A comparison of addictive behaviors: gambling vs. blogging
I got into trouble driving into Traverse City last Wednesday.
So I might as well have difficulties heading home, right?
No one can say my life doesn’t have a sense of proportion and balance.
Cindy and I started our return to Holland – after a fun, but brief three day stay – taking a less direct “scenic route.”
With ever pending calamity apparently also traveling along with me on this trip, we drove past the Turtle Creek Casino.
We were smack-dab in front of the place when misfortune flared up.
And I didn’t even have to leave the road or get out of the car!
You see, the car radio was on.
This isn’t shocking, as you probably know how I love listening to sports talk shows and PR related podcasts.
Well, not this time!
A public service announcement (paid for by the State of Michigan, no less) immediately came on the air and pushed out a litany of tough in-your-face questions, all intended for struggling gamblers.
Upon hearing the ad, Cindy pounced on it.
“Did you hear those questions, Tom?” she said. “They could fit you.”
“Huh? You’re kidding. I’m no gambler.”
“No, I’m not kidding,” she pressed. “Substitute the word ‘blogging‘ for ‘gambling’ and I’ll bet you’d have to answer every one of those questions in the ad the same way a problem gambler would have to.”
“Dang it. I’ll take that bet. What are there… maybe eight questions in that ad? One or two might fit me, but not all eight. I’m in.”
So, here are the “8 Problem Gambler Questions” as posed by Cindy
(with the word “blogging” substituted for “gambling.”)
#1 Have you ever lied to your spouse about your blogging?
Me: No. Who counts fibs? You’re not starting to count fibs now, are you?
#2 Have you ever spent more money than you should have on your blogging?
Me: Why ask this? Did you find my box of receipts up above the garage or something?
#3 Do you find it hard to go a day without blogging?
Me: Of course not! I only blog Monday through Friday. Sheesh.
#4 Are your family members ever waiting at the dinner table while you’re blogging?
Me: No way! Never! What a stupid question. Besides, a short wait never hurt anybody.
#5 Could you walk away from blogging right this minute if you chose to?
Me: Of course, but why crush the spirits of so many dedicated school communicators
out there who demand that I blog everyday?
#5A Ha. Can you name just ONE school communicator who cares whether you blog or not?
Me: I’m not answering this. This question wasn’t in the radio ad. Nice try!
#6 With all of your blogging, don’t you ever worry that you should be spending more time with your family, friends, and faith?
Me: This is a toughie. Which family members and friends are you talking about?
#7 Does your blogging habit make it impossible for your spouse and children to be proud of you?
Me: Nope. They all teased me without mercy before I ever started blogging.
#8 In your day-to-day blogging, do you ever foresee the remote chance of hitting a big jackpot someday?
Me: No. But now you have me wondering… maybe there’s more hope for me in gambling!
“Okay, Tom, just forget it.” Cindy concluded. “You’re not taking these questions seriously. But I hope you see my point.”
“Sure, I do,” I assuaged. “I’m just not sure you repeated those questions from the ad word-for-word in the first place, though.”
“Maybe not,” she agreed (surprisingly),”Why don’t you call the toll-free number we heard and ask for a transcript of the eight questions?”
“I can’t,” I said.
“Why in the blazes not?” she demanded.
“Well, a few days ago I got the bill from my blog host server,” I reported. “I had to hock my iPhone at a pawn shop so I could keep on blogging.”