The Spy Who Came in from the Casino

Hello, Darnestown Elementary School Students! 

Welcome to Gambling 101.

Now, you might think 4th grade is a little early to talk about gambling but this school system is progressive, Baby, which is why we taught you responsible alcohol consumption last year, why we had you participate in the year long safe-sex lab when you were in first grade and why, in second grade, we taught you all about how you shouldn’t take drugs and followed up by giving you drugs to make you wake up or pay attention or go to sleep or just get you to shut up for a while or to quit acting weird all the time. 

Thanks to the public schools, you now know all about sex and drugs and booze. So, now it’s time to learn how gambling at a casino works. Or, doesn’t work. Depends on whether or not you own the casino.

Okay, you youngsters probably already know governments in every. village, town, zip code, city, municipality, county and state in this entire country want more money. Especially, more of your money. Casinos generate taxable revenue which is why all these government entities are falling all over themselves opening hotels with casinos in them, race tracks with casinos in them, river boats with casinos in them, stadiums with casinos in them, casinos with casinos in them, day care centers with casinos in them and, hell, I dunno, you’ll probably start seeing churches with casinos in them so the congregation can bet the OVER/UNDER on the number of sins you’ll commit this week as well as bet on whether or not you’re gonna go to Hell once your ticket gets punched. For the record, this school recommends everyone take the OVER on the number of sins you’ll commit this week.  Also, the odds of you getting into Heaven are about 2 to 1. That’s if you’re a girl. If you’re a boy then forget about it. You’re gonna go to Hell. No question. Fait accompli. After what YOU will do as a grown up. Oh, you are so going to Hell. 

Anywho, when it comes to gambling, the adults around you are fine, rational, sensible, upstanding, conscientious people who demonstrate moderation and self-control by racing into the casinos and becoming gambling addicts who’ve gone into serious debt because they blew all our cash, including their children’s dialysis money, at the Craps Table to which this school proudly says, “Way to go, A-Hole!”

Now, when you’re an adult and have kids of your own, you don’t want to be the one to suggest to your daughter this would be a good time to drop out of Harvard Law School and become a full-time sex worker because you borrowed, and gambled away, money from a guy named Nunzio who happens to be a lieutenant in the Gambino Family and now you can’t even pay the juice on the loan so Nunzio has discussed an organ donation plan with you even though you may not be done using those organs. 

You youngsters need to understand guys like Nunzio aren’t exactly delicate when it comes to renegotiating a mutually agreeable payment plan. Their way of meeting you half-way is to break only one of your legs.

Anyway, if you turn into a gambling addict then you can end up spending your adult life so far in the hole that you’re living in a single room where the only furniture is a 13″ TV and a roach motel. And, the room’s right above a Texaco station in the northwest section of Detroit. Plus, you’ll spend most of your waking hours hiding in dumpsters in order to avoid process servers, ex-family members, bill collectors, law enforcement, ex-friends and Nunzio.

Now, Kids, raise your hand if you wanna be THAT guy. 

Yeah, didn’t think so.  

First, let’s review the lesson plan for the semester and then we’ll jump right in.

At the end of the semester, you’ll learn how to gamble responsibly at the casinos by using the simple strategy of not gambling at the casinos:

Lesson 1 – The house always wins.

Lesson 2 – Contrary to what we’ve constantly told you since day-minus-one, everyone is NOT a winner. We lied. Sorry.* 

Lesson 3 – The house ALWAYS wins. Period. 

Lesson 4 – If the house always wins then it means someone, somewhere….LOST. 

Lesson 5 – There’s a reason the casino has all this expensive glittery gold stuff everywhere and you don’t. 

Lesson 6 – The house ALWAYS WINS which means someone, such as you, is always losing.

Lesson 7 – The direct causal relationship between you praying to God that the dealer hits you with an Ace and the dealer actually hitting you with an Ace is….ZERO.

Lesson 8 – God doesn’t work that way.

Lesson 9 – You do not stand a f***ing chance….do the math!!! YOU WILL NOT WIN….ever…not happening….give it up.


Lesson 11 – “Always,” for our purpose, means “100% of the time.” (Auxiliary lesson – You know how all those athletes talk about giving 110%? They say that because they failed math.)

Lesson 12 – You know how all the big casinos get people like Madonna and Cher and Elton John to do residencies there? Wanna know how those casinos can pay these people  $1,000,000 a night? Because a bunch of losers went there and lost all their money which is why they’re living at the Texaco, sitting in their undershirts, eating chili out of the can with their fingers and drinking Mad Dog 20/20 from brown paper bags. 

