(AKA Betting Against the House)

Joker in the deck

by Joe Buonfiglio


Now before you have a knee-jerk reaction leading to your writing in the response-comment section something intimating that I should have unprotected sex with a member of a reptilian species, and then promptly “unfollowing” whilst vowing to bop me in the head with a rock sending me plummeting down the mountainside to my death a la Lord of the Flies without so much as a “poor Piggy” being muttered under your breath in fleeting remorse; let me explain.

After your initial “Go fuck yourself!” rejoinder to my original declaration in this post, you may have noticed the contradictory nature of my opening statement — my opening salvo, really — in that I started off my writing this week’s blog-post by announcing, in no uncertain terms, that I would not be writing a blog-post this week.

Now, if instead of stopping to calm the waters of audience opinion with an explanation or some form of mea culpa, I had simply continued to blog about how I would not be blogging even more vehemently than ever, that would be “doubling down.”

“Completely absurd!” you say. “The approach of an immature child.”

I couldn’t agree more … if it were any other time in politics.

However, as led by the example of a certain US presidential candidate at the time of this writing, we seem to have entered what I see as A NEW AGE OF DOUBLING DOWN.

If we are to follow the lead of such narcissistic fame-whores, not only should we never, EVER admit to even the smallest of mistakes; we should hammer you so badly about being so wrong at pointing out even our most blatant errors screaming “Unfair treatment!” until a throng of followers wants to run YOU out on a rail for having the elitist journalistic gall to bring it to light in the first place.

This approach used to make me furious as I saw it as evidence of the conspiratorial and purposeful dismantling of our education system in order to create an electorate of angry dumbasses that can be easily manipulated even within the confines of a free press and a democratic society. However, remembering the wisdom of the great huckster P. T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

So by God, you’d be nuts not to take advantage of the willfully dimwitted.

Now on my newfound quest to “join ’em” who double down in order to gain the upper hand, I, too, have entered the metaphoric temple of Narcissus.

You say it’s absurd that I wrote a blog-post this week stating that I will not be writing a blog-post this week. I simply respond, “I never wrote that.”

“But, it’s online,” you reply with that delightful expression of confusion on your face. “It has a ‘by Joe Buonfiglio’ byline. Now you say you didn’t write it?”

“I never said that. I never said that. You people say this stuff. I don’t know where you get it from.”

And should you accuse me of road rage or shooting my neighbor over his dog pooping on my lawn for the millionth time….

“I was not at all angry. And I don’t even own a car, let alone a gun.”

“But Joe,” you say, “your banged up car is in your driveway and your literally smoking gun is on the front seat.”

“I never did that. You’re really, really unfair to Joe Buonfiglio; I don’t know why. Somebody’s really doing some really bad fact-checking on your team.”

Or, perhaps I’ll shift the adverse focus to you by using the name-calling bully’s technique of negative labelling.

“Dad,” my disappointed progeny proclaims, “You ate all the ice cream again!”

“There he goes again, my lying son. He’s such a lyin’ son, isn’t he folks?”

“The ice cream was full before you entered the kitchen,” says my annoyed wife, “and now it’s empty.”

“There she goes, the crooked wife taking the lying son’s side. Crooked wife crooked wife crooked wife!”

She looks at me with a scowl, before uttering, “But you still have melted chocolate ice cream on your mustache.”

“No I don’t!”

“You took a selfie of it all smeared on your face and posted it online saying how delicious it was.”

“Where do you get this stuff? I don’t even like chocolate.”

“Chocolate has been your favorite since we were dating!”

“Vanilla has always been my favorite, crooked wifey.”

“We had to change our wedding cake from Italian rum cake to a chocolate cake, because you’re such a chocolate nut!”

“No we didn’t, crooked wife. Are you bleeding down there or something?”

I’m not going to be able to insult my way into the power position, you say? Just watch me, stupid reader.

Hey, I know what you’re thinking: This goes against the way it has always been done. It’s a big middle finger in the face of the power structure. It’s betting against the house, so to speak.

Betting against the house — be it in blackjack, politics or life — eventually goes against you, doesn’t it? What seems as if a winning streak goes sour if you don’t know when to abandon that strategy, if you stay in that game too long, no? Should I take pause in that I have lost damn near every time I have doubled down in a casino?

Not true, stupid reader. I ALWAYS win big.


Then again, maybe I should be content to simply remain the joker in the deck. Pretending to be a king comes at a price.

Certain of us on the national stage would do well to remember that.


© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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