What the fuck is wrong with me?! There may be people in my neighborhood, but let me tell you what they never do. They never do shit – for me – for free. We’re talking about outside the realm of possibility here.
The mechanic never says, “Hey, Tom. Your car has a leaky head gasket. I’ll fix it for free.”
The brain surgeon never says, “Let’s whip that tumor out of that precious little head. No charge!”
The butcher doesn’t say, “Fella, you sure look like you could use a New York strip. Think fast!”
Me? I was dropped on my head as a wee child. (This is scientific extrapolation. It’s the only explanation that fits the facts.) Computer geek. Programmer. Webmaster. A true modern day Renaissance man. And the only time in my life I ever run is when I can give my shit away for free.
“Yes, I’d be happy to help you with your website in my spare time. Before spending any money – about anything – talk to me first. I’ll look out for you. I’ll protect you from being gouged. You paid $8,000 for your website? Yes, that affirms my opinion of humanity.”
If I have skills that are useful I figure, what the hell, why not help parasitic life forms who happen to be trapped on the same plane as myself?
I don’t ask much in return. A sincere word of “thanks” would be more than enough. Good form dictates, though, that some effort at appearances be made. It’s like pretending to reach for your wallet after a meal when the other person wants to pick up the tab and have you absolutely no intention. Anything less than that minimal effort is bad form.
Before we can play, we need to know a few things. Like, what is a game? My attempt at a definition would be something like this:
Game – A competitive activity with participants, rules and objectives, and outcomes which are determined by strength, skill, or luck. A game is an activity severely perverted by the presence of humans.
Certain outcomes are deemed to be of value, others are not. The outcomes we like are known as winning. The ones we don’t are losing.
Too much emphasis on winning and losing can make the game unpleasant or even harmful, usually to the detriment of the “loser” but also, in many cases, to both sides.
I postulate that a game without rules is meaningless. If we sit down to a nice game of chess and you declare your opening move, “My pawn jetpacks above the board, whips out dual blasters and lazer-beams all your bitches” before sweeping my pieces to the floor, you have not won the game. At least not in terms of the defined rules.
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