I recently saw a news item about a family whose elder members have sold up everything to make a big bet on bitcoin. While I applaud their daring, I am less certain of their wisdom. It reminded me of one of my favourite jokes – a joke that I always think of whenever I make decisions with my own money.
Here it is.
A middle-aged guy is sitting in his office at work, idly scrolling through emails when he hears a voice in his head.
“Quit your job, sell your house, take the money and go to Vegas,” it says.
He tries to ignore it but the next day, the same thing: “Quit your job, sell your house, take the money and go to Vegas.”
After a week of the voice constantly nagging him, he can’t stand it any longer. He goes to his boss, quits and takes a redundancy package. He sells his house and buys a plane ticket to Las Vegas.
When he lands, the voice starts up again: “Go to the Venetian! Quick! Take a cab!”
The man obeys and checks in at the casino. Before he can even unpack the voice is there again: “Use all your money for chips and go to the roulette wheels,” it says.
He gets his entire net worth in chips and hurries to the wheels. “Second table on the left,” says the voice, urgently. The man goes to the table and waits.
After three spins, the voice, almost screaming by now, tells him: “Put it all on red 14! Put it on!” The man does what he’s told and puts his life savings on number 14.
The croupier spins the wheel and releases the ball: click, clack, clack, clackety, click. The man waits with his heart pounding. The ball comes to rest … on 22.
The guy stands in silence taking in the shock then, quietly in his ear, he hears the voice again:
“Oh, fuck,” it says.