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My Turn of the Century Wish List1 January 2000
The year 2000 and a new century is upon us. If the Y2K bug is a reality, many of you will be reading this by candlelight because your electricity went out. Some of you will be reading this at five seconds after midnight on January 1, 2000 on nose-diving airplanes as your cowardly fellow passengers twist and shout. Some of you will never read this at all because you can't afford anything anymore because all your money mysteriously vanished from your bank accounts. "Mr. Jones? Mr. Jones? We have no record of a Mr. Jones with $1,000,000 in our bank, sir." And some of you will be reading this and wondering: "I thought 2001 was the new century?"
And what is it that you're reading? My "turn-of-the-century" wish list, that's what. Most of this has to do with gambling, some doesn't, so indulge me.
I wish that every craps player would learn to play the Captain's 5-Count and ignore all the bad but nice-sounding bets like Any Seven, Yo, Boxcars, Snake Eyes, Whirl, and Horn, which have such high house edges. I wish that all craps players would take time and patience with their rolls and learn how to ease the dice down the table as opposed to winging them. I wish we could all become rhythmic rollers. I wish no harm to "wrong bettors" but I wish they would cease and desist.
I wish that blackjack players, even good ones, would forget about giving advice to other players and never, never scold or criticize other players at the table even if those other players make stupid moves. I wish I could follow my own advice in that regard. I wish all blackjack players would learn basic strategy and that all casino executives would take a course in card counting and mathematics so that they would stop worrying about the game. Life is tough enough without creating monsters that aren't there.
I wish each and every slot player would hit a jackpot this year, a big one. And that all of them would be able to parcel out the jackpot so that they can play slots for years and years to come just on their winnings. I wish that every video poker player would get a royal flush. I wish I would get a royal flush, since I've never had one. I wish newspapers and magazines would stop publishing stories about big slot winners who "only put in a few coins" or were "playing for two minutes" and won a fortune while the rest of us have to play for hours to hear a few clinks in the tray.
I wish all television producers would stop confusing profanity, sexual references, politically correct caricatures, and poo-poo puns with cutting-edge humor. I wish they would understand that characters cutting farts are not cutting edge, and that network sit-coms are not pushing the envelope but rather they are trite, boring, derivative and cater to mental defectives. I wish those same television producers would put Shakespeare on the tube in mini-series form (an act a night for five nights) and that they would realize that would be cutting edge. If they can't do any of the above, I wish that they would all party-hearty in the same uncompliant Y2K plane New Year's Eve on a "flight to nowhere."
I wish Atlantic City would bring back single and double-deck hand-held blackjack games, just like the ones that exist in Vegas and Mississippi. I wish that the beach erosion would reverse itself and that all the Atlantic City piers would be dismantled so that when you look out at the sand and the ocean all you would see is the sand and the ocean.
I wish that when talk shows feature debates on casino gambling that the "pro-casino" guests would stop making it sound as if casino gambling exists as a public service industry or philanthropic enterprise as opposed to a business. I wish the pro-casino people would stop pretending that their industry exists to create jobs, or to improve neighborhoods, or to do anything noble. I wish our citizens would grow up and realize that the natural result of successful enterprises just happens to be the creation of jobs, the revitalization of areas and so on. I wish people would realize that it is just like when a shoe-repair shop opens. A shop owner isn't opening his shop to beautify the neighborhood or create jobs -- he is opening his shop to make money.
I wish that the anti-casino forces who cynically use the problems of "compulsive gamblers" in order to advocate making casinos illegal again would turn the same righteous fervor towards other human activities that a small percentage of the population can't handle. I wish they would target the Internet because of compulsive webbers; or target credit card companies because of compulsive shoppers; or target restaurants and food stores and farmers because of compulsive eaters and anorexics and bulimics. And why not target themselves for being compulsive busybodies?
I wish that pit bosses would tell people who aren't playing to stand at least three feet away from the table they're watching so as not to bump or hover and hang over the people who are playing. I wish more people would read books on gambling, preferably my books, and that certain horrendously high house-edge games such as Sic Bo and the Big Wheel would wither and die in the 21st century because of that.
I wish that people with bad breath would not talk into my nose when I'm playing and that all casinos would serve their drinks in the appropriate glasses: wine glasses for wine, coffee cups for coffee, beer mugs for beer, and so on. I wish all young men who wear those dirty baseball caps indoors, especially those who wear them backwards, would never get a girl to date them. I wish those maniacs who drive like maniacs in their SUVs would be put in a secure and loving environment (preferably in restraints) where they can't hurt anyone, not even themselves. I wish those 50ish and 60ish men in those red sports cars and convertibles would realize they can't turn back the clock and, frankly, I wish their mental age would catch up to their chronological age. I wish women wouldn't dye their hair. I wish they would just be the age they are and to hell with the youth culture. I wish the young wouldn't act so damn young and I wish the adults wouldn't imitate them.
I wish dealers would never be blamed for the bad luck of players. I wish players would never act obnoxiously when they lose but accept defeat graciously. I wish supposedly avante garde artists would discover some new intellectual territory to trailblaze instead of the same, old, routine and tired antireligious and the "we just discovered there's such a thing as sex" themes.
And, finally, I wish that I could take to heart what Benjamin Franklin knew to be true: "If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles." Happy 2000!
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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