We're gonna take over the poker world...
Years ago I was studying film at the graduate school of The University of Texas in Austin with the plan to complete a few screenplays and then move out to Hollywood. A friend, who was like my little brother, decided this was a great idea, adopted part of it for his own, and moved out there a half year before I did.
He would call and ask me how I was doing in Austin and I would tell him of the classes I was taking, films I was studying, and scripts I was both deconstructing and developing myself. When I asked him how his own preparation was going he told me this, ‘It could not be any better. I have everything in order exactly like every giant success story you’ve ever read about. I’m living in a tiny little shit-hole apartment, I have no money, no job, I eat spaghetti or tuna for every meal, all I do is watch t.v. and movies.”
I wanted to let him know that he had forgotten a few other parts of those success stories, probably the most vital ones, but who was I to be a dream crusher. After I moved out there I quickly became very successful in my physical training and left my writing aspirations behind while my very good friend became more and more delusional. It strained our relationship as I was leaving much of what he was still embracing way behind. When we would try to connect after a few months of missing each other he always had some extremely wacky new thing he wanted to share with me.
We were having lunch and he saw that I had bought a new television.
‘Dude, I hope you didn’t buy that thing full price.” He said. I explained that I did indeed.
“Dude, by law they have to allow you 72 hours to return it. You pick out exactly what you want, return it the next day and they have to take it back and sell it as a floor model. Then you get your boy to go buy it and you save like 80%.”
The next time I sat down with him a few months later, I took him out to a restaurant and when I paid he saw my California driver’s license.
“Dude, you’re not still an American citizen are you?”
Yep. I still am.
There is nothing in the constitution whatsoever that says you have to pay taxes. It’s bullshit. There is no good reason to pay any taxes.
Not going to jail was always good enough for me.
Dude. If you renounce your American citizenship you can get an international driver’s license and never pay taxes again.
Really? Is that what you do?
Well, no but I don’t make big money like you do. I wouldn’t want a bunch of my money going to any war effort.
You think my taxes are going to put us over the top in Bosnia, or something?
Almost a year later I tried to sit down with him again and he hit me with my all time favorite. This time he specifically asked for a sit down to finally share with me the big project he had been putting together and working on diligently. He told me that he finally had all the big money behind him, the nation’s top lawyers, and was getting all his legal ducks in order.
“Dude”, he started as usual “Do you know when you “buy” your house and the land its built on you only own the first 100 feet below surface level?”
I did not know that.
It’s true. Think about it.
I am. So you are saying that if I wanted to go into my own backyard grab a couple lawn chairs, dig a hole say a hundred and five or hundred and ten feet down, and then just jump down there and chill out for a bit, I couldn’t, by law, do that?
Think of the mineral rights, Dude. That ground goes all the way down to the core of the earth and it’s kind of up in the air who owns it.
(I loved that analogy.)
We are going to get a huge group together and buy up all that land before people get smart and secure the rights to it.
Wait a minute. I see where you are coming from and I finally think you found something that I can get on board with. I’ll round up a bunch of people to sell you the land from a hundred feet down and below their houses and you round up the people that will buy it. Tell them if they act fast we’ll throw in the core of the earth at no extra cost.
I had not heard from my friend for quite some time but expected to hear from him very soon. I had been eating lunch when I glanced at the front page of the L.A. Times and saw a picture of him hand-cuffed and being led out of a Bel Air mansion by a bunch of serious men with the letters “DEA” on their jackets.
My friend’s father flew into town and they requested I meet with them at a restaurant for a “serious talk.” I had read in the paper that he was facing mandatory federal sentencing of ten years in prison for his role in the massive marijuana operation, which was basically turning the lights and water on and off every day. When I sat down there was a somber mood as you might imagine.
Without a doubt my Holmes needed a jolt to unstick his mind but ten years in the federal prison system was not it. He’d been stubbornly and persistently heading down this path for years now without anything anyone said or did able to dissuade him from ending up exactly here. Obviously this was the place he needed to be, but ten years in federal prison. I just couldn’t believe that was actually in “The Plan.”
I’ll finish this story up tomorrow and maybe even tie it into poker. I once saw some delusional thinking in that world too.
Thanks for reading.
|< Prev Blog||Next Blog >|