Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rolling a Seven

(Along a street)

The Gambler: Hey lad, spare an old man a tad o'cash for a mug o'beer?

Albert: And what do I get in return, mister?

The Gambler: Three games, how about that? Cards, dice, the simple coin.

Albert: I'm gambling with a beggar? What can I win from you in the first place?

The Gambler: What makes you think I've nothing? And more importantly, what makes you think you'll win? Sit down, lad, and I'll tell'ya something.

Albert: Go on. Let's place this at 2 bucks.

The Gambler: Every single day's a gamble in the game of life, young man, and what you're taking part in is just one of the millions to come. Ask you a question. What's the lucky number?


The Gambler: A bright one, lad. Now roll this dice. Let's see if you're lucky.

Albert: But a dice has only six sides! How am I supposed to roll a seven anyway?

The Gambler: Yer' right. But that's life, isn't it? You never strike lucky on the very first dice if you just jump straight in. So what do you do? Throw two dice. Let's see where that gets you.

Albert: ...4 and 5.

The Gambler: And that's the other thing. Ya don't get the seven for trying again. Tell me, lad. I throw a 2. What would I need to get the seven?

Albert: The five?

The Gambler: Right, and where do you find the five?

Albert: ...the opposite end of the two?

The Gambler: Exactly, lad. That's where you get your seven - from the very two ends. And ya gotta do it at one shot, too. Here, I'll throw another one of my own dice.

(The dice flies into the air, lands on the ground, and breaks in half, with one half landing on 1 and the other on 6.)

The Gambler: Don't worry about that, I can fix it no 'prob. But ya see what I mean, lad? That's what life is - ya gotta hit seven, and ya only got one chance each time. What'cha gonna do about it? Now let's take the cards instead. Heard of blackjack?

Albert: Rarely see one who hasn't.

The Gambler: Good to know. Now let's just take one hand, shall we? I'll deal. One up, one down.

Albert: And we both have an ace up.

The Gambler: Oh, the odds! Another question, lad. What's the value of ace?

Albert: One or eleven?

The Gambler: Then what's the value of your ace? Let's turn around the other card, shall we?

Albert: ...another ace. What's the chances.

The Gambler: And blackjack. Ask a question again. What makes one a one? And more importantly, what makes one an eleven?

Albert: A one's one purely because it is the first in the series? That was quite obvious. And what makes one an eleven is the prestige of the card being first?

The Gambler: What does an ace imply, then? You don't seem to be catching this.

Albert: ...skill?

The Gambler: Exactly, my lad! Skill and mastery! That is what differentiates an ace from a jack! The jack shall never be a master of anything. Yet what is a picture that even the ace is not?

Albert: Royalty?

The Gambler: Again on the spot, my lad! The ace is but a pauper, my friend, but remember; the prince would not be as loved had he not met the pauper. And that is why royalty and ace make blackjack, my friend. Again my friend remember that, royalty is bested by the common man, but two aces do not beat two kings. It is when the lowest and the highest of hierarchies meet where blackjack is met. Now let's take a simple coin toss, the last one shall we. What do you call?

Albert: Tails?

The Gambler: And what would the other choice be?

Albert: Heads?

The Gambler: Right, lad.

Albert: How does this fit in with what you said with the other two? I don't see how you're going to split that coin in half.

The Gambler: Sharp one, lad. But do listen. When life gives us choices, we always see what's directly in front of us. We don't search. You couldn't give me an answer for rolling a seven, and you can't give me an answer now because you can't split the coin. But lad, sometimes the answer just ain't that obvious. People only see the heads and the tails. The dots go from 1 to 6.

(The gambler flips the coin, and it lands in the middle of a crack among bricks along the street, balancing itself at neither heads nor tails.)

The Gambler: But it's these sorts of answers that really let you win the gambles, lad. Answers that shock the world, maybe even yourself. Answers that make the world wonder "how did he just pull that off?". Remember, friend. Every choice in a life is a gamble, it's just how often you roll the seven.

Albert: I see. So that means I've won the gamble, right? I think I'll be going off, then. Oh, and don't use the money to buy beer, will you? Get a cup of coffee or something; or tea, I've started to grow a liking towards it recently.

The Gambler: Haha, I'll keep that in mind, lad! But what makes you say that you've won?

Albert: You've given me more than my two dollar's worth, simple as that, mister. I'll be on my way, and maybe later on I'll roll another seven, hmm?

(Albert leaves.)

The Gambler: ...A wise one, lad.


I don't even know what made me think about this.

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