the lost man chronicles
the honest crook .90

"It's possible to take a fatalistic or cynical view that this is just another chapter in the dark human comedy, another painful exposé of our species' infinite capacity for deception. As Groucho Marx once said: "There's one way to find out if a man is honest — ask him. If he says yes, he's a crook." The primatologists tell us that even monkeys will conceal newly discovered food from the rest of the troop or sneak a little forbidden sex with the alpha male's favorite female when the big one's not looking."

~ A Fraud by Any Other Name,
New York Times Op-ed, Sunday, May 4., 2003,
Richard Dooling

so are we all doomed to be dishonest? what is honesty anyway? who doesn't skim off the top, whether it be free cups of coffee in forbidden hotel lobbies or favors from friends who get you a little something extra? isn't that what friends are for?

"For us to live any other way was nuts.
Uh, to us those goody-good people who worked shitty jobs for bum paychecks
and took the subway to work every day, and worried about their bills, were dead.
I mean they were suckers. They had no balls.
If we wanted something we just took it."
~Henry Hill, Good Fellas, Martin Scorcese & Nicholas Pileggi

honestly, i think most people are honest, but its mostly because they're scared of getting caught. if it were not for this fear, a lot more people would abandon all hope and traverse down into the hell of our individual avarice and selfish acts of whimsical indulgence.

some say the secret to life is not getting caught, and that the secret to not getting caught is not getting greedy. or maybe it just about not being too needy. nah, for the more you have, the more you want.

albeit, those who are strong enough to appreciate what they do have often find themselves a lot happier than most. less is more, remember?

so this december do what you have to do. give and you shall receive. deceive and you might live to see another day. but just don't say "but, i didn't know officer," when they put the cuffs on you.

"If the cheater is relatively subtle, he will not cheat so often or so blatantly that it becomes obvious that his edge is an unfair one. I have little doubt that some players cheat for years without being suspected. It is not necessary for a player of average skills to improve the odds in his favor very much to become a consistent winner. Most crooked players get caught eventually, however, because they become impatient with only a small edge or they simply become greedy. The same appears to be so with white-collar criminals generally. Their early success at minor embezzling gives them a level of confidence (or perhaps arrogance) that leads them to levels of criminal activity or lifestyle that become too large to ignore."
~ Thursday Night Poker, Peter O. Steiner

our relatively disappearing reality .89 previous chronicle the beginning next chronicle 91. let us drink

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