Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
The crowd had slowly gathered 'round the table of roulette
To watch the stranger standing there who'd won fourteen straight bets.
Fourteen bets without a miss! They'd never seen it done!
The mounting chips that he had won looked like they weighed a ton.
The rest of the casino floor lay still - deserted there.
The slot machines were silent and the poker tables bare
As word had spread throughout the room of that tall stranger's run
The gamblers came from everywhere to join in on the fun.
I was there - just one small child -my first trip into town.
I never would have had the chance if sitters had been found,
But there I was, to dad's chagrin and momma's proud delight
To be a small participant on that amazing night.
His chips were growing steadily as he won two bets more.
Another one! And then-again! The large crowd roared and roared!
Eighteen! Nineteen! He went on, his fortune growing fast.
Each gambler there was wondering how long this run could last.
Then, suddenly, the stranger stood and took a sip of gin,
Then pushed the stacks of colored chips way out in front of him.
He said,"I'm growing tired, my friends. Here's what I'm gonna do.
I want to bet the whole amount on number 42."
The crowd was stunned! Was this man mad to do what he had done?
The rules say when you're way ahead you take the cash and run.
But he just smiled out at the crowd - another sip of gin -
Then motioned in a lazy wave to let the wheel spin.
The only sound for miles, it seemed, came from that spinning ball.
It echoed through the corridors and sounded down the hall.
Still, round and round the spheroid flew. When all was said and done
The silver marble came to rest on number 41.
The large crowd quickly dissappated, sadly shaking heads,
Back to seeking flushes, placing chips on blacks and reds.
The stranger stood there - who could know how bad this man must feel!
He tipped his cap in wry salute toward the spinning wheel.
He saw me standing, watching him. He looked at me and smiled.
He said, "You'll find a lesson here although you're just a child.
No matter how you live your life, you'll never truly feel
Until you wager all you have on one spin of the wheel."
So many years have long since passed from that casino night.
So many years to realize the stranger had been right.
My life is a successful one - few ups but fewer downs,
Reason, not emotions, keep my feet on solid ground.
I take what life may offer and I never take a chance,
Not in my work, not in my home, not even in romance.
I should be happy with myself, but how I really feel
Is the urge to put it all against just one spin of the wheel.
My chips are on the table. I'm as ready as I'll get
But, now that I am willing, there's no one to take my bet.
The tables have been long since closed till now, at last, I see
That there are no more spinning wheel chances left for me.
So late in life I realize the chances that I've missed.
Instead of wagering on life, I just chose to exist.
Don't be like me. Go live your life with vigor, zest and zeal,
And take opportunity to play that spinning wheel.
[This message has been edited by Balladeer (edited 03-19-2000).]