“Gamblers’ Quicksand”



I thought of this term yesterday day when I was arguing with someone about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suggested we leave ASAP just protecting our people as they exit.

“We can’t do that.” he babbled, “That would mean over 4,000 of our troops died in vain.”

I cringed. That was the same argument we heard in 1968 when Nixon ran for President. At that time, our losses were over 25,000 soldiers dead and countless maimed. “These brave troops will not have died in vain!” he rumbled and shook his fist. You know the rest. 1975 – America lost a war we never could have won because there was nothing for us to win. Death toll by that time? 57,000 brave American troops – dead – ALL in vain.

“Gamblers’ quicksand” occurs when a player has more hope than sense. Here’s an example: a poker player is dealt a medium-good hand and antes $10. Someone bets and he calls it for another $10. Another card is dealt – exactly the card he DOESN’T need – and his hand turns into mud. The bettor throws in $10 and now it’s up to our player to decide: “fold?” or “bet the $10”?

Of course he should fold! What is he, an idiot? He now has a handful of doo-doo and he knows it. Any poker book, professional player, odds chart – EVERY logical ANYTHING tells him to “FOLD, Dope!” But the little fairy of luck he remembers from years ago whispers in his ear and he steps into “gamblers’ quicksand”.

“If I just fold now,” he thinks, “I’ll lose $30!” So he throws in another $10 and a raise for $10 and now he’s up to his hips for $50 with a terminal case of “hopeatitus”.

Another card is dealt – and the dolt’s hand turns from doo-doo to mush and just about drips on the table. The bet is now $30 and, “what the hell?” he says and throws it in with a pretend confident look on his face.

The bettor confidently lays down a full-house and our nitwit shows his lousy pair of nines which never got any better. “What the hell were you thinking, dummy?” says a friend as the winner rakes in our guy’s $80. “Just DEAL!” says Johnnie Quicksand as a blinding large “L” (for LOSER) starts flashing on his head. “I’ll win it back!” Right.

Johnnie High Hopes just lost money. America should be so lucky.





8 Responses to ““Gamblers’ Quicksand””

  1. Steve says:

    “We can’t do that.” he babbled, “That would mean over 4,000 of our troops died in vain.”

    -Yeah, yuo can’t go anywhere with that…an since it’s still going, it will be twice that amount dying in vain.
    But man, they wave the flag in your face an dyell “freedom isn’t free”…
    same ol’ argument.
    Can’t win.

  2. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    What in hell does Afghanistan or Iraq have to do with our freedom? Any ‘Namvet will tell you, It’s about MONEY. It’s about making Texans Rich on our own oil, not Arab oil. ARABS didn’t run the price up!! The first Bush went to harvard on Money HIS Dad making from Hitler robbing Poland and wouldn’t stop until FDR made him. Our countries been ruined by policies set by Presidents educated on money stolen from millions of Dead Jews. 7,000 dead- didn’t any “REAL” warriors tell you yet that not even a real war? Or that Vietnam wasn’t a war, it was a police action, Vietnam vets weren’t allowed in the VFW at first,”REAL” warriors made the rules. I get so mad at the people not running our gov’t and getting paid well to…….

  3. Bill says:

    If a card shark folded whenever it was rational to do so, he’d be folding most of the time. Then, when he finally did get a hand worth hanging onto, everyone else would fold because they’d know he had a hot hand. Bluffing is a big part of poker, but you need credibility to bluff.

    What does that have to do with Iraq? Not a thing. Thankfully, we are getting out.

  4. Frank Paolo says:

    “What does that have to do with Iraq? Not a thing. Thankfully, we are getting out.”

    Sorry you didn’t understand the analogy. Bush had “high hopes” in the beginning of Iraq because he was a macho nitwit. Then he made up continued excuses to stay against all odds of “winning”.

    “Getting out?” Let’s tell that to the families of our dead troops who happened to get killed this month – July had more casualties than any other month this year. Does that sound like getting out to you?

    I don’t know who is more guilty of this disaster called Iraq: Right-wing nuts who waved an oil-stained American flag to get us involved – or armchair moderates who have been blindly “going along” for EIGHT fucking years!

  5. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    An oil stained American Flag- I like that. But don’t forget about the bloodbath that follows our leaving and the Iraqi Religious idiots go back to doing what they love- Killing each other. They’ll be screaming “helP?? Somebody! Come back we were wrong when we killed you to get you to leave!” But the newspapers won’t be there anymore than they were anywhere near Cambodia durring the Asian Holocaust.

  6. Bill says:

    Actually, I did understand the analogy.

    I was commenting on your theory about POKER—-which I felt was faulty. Still do.

  7. amy stahl says:

    I loved this piece, Franco.
    Speaks from yours and my core.

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