Friday, July 27, 2007

Melvin

You know that Mohegan Sun commercial where this guy named Melvin wants to order tiramisu at dinner but his wife won’t let him?

"Melvin came here to have some fun, not count calories," he says. "Melvin's stomach says bring me some luscious tiramisu, so Melvin's stomach should get some luscious tiramisu ... Who made Rita's stomach president of Melvin's stomach?"

Gladys wants Melvin to go home, get on the treadmill and send his money to Darfur. And for pity’s sake, stop mowing the lawn without a shirt.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun raked in over $1.7 Billion on slots alone last year. And they’re growing. Glenn Marshall wants his casino to be the biggest in the world, so who knows how many zillions could eventually be involved.

So… how much did the Tribe magnanimously offer to assist in the rehabilitation of all the addicts they’ll generate with this Taj Mahal of avarice? What sobering amount of monetary mitigation did altruistic Middleboro selectman Adam Bond deftly negotiate for that long line citizens who will fall prey to the call of the dice, not just in the next decade, but for generations after he and I are dead and buried? The ones who’ll lose their mortgage payments, their houses, their families, even their lives because a gambling casino five seconds away is going to prove too difficult to ignore? Too easy to ‘chase’ – a term used by gamblers to describe running back to a casino again and again because, having won once, they just know 'this one’s the charm.'

If I might appear to be somewhat overboard on this subject to some of my readers, if I’m not seeing the wonder of it all, like I’m supposed to, please understand, there is a tombstone in the Nemasket Cemetery with the name of a guy I’d went to high school with. There’s another one there belonging to the brother-in-law of the girl I grew up next door to in Middleboro. They died in the same year. The same year a popular Bridgewater teacher died too, and my nephew’s uncle – another Middleboro lifer. They’re all dead because they committed suicide as a result of gambling addiction.

Four men, two towns, one year. Brothers. Sons. Neighbors. Friends. This ain’t some fairy tale.

And so… what amount of money in this supposedly lucrative agreement was agreed on jointly as a sufficient sum to cover the consequences of a ground-zero gambling establishment?

$20,000.

If you still haven’t been convinced that Middleboro officials weren’t living in the real world already, then that insane figure, the yearly amount to “mitigate” gambling addiction problems in the event a casino opens it's doors, should be just the dope slap you need.

Listen, I’ll fess up. Gladys is not a gambler. I have no lucky aura following me around on life’s journey. This year I got a scratch ticket for Christmas and for the first time in my life, I won big! Twenty-bucks! Whoo-hoo!

And, while I was still reeling with joy at this unexpected windfall, I turned my back for a moment, only to discover that while I had, my son had innocently offered to ‘help me out’ by scratching off that one bit at the bottom I hadn’t gotten to.

Toil, not fortune, is Gladys’s lot in life. No getting around it.

So no. I don’t get what people see in gambling. But I’m not going to pretend that a large number of people, including friends and family members, find gambling enjoyable. That doesn’t mean I have any intention of lavishing profuse blogspace to the “OKness” of this phenomenon. The figures speak for themselves. Still, the only difference I see between myself and a gambling addict is that I’ve accepted that I’m never going to hit the jackpot by stuffing quarters in a slot machine. And so I can walk away - but they can’t. That’s why I’m truly the lucky one.

But there were days, in my twenties, when I’d count the pocket change I had left at the end of the work week, walk to the convenience store, and invest in my future with the clever purchase of some quick picks. Why it never failed not to pan out, I can't understand.

It does work for some. And that’s what keeps them and less fortunate others coming back. Like my classmate in the cemetery.

One of my husband’s co-workers said it best. She loves to go to Foxwoods - but she’s sill glad it’s a two hour drive. She knows herself too well.

It’s clear that the State of Massachusetts, and therefore taxpayers like you and I will have to foot the bill for the social consequences of a casino in Middleboro. I keep hearing that the Tribe wants to be good neighbors, but the more I study the latest agreement, it seems like they want to borrow a cup of sugar, and then make us pay for it.

So, if you really feel compelled, over the summer, to drop some quarters, my son has a lemonade stand. He sends his profits to the Make-A-Wish foundation. Can't lose there. Not to mention that the $1.7 billion a year people lose in Connecticut casinos could cure a lot of cancer.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great blogs....very enjoyable reading...As for Middleborough and the Agreement..In this town, it comes down to HOW WELL will this money be dispursed. Who is in charge will be the key...solid fiscal money management is way OVERDUE in this little country town. The salaries of some local officials are almost as much as city officials......WHY?? No one can ever give an answer to that question........Gladys, thanks for the great blogs.

Anonymous said...

Little noticed: At the Selectmen's Meeting, if one calculated the 'Wish List,' they have spent the $7 millionmany times over! There's a disconnect in their thinking between their excessive spending and limited revenues! 36% Pay Raises don't come out of their pockets!

Anonymous said...

Funny how without a casino Middleboro has already felt the effect of one. Good for you for pointing out we already have a problem...bringing a casino is only going to make that problem hugely unreachable...oh but we always have that $20,000. The way this town manages money it will be spent on Marsha's coffee. (or a new gavel when she breaks her current torture tool) Save our children and future generations from our generations faults...Do it for the sons of our town who are already gone . They can't vote but if they could what would they say? VOTE NO...there is no other option. We couldn't save them but we can save others.

