Mr. Neurotic has invited me to his home to meet some of his business associates.
As we drive up and Jim describes the estate it’s clear that he is impressed, “Mister Rick, it’s to cool. The mansion is perched on a high mountainside, with a panoramic view that stretches way down yonder to the Ocean.”
After a nice night of dining, Mr. Neurotic asks politely, “Richard, would you mind demonstrating some of your card skills for my associates?”
I think jokingly to myself: “Since that’s what you are paying me to do!” but I actually say, “Sure, I’d be happy to.”
At the end of the evening, after everyone leaves, he confides, “All of my business associates are self-made millionaires who enjoy friendly games of cards, and they have other associates who also enjoy friendly games.” He suggests, “Your skills could be mutually profitable if you play your cards right. You could win enough money to buy your own performing night club, or even a riverboat of your own.”
“Thank you,” I say respectfully, “but I’m happy being a performer and have enough money to satisfy my needs.” In reality, I wanted to say, “No amount of money is worth putting my life in the hands of people who end partnerships and dissolve connections in radical ways.”
On the way home, Jim tells me with an amusing laugh, “Say Mister Rick, you won’t believe this, but Mr. Neurotic took me off to the side and asked, ‘How does Richard do it? Does he have some kind of special ESP?’” We have a good laugh at that ridiculous question.