This is the “Place Your Bets, Open All Hours, Hey Does Anybody Even Go to Cesear’s Palace Anymore?” edition of The Answer Man, not to be confused with “The Cincinnati Kid,” the story of a gambling whiz who goes all in at precisely the wrong time.
And he lost Ann Margaret too.
DEAR ANSWER MAN: Wow, I just got back from Vegas and boy oh boy is that some kind of place. I saw a fake volcano, a fake Eiffel Tower, a fake Venice, about a hundred fake waterfalls, a real Celine Dion (and boy was that ever terrifying), actual poker machines that pay off; and enough neon on Fremont Street to make that Festival of Lights at Tanglewood look like a bunch of street lamps at Old Salem. And I saw lots of real people taking it all in. What I didn’t see was anything resembling something a local government employee would need to check out to improve their jobs. Looked like a vacation place to me. So why oh why do so many local government types get sent to Vegas on “business” and what do they learn there? – BROKE IN BURLINGTON BY WAY OF THE BELLAGIO.
DEAR TOURIST: If you seek a fake vacation in a place where the rules are loose, there’s plenty of action and plenty of curious and potentially dangerous people running around at all hours of the night then it’s hard to beat Las Vegas, unless, of course, a free weekend in Jacksonville, N.C. is available. Still, in the case of the recent report released by Alamance County in which folks from the Department of Social Services and Sheriff’s Department traveled to Vegas for conferences, the trips were not pleasure outings but strictly and completely all business.
The blame for this can’t be placed, however, on the doorstep of local governments but upon that of the organizers of such seminars who select places like Las Vegas in order to assure good attendance and justify their expense accounts. After all, who in their right minds would go to a gang-fighting seminar in East L.A.?
It’s not known what our local government reps learned on these particular junkets. The reason for this is simple: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
DEAR ANSWER MAN: Seven years ago I played in an NFL fantasy league. Haven’t played since. Now I’m back in one. This past week, I drafted Clinton Portis, the fine running back from the Washington Redskins. Now the Redskins get whipped 47-3 by the Carolina Panthers. Any truth to the rumor the Redskins are going to shut it down themselves for seven years? — ANXIOUS IN ARAPAHOE.
DEAR WRAPPED: First of all I’d like to say that if your idea of fantasy involves the exploits of sweaty 300-pound football players and their wanton consumption of Gatorade then you’ve got a snootful of problems already. This is worrisome considering your previous seven-year stretch of sound decision-making. Perhaps you should consult a physician or TV psychic, not the Answer Man.
That said, however, the Answer Man is fully aware that literally millions of alleged adult males each year devote billions of hours toward first drafting their fantasy team which they then pit against other fantasy teams on a weekly basis. This allows men to actually enjoy professional football — something that is believed by leading mental health experts to be virtually impossible — and at the end have a chance to win a potful of loot should they have the best team.
In most reputable places this is considered gambling.
Anyway, because The Answer Man was himself once an alleged adult male who participated in such activities — until the wife made him cease and desist immediately —he fully understands your anxiety as the season prepares to open. The fact is, running backs on losing teams usually aren’t running backs anymore but rather fifth or sixth options in a desperate passing game.
This is where the Washington Politically-Incorrects fit in. It is believed that a team once existed in our nation’s capitol but actually ceased to operate as a fully recognized professional squad after Daniel Snyder took ownership some years ago. For all practical purposes they shut down operations in D.C. at least three coaching changes ago.
So your best bet would be either A: investing in banking stocks; or B. Taking a seminar in Vegas and betting the red on a Roulette wheel.
And remember, the Answer Man is always ready to spin the wheel, roll the dice or double down — particularly if it’s a sure thing.
He’s still looking for it.