Monday, February 20, 2006

NUFCED by wikkidpissah


Since the statute of limitations has run out, I suppose I can say this without particular consequence: I spent over a quarter of a million dollars and three-quarters of my waking life for a twelve year period on illegal recreational substances. Drugs. Nothing made more sense to me then or less to me now. The gambling profession DID lend itself to the ingestion of various headache powders - in fact, in the early 80's, it was difficult to find anyone in a casino bathroom using it for its intended purpose. I took no more or no less risks than typical person within that lifestyle, and that means I'm lucky to be alive. I have no teeth, a heart condition and a basic mistrust of my sanity. While I was able to stop without use of a twelve-step program, I heartily resent the company of all my old friends who've graduated into dullardry as a result of same. To the young people I say, everyone must find that of which they are capable, can endure and must see the view from the top & bottom of themselves - even should that include the use of mind-altering chemicals, you'll ever regret the day that usage crossed from adventure to lifestyle. And, please, don't do ANYTHING addictive before your mind is fully grown else you end up subliminally regretting each moment of life without your personal Jones. Just say maybe, but learn to say when.
Even though I threw a good portion of my life and well-being away on drugs, I was never in a position where I had to make a specific choice between my vices and my vocation. Drug-testing entered the gaming business after I was done with them, but I cannot imagine choosing an entertainment over employment. I've seen it done, seen people warned, suspended, reinstated, suspended longer, programmed, reinstated, suspended, reinstated, fired. Maybe it has to do with the amount of time that testable remnants of each substance stay in the system but, even though I've known a dozen cokeheads or methheads to every pothead, almost every subject of the aforementioned pattern was a stoner. Maybe apathy IS stronger than addiction.
These choices pale, however, compared to someone possessed of the monumental stupidity it would take to throw away a chance afforded to but a precious few in the name of a decent buzz. Why, Whizzer? Why, Stickyickyricky? Why would you work as hard as you do to become a professional athlete and then throw it away to enhance your appreciation of Bob Marley? This ain't performance-enhancing, boys. For the most part, it ain't pain-killing. You guys have windows of around a half-dozen years during which you can make up to EIGHT figs per annum, after which there are fifty years of life during which you're free to attempt smoking the Kingdom of Siam. Git 'er done, then have some fun, but in that order.

Here's a scene from one of my favorite old movies, "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre":

Howard (old prospector): Say, answer me this one, will you? Why is gold worth some twenty bucks an ounce?
Flophouse Bum: I don't know. Because it's scarce.
Howard: A thousand men, say, go looking for gold. After six months, one of them's lucky. One out of a thousand. His find represents not only his own labor, but that of nine hundred ninety-nine others to boot. That's six thousand months, five hundred years, scrambling over a mountain, going hungry and thirsty. An ounce of gold is worth what it is, mister, because of the human labor that went into the finding and getting of it.
Flophouse Bum: I never thought of it just like that.
Howard: Well, there's no other explanation, mister. Gold itself ain't good for nothing except making jewelry with and gold teeth.

Ricky, you struck gold. We are not jealous of that, Your fans enjoy your gift as much as you do. We do not envy your ascension to that rare position to have wealth, success and fame. But, we cannot but condemn your disrespect for the mother lode or the mountain from which it came. Go, do, be. But know you've squandered what any would treasure. So long -

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