on your toe and you’re chilling on a slab down at the county morgue. And your killer will be there, and he’ll dig your grave for you, and dance on it after hours.
“No, you never know what’s going to happen. Here’s a cute one. Why, I was on the train the other day, and the conductor says to me “Stop that smoking”. I says to him, “I ain’t smoking.” He says, “Well, you got your pipe in your mouth.” And I says to him, “Yeah, and I got my ass in my britches, too–but I ain’t shittin’.” I was lucky he didn’t throw me off the train. But he had a sense of humor. Not all conductors do. Plus, I had greased him earlier with a half-fare that went straight into his pocket. Haw! Ooftish has a way of gentling down the hard-shell cuss.
“Did you ever notice that the people who want to get you in a friendly game of cards are the very same ones who always end up winning? And did you ever notice that the guy who is losing the contest always beefs about bad sportsmanship? As for gambling, me, I’m neither very good ner very bad at it. I just can’t get excited about it; any of it, is what. Because I never wager more than I can afford to lose. Sometimes I wonder–Why honor gambling debts? They are built on air. Of course, I always pay mine. I got a reputation to maintain. A man who won’t pay his gambling debts is probably ready willing and able to do a lot of other things that you won’t like. Like steal your wife.
“Naturally, grifters like me, most of us don’t have wives. Unless we are singularly unfortunate. No, if we’re smart, but not too smart, what we have instead is, we have girls. Talk about a losing game. The best grifters of all have cut themselves loose, and are gay cats, and have no need of women, at least, not on a regular basis. The one-oh is the best act, in or out of vaudeville. Let’s face it–after all is said and done, what are they good for? They nag. They whine. They spend your all money. They always need your attention. So you might as well be a pimp.
“Of course, you could always buy the little lady a doggie because she has a yen for a soft and furry thing that she can cuddle, and so she can indulge her maternal instincts. But that don’t always turn out like it should. You think, ‘O, she has the dog, and, by the Neddy Jingo, I’ll be free to do what I want, which is mostly to hang around in low dives with all my cronies, just like I’m doing now.’ Don’t get too comfortable, Snorky. You think she’ll be the one to walk the dog? You have this vision of her getting all that exercise and developing a set of gams to die for. Nothing can be further from the truth. If there’s a cloud in the sky, you’ll be the one to walk the dog, me fine Bucko. And it won’t be a Coonhound or a Bulldog or any other fine specimen of doghood. It’ll be a poodle or one of them other sissy dogs that you’d be ashamed to be seen with. All of your so-called friends will jeer at you. Your reputation on the street corner will plummet to zero. Come rain, come snow, you’ll be out there walking the pampered cur. You’ll be going to the butcher to buy special cuts of meat for the stinking mutt. And God forbid you should kick the damn dog, or even do so much as step on its paw. She’ll look at you like you just done a murder. Now, life ain’t so easy in your little love nest built for two when Mr. Doggie moves in.
“But anything’s better than a kid. Oh, the dog won’t distract the empty-headed little Doxy for long. It’ll be ‘When are we going to get married, honey’ and ‘When are you going to make an honest woman of me, huh’ and “God damn it, I want a house with a picket fence where we can raise a family, you low-down rat.” Haw! If you give her the blow-off, and tell her nix on that line of palaver, well, that’s where the escalation begins. ‘Boo hoo hoo. I’m only a bird in a gilded cage.’ And then she wants dresses, and hats. Pretty clothes so she has ‘something to wear.’ Why? What need does she have for clothes, in the love nest? None. Try telling that to her. Does she listen? Nix. Not a chance. No, she needs new glad-rags so she can swank around the boulevard.
“Bartender,” said Pappy O’Day, “How’s about the house buy another drink?
Tipsy Smith shrugged his shoulders, and poured a beer for each of them.
WE’LL HAVE A GAY OLD TIME
THE WORST STUFF EVER
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
Nihilistic Password Security Questions
6* DAILY UTILITY
IF THEY MADE ADS FOR THE WORST THINGS EVER
25 INAPPROPRIATE CHILDREN’S DRAWINGS
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN: THE ODESSA STEPS
Creepy, Crazy, and Strange Japanese Toys
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
CATHOLIC LAFF PARADE
Q: What does the H. in Jesus H. Christ stand for?
A: Hell…because that’s where you’re going.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
- JEB BUSH HAS 99 PROBLEMS
Jeb Bush is the circus dog of the fat-cats. He has a seizure disorder of unknown ideology. He ought to be rolling in dung and flubbering his bloodless lips in some light and airy room at the funny farm.
In 1994 he compared those who practice sodomy (AKA homosexuals) to “polluters, pedophiles, pornographers, drunk drivers, and developers without proper permits.”
Prep school classmates say he was definitely a pot-smoking bully with bad grades.
His son got caught having sex in a car in a parking lot.
Right-wing talk-radio hosts don’t like him.
FAT CHANCE OF BEING PRESIDENT
FIVE REASONS WHY REPUBLICANS WON’T NOMINATE JEB BUSH