Mood: vegas lucky
Topic: "Numbers Racket" (4)
2011, 65, 1946, 6500, 850, 81, 28, 6510.
Frodo had an Uncle who got busted a long time ago for "running numbers." The casinos of Las Vegas, and the horse tracks in a dozen or so states were the only legitimate gambling opportunities for those so inclined at the time. As Frodo recalls, the "numbers" was generally done over the telephone, and the bettor was guessing the last four numbers in something like the "T-Bill bid" on a particular day (any of our friends from Mississippi may interject here and provide additional clarity, given the large percentage of Mississippians who were players). The order taker would pass the bets on to a "runner" who would deliver them to the "house," who paid the winners, and collected from the losers. Ergo, the invention of "breaking kneecaps."
Numbers register a lot with Frodo these days, and the seven indicated above are part of his random thoughts on a hot Saturday afternoon. In the year 2011, the first of the "baby boomers" reach the retirement age of 65, reflecting their births in 1946. The world as known to Frodo and the Fellowship will change forever, and all of Middle Earth will reflect new realities. Frodo, not unlike almost everyone else, remembers good times, and does not desire significant change as a general rule. It is almost hard to believe that he will soon cast a vote for a President who is younger, not older, than Frodo. It will be the first such instance, but probably not the last.
Last night, Frodo heard a very interesting discussion about issues, and context. The political discussions and the emotional drive for universal healthcare became the latest example for Frodo, of how arguments are "shaped" or "marketed," and never quite presented fully, thoughtfully, to ensure material wisdom. Frodo learned that, for every automobile produced in Detroit, Michigan last year,$6500 of each autombile so manufactured represented costs associated with "healthcare." At the same time, for the exact same make and model automobile manufactured in Ontario, Canada, the "healthcare" costs were $850. The healthcare system in America, often described as "broken," but better than "socialized medicine," may actually be driving jobs out of America, and adding to the economic crisis surrounding the middle class. Frodo, were he the CEO of General Motors (and he may be a far better choice than the numb-nut who has watched the stock drop to a third of its price just a year ago), would certainly move his manufactuting facilities to Ontario if he could save consumers just about $5650 per automobile. Does that mean CEO Frodo would join the Lou Dobbs' list of villains moving US jobs "overseas?"
Today, the National Football League Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio (please note that Steven Colbert has not been invited) will today induct several new members. Art Monk, from Syracuse University, and the Washington Redskins where he wore #81, will join Darrell Green, from Texas A&I, and the Washington Redskins where he wore #28, in this coveted recognition ceremony. These guys played football, and Frodo can still sing all of the words to "Hail to the Redskins," as he salutes two good guys who still make the entire population of Dallas, Texas, put their thumbs in their butts before sucking deeply.
Finally, today, there is the year 6510, which relates back to our title song. Frodo is willing to bet these were the "numbers" that tripped up his Uncle, and landed him in the hoosegow. Any takers?