Today’s post inspired by this email received earlier today:

Congratulations on your anniversary. We are looking forward to your e-book. I would like to contribute to it if you will take sports information about football and gambling tips. Anywhere from placing bets and casinos. Let me know what you think.

The following events are a true recount from the year 1924.
Nothing was fabricated.

I was down on my luck. My girlfriend left me and took the car, money, dog, and those nifty vintage drink coasters I bought from the archaic gypsy shop down the street. I needed a plan and I needed to act fast. Dark clouds were looming overhead and thunder quietly rolled in the distance. I examined the contents of my pocket and found five dollars and my watch I grabbed off the nightstand before I left this morning. Had I known I would be in this predicament, I would have packed more accordingly. At the very least, I would have a clean pair of underwear and fresh socks.

I half stumbled down the street as cars rushed past on my right. Should I end it all? Should I put my body at the mercy of a two ton steel demon who will gladly accept my sacrifice? Someone whispered “Hey! Steve!” ever so slightly from the alley on my left. His address caught me off guard and broke my suicidal concentration. The figure stepped out of the shadows and a familiar face was revealed. It was Joe, the bartender from the speakeasy just a few blocks away.

“What do you want now Joe? I already squared my debt. I’m a free man,” I replied with a quiver in my voice. I don’t trust Joe. Maybe it was his shifty eye or perhaps that he was born and raised in Utah. I could never really put my finger on it.

He responded, “Hey, take it easy pal. I’m here to help you out. What if I told you that you could make millions doing data entry on the internet? All you have to do is pay me $10 and guess which hand of mine holds the paper with the membership information.”

I shot back, “I don’t want to play your stupid games anymore Joe. Plus, what the hell is the internet? It’s 1924 man. Besides, I only have $5 and a watch. I’ll start listening to you again if you could find me a place to stay for that amount.”

“Alright, I’ll cut you a deal. You wager your watch and your five dollar bill. If you win, you get the watch back, the million dollar job, and you can stay at my place. I’ll put my hands behind my back and move the slip of paper back and forth. It’ll remain behind my back until after you guess. That way, you KNOW I’m not cheating you. I couldn’t possibly move a slip of paper between hands after you guess without you noticing.”

Here I was. Stuck in an alley with the one man I truly dislike with a million dollar opportunity taunting me. I had a 50/50 chance of getting it right. What did I have to lose? I have no house, no money, no car, no dog. Nothing.

“Right,” my mouth yelled instinctively. I nearly surprised myself with an answer.

“No, I’m sorry,” snickered Joe as he took the $5 and the watch, “it was the left hand.” He revealed an empty right hand and closed left hand. I questioned him and he refused to reveal the contents of his left hand. I took Joe’s closed fist approach and followed through with a right hook. It landed squarely on his jaw. He doubled over backwards and crashed into a garbage bin. Filth engulfed his body. I didn’t have to check to realize he was out cold. This gave me the chance to rummage through Joe’s overcoat. I grabbed my watch, my money, and a crisp $20 bill he had. I may not have the job, but now I can afford a hotel for the night. Joe laid unconscious in the alley as I continued down the street.

Things were looking up.

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Last Updated: January 11, 2008

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