Bravo Gladys once again for putting the facts that no one wants to face out there.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourselves is you would vote for the casino if Middleboro WASN'T having financial problems. It would be awful to change the town forever, just to solve a temporary problem.

Adam said...

When/where is the town meeting being held tomorrow?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Town Meeting:

Saturday July 28th. Baseball fields in the back of Middleboro High School. Registration in the gym. Buses will be available if you can't find a spot to park. Bikes OK to bring. Bring a lawn chair and anything else you need for a long day.

Registration begins at 8:00 am. Meeting to begin promptly at 11:00 am.

Anonymous said...

Gladys,

You are right on target.

In fact we should prohibit the internet as well. The websites that sevrice the perverse desires of pedophiles is readily available to all those with such prediposistions and enforces the chances they will act out on such a desire. When I was 11, a prominent Middleborough man tried to molest me (and others) at his Cambridge street home. He had with him magazines of naked kids.

Allowing computer sales to families can cause all sorts of other domestic problems. I know many people that consider the internet to be a "tool of the devil." You may be less quick to eliminate that despite others feeling it is poison.

Cigarettes need to banned from stores.

The Massachusetts Lottery should be abolished (we all often see people buying an arms length of scratch tickets that by all appeareances cannot afford such a behavior). The truth is the lottery is a "regressive tax."

Prohibition needs to be reestablished.

More families are touched and torn apart by the above than a gambling resort will cause.

The sad reality is an addicitive personality has plenty of outlets available.

In closing my opinion is that when we start to preach morality let's be consistent. Are you willing to abolish the internet,your means of making a living and a source of personal enjoyment, to prevent the associated abuses?

As a selectman I publicly went after a store that was selling beastiality videos, and others that sold cigarettes to minors and alcohol to adults. I wish I could have banned the sale of ALL alcohol cigaretts in Middlebough. But I cannot.

All these social ills are out there and have been since the beginning of mankind.

I have many friends that would love to be able to obtain jobs at the casino.

I also want to be able to preserve many places in Middleborough in the future. We need money to purchase land and RESTRICT future growth. Did you notice that subdivision is already being built on Precinct street (AKA "Most Beautiful Place on Earth)? Do you recall the name of Middleborough's Yearbooks? TIMARON: Time Marches On.

By the way I am not pro gambling and do understand the duplicity of my posistion.

Sorry if there are typos I find conversation medium you use difficult.

Lincoln D Andrews

Gladys Kravitz said...

Link, Gladys is getting cranky and tired as D-Day approaches so sorry if I appear a bit caustic.

But, frankly, I'm ashamed of you. You were a classmate of the man I mentioned. You were his high school class president.

And I'm not preching morality. The internet gives a lot back, like the freedom of speech lost at selectman's meetings - but that doesn't make internet predation OK. So smarten up. The world is neither black nor white. As grownups, we're supposed to be able to tell the difference.

Hotels are nice. Resorts are nice. In the right spot. And casinos, they belong in Vegas if anywhere.

I'm sorry to hear about your early experiences. We grew up in the same town in the same years and I know others who've had the same thing happen to them. I think you are extremely brave to fight those same forces today as an adult.

But Link, gambling addiction is real. And it's pretty bad out there in Bridgewater and Middleboro without a casino. Those were decent guys who died, and there's going will be more if you get your way.

But on the bright side, they'll be two years worth of construction work and low-paying jobs for years to come!

Now go read that contract again and go tell me it's a good deal.

Mary

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely not not looking to get "my way." I am looking to get and abide by the decision of "Town Meeting." My public statements attest to that.

People also have the freedom of choice. Whether it is to use abusive substances, gamble via the internet, or to walk into a casino.

Nor am I looking to make you cranky. I am just using your venue to express my feelings.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself why you want this casino before you vote Yes. Will you feel the same way in 5, 10, 20 years? Will future generations be glad you voted Yes? If you aren't sure the answer to those questions is Yes, then you better vote No. Maybe you'll get another chance at a Yes vote in the future, but you won't get another chance at a No vote, and either will our kids.

BOB GADSBY said...

MR. ANDREWS -MAYBE IF THE TOWN WAS MORE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE THERE WOULD BE MONEY TO AID MAYBERRY. THERE HAVE BEEN QUESTIONABLE REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS DEALS THAT HAVE BROUGHT BACK LITTLE TO THE TOWN. MAYBE I'M MISINFORMED BUT HOW MANY OF THE BUSINESSES IN OUR INDUSTRIAL PARKS ARE TAX EXEMPT FOR A SET PERIOD OF TIME? IF THE TOWN WAS RUNNING SO IN THE RED THEN WHY ARE TOWN EMPLOYEES GIVEN SUCH LUCRATIVE CONTRACTS? GOOD FOR THEM FOR NEGOTIATING THEM- SHAME ON US FOR ALLOWING THEM.

Anonymous said...

My wish is that Lincoln D. Andrews will soon learn sign language so I don't have to listen to that voice ever again...And in conclusion I am opposed to the casino in Middleborough.

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