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THE ATM CONUNDRUM

So here's the conundrum and it is a personal test of integrity. (Wow - this is going to be a "personal" thing isn't it?)

You're all packed to go on holidays. The plane leaves in an hour and a half and it is Good Friday. A quick trip to the bank to get some $$$ out of the ATM and you're on your way. You drive down to the bank and park,get out of the car, no one around because it is early Good Friday and you glance at the bank's ATM and, like magic, there are notes already flapping in the breeze.

A few hundred bucks that some poor sod has withdrawn and driven off without taking. Obviously they grabbed the receipt, stuck that in their purse or wallet and drove off. You count the money. $300. You look around. Again not a soul in in sight. So what do you do? No - what do YOU do?It's irrelevant what I did. I did say a "personal" test, didn't I?

What would the $300 have been for? Boring stuff like food and groceries? Easter eggs for their kids? Rent money for overdue rent? Who knows? And you never could know so why go down that path? Why bother your pretty self with those considerations?The fact is that the gods of good fortune have been kind enough to give you three hundred out of the blue just before you get on the big jet to Vegas where you could maybe turn that "win" into a couple of thousand withjust a lucky turn of the card or two - wasn't it?

Now regular readers of what has almost become my gambling "blog" would know that I don't really believe in luck to any large degree but I do believe in karma. It seems to me that what does "go around, comes around" and there is absolutely no such thing as free money.

Every dollar that goes through your hands has a cost attached to it somewhere. There is no escaping that fact. So what "costs" are there to you in that free $300? Hey, let's face it - three hundred is maybe four tanks of petrol these days or thirty days of power over winter (well here in the cooler areas) or 10 kilos of really top shelf good quality steak. Does conscience come with a cost?

The costs to the loser are doubled. Not only was it $300 they lost but they had to find another $300 to get whatever it was they needed it for in the first place. No good comes from stolen money. In fact, it is probably the first lost. The morality of gambling is a debatable thing for others to consider. I do it and enjoy it. If the puritanical set choose to think that what I do for a living is disgraceful and indolent, well, so be it. I can't help or change what other people think of me. Way beyond my control so I'm not fussed.

So if you have successfully answered (to your satisfaction) the original question of what to do with the "free" three hundred, here's the next step. There's always a next step isn't there? :-)

What if the three hundred had been on the ground at the Moonee Valley races? On in the car park at the casino? Would your answer have been the same?And why is there a difference?

Aaargh - always more questions than answers!!

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