Let's talk about bad habits.
Firstly, let me just say that the only thing I do with any regularity is the drinking thing. Oh, and I suppose coffee (and I'm not entirely sure which of the two is worse for me).
But, since writing Astray, the whole kerfuffle about adolescent drug abuse has been on my mind, and I've received a few questions about it. Having just seen a journal by RoareyRaccoon on a similar topic, I thought I'd discuss "adolescent vices" here.
Gambling: I've gambled literally once in my life. After practicing and learning Texas Hold'em, I found myself at a casino for a party. My friend actually bought me into a poker game, and I was not the most sober person in the establishment so I wasn't looking forward to it. I found myself at a table with a whole bunch of others, some of them walking over with thousands of dollars worth of chips. A hundred meters away were people betting tens of thousands. Uh-oh.
Did rather well, but nerves got the better of me and I withdrew. For a first ever game, I did well - okay, I walked away with five times my starting bet, winning almost every showdown I was in for. I'm no card counter, but you don't seem to need to be unless you're a top-tier player. Trust me, if you have any conception of probability, you'll know when it's time to cut your losses or stick around until the showdown.
But it held no real allure for me. On that same night, I saw my friend blow fifty dollars on Blackjack, which has to be the most embarrassing thing I've ever seen (how do you bust five times in a row when you only have to beat the dealer?!).
Gambling is only possible when you have the expendable income, if I may state the obvious. It's nowhere near as big a deal as people believe to keep children "away from it." The real reason many casinos ban youths under 18 or 21 is that they feel these "uncultured youths" will hurt the atmosphere of the place.
Hilarious when I remember a twenty-something-year-old almost picking a fight with my friend at the local casino when we were nineteen. Remember that stat, folks - it's teens that get attacked by testicle-deprived older men. Teens don't do shit.
What are they going to bet? Their allowance? Of course, the idiots would charge in, brandishing their Slippery Slope Fallacy - Worst Case Scenario Edition, claiming that they'd get "addicted" (how are they going to when they lack the money to truly engage in, and be rewarded by, gambling?) and steal their parents' money (because, you know, they don't have morals or anything) in order to gamble it all away (the notion of a sixteen-year-old poker player that occasionally wins eludes these people; no they have to lose all the time).
I certainly don't recommend gambling to anyone. If you do, be responsible with your money and set a limit - which, for the record, is what every one of my friends does and has done since we were able to gamble (at 18). Once again, don't go thinking that the hypothetical sixteen-year-old can't budget. Know plenty of kids more responsible with money than I am.
Honestly, I'm not advocating teenagers gamble at casinos (small wagers of five or so bucks with friends is fine). Don't do it. If you're going to ignore me saying that, realize that it's not just Old Fuddy-Duddy Talk when people tell you this: set a limit, do NOT go over it, and gamble what you own and can afford.
And keep the fuck away from the slot machines.
7 years, 5 months ago
26 Oct 2011 09:22 CEST