Thursday, February 7

A Fool And Their Money

On the way back from the local supermarket I couldn't help but spend ten minutes in awe watching people play that "find the queen" gambling game. Instead of playing cards, we had three black discs, one of which had a white sticker fixed to the back of it. That was the "queen" to be found in this particular variation.

I dunno. Maybe it's because I watch way too much television or maybe it's because I'm just plain tight, but it was pretty obvious to me (as I'm sure all of you reading) that these things are just big fat cons stacked way in the favour of those running them. It's because of this clarity that the people who interest me the most are those who actually play the game with their Real Cash Money.

Take Ms Smith, the customer I spent those ten minutes watching. I think by the end of the game she had lost a good hundred over five attempts, each time becoming more and more desperate, and so taking bigger and bigger risks, to get all her money back again.

She didn't notice that her co-player, who was winning, appeared to be from the same part of the world as the person running the show. She didn't realise she was being taken for a ride when the conman was showing her where the sticker wasn't. She was a bit too trusting of those in the audience who were taking pre-planned peeks under alleged winning tokens while the conman's back was "innocently" turned. She was too busy getting in to deep and seeing red.

I broke my rule of keeping quiet when she finally took up an offer to play for forty instead of twenty. She ignored me, of course, and went once again to the slaughter; she finally broke down and threatened to call the police, throwing accusations of cheating and collusion (really? No way!) before being calmed down with a refund of twenty quid.

A small consolation seeing what she lost. The worst thing is that I can't seem to find any sympathy for this poor sod who gave away the money she could no way afford, especially when it was for so little.