Learning to Play a Rigged Game

Mark Evanier works in the television and movie business. He tells this joke when he gives The Speech to some would-be creative artist.

A man arrives in a strange city. He wanders around and eventually finds his way to a local tavern where folks crowd around a roulette wheel to gamble. He pulls some cash from his pocket and joins in.

After a while, a waitress wanders up to him and whispers, “The wheel’s crooked.”

“Thanks,” he says. But he doesn’t quit.

A few minutes later, the waitress notices him still losing money at the table. She sidles back up to him and again whispers, “Didn’t you hear me? The wheel’s crooked!”

“I know,” he says as he lays down another bet and promptly loses again.

The waitress is baffled. “Then why are you still playing?” she asks.

The man replies, “It’s the only wheel in town.”

Evanier has a four-point moral to The Speech.
(1) The system is not fair.
(2) It’s never going to be fair.
(3) You have two choices: Play under the system, as it is, or get out.
(4) If it should happen to pay off, it pays off big.

Coppola, B. P. “Learning to Play a Rigged Game” The National Teaching and Learning Forum, 2000, 9(2), 6-9.

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