Lesson 13 – Don’t spend money you don’t have on something that will make you look around for more money you don’t have that you end up losing to the casino causing you to steal and lose someone else’s money just so you can knock over a liquor store by gun-point and lose all THAT money and lose all your friends who let you “borrow” their money that you also threw in the casino’s toilet and lose the money you got from Nunzio (which explains the broken legs and missing (formerly) internal organs) and lose your job because you got arrested for robbing that liquor store and are now doing 6-to10 at Rahway State Prison where all your cell-mates let you gamble away all your money to them putting you in a very unfortunate negotiating position.

Lesson 14 – You’re not going to win the lottery, either.

Lesson 15 – A review of possible signs a family member of yours is a gambling addict (Kids, chances are it’s your father…it’s true, we checked….why?… because, as you’ll learn next year,  men are scum, that’s why…which is why all you boys are going to Hell):

  1. He pays your allowance with car wash tokens and a post-dated check.
  2. The family car has a sign on top of it advertising “Nunzio’s Bar and Grill featuring Today’s Special: Broken Leg of Lamb.”
  3. He has opened 17 Fund Me sites under different names asking for donations claiming you’re gonna die next week and your last wish is to visit Disney World but it’s too expense because, per doctor’s orders, it must be a non-stop flight, on business-class with an option to upgrade, the hotel room must have a wet bar and the doctor strongly recommends the annual pass to Disney World with free parking included.
  4. He’s taken out 4 life insurance policies on Mommy but he told you not to tell Mommy on accounta “it’ll spoil the surprise.”

Lesson 16 – On-line gambling sites? Please tell me you’re not serious.

Lesson 17 – Increases in depression, bankruptcy, alcoholism, evictions, drug dependency, divorce, child neglect, suicide, spousal abuse, foreclosure, unemployment, homelessness, murder, destitution, isolation, Class-A felonies and other social benefits that casinos consistently bring to all communities.

Lesson 18 – How to find an advertising agency that is also a total, complete, 100% morality-free zone to put a TV ad campaign together that shows people in the casino laughing, dancing, hugging, displaying their expensive jewelry, wearing designer clothes and throwing tons of cash in the air even though the people at the ad agency know casinos do nothing more than bring, to a significant majority of the community, abject misery.

Oh, extra credit is available, too:

Extra Credit – You know all that gambling tax revenue the local politicians swore would go to public schools which is why they insisted we just had to have all these casinos here in the first place? Remember the press conferences where the politicians would stand in front of the American Flag while holding The Bible and, surrounded bunch of pathetic looking 6 year olds, tell us that children were their number one priority and if we didn’t get these casinos then all these children wouldn’t have a school to attend and would soon die due to lack of education?  

Happen to notice that schools still haven’t received dime-one?

Cite examples.

Extra Extra Credit – Compare and contrast how the state politicians implied if you were a bad, bad person who refused to support public education by not going to the casino and losing your life’s savings then there’d be no money for public schools so children would be stranded on street corners unable to cross the street because they didn’t go to school and never learned how to read so they didn’t know when the pedestrian light said WALK versus the same politicians who implied if you were a bad, bad person who refused to help the elderly by not spending (and, losing) your life’s savings on state lottery tickets then there’d be no money to keep any of the old folk’s homes open so Grandma would be thrown out on the street and forced to survive by selling cigarettes that “fell off the back of a truck” at 2am in the parking lot behind the 7-11.

* I know we kept telling you everyone’s a winner, including you, and gave you trophies saying you were a winner even though you did nothing to earn the trophies other than you’d occasionally inhale and exhale. Well, just to set the record straight, you weren’t a winner. You showed up. That was the extent of it. They weren’t real trophies, anyway. Real trophies are for people who actually accomplish something. We just gave these fake trophies to you so you wouldn’t go crying to your parents about not getting a trophy because, instead of using the moment to teach you about aspiring to greatness, your parents would sue the school claiming you’re life was ruined because you didn’t get a trophy as a reward for doing nothing.

Do you also know how we tell you, everyday, that all children, including you, are special? Uh, well, actually, no. You’re not. I mean, not in the grand scheme of things. That was just some more smoke we blew up your silos. Probably because you would go crying to your parents about not feeling special and your parents would sue the school.

What you have probably discovered is 95% of the lies adults have told you were because it made the adult’s lives easier.

The take away here is children are just like adults: you have a few winners and a whole bunch of losers. I mean, it is what it is. The entire “special” thing was just a bunch of happy horse poop we adults flung at you because we couldn’t think of anything useful to say. That’s our bad. Sorry. But, you know….children….not special. Okay?

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