How to Start an Argument from Scratch Part 1

Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he’s talking about – Sam Ewing

It is Friday night and how things have changed from a few years ago. Back then there was only one place I would be – the pub. Now it is sat in front of my 30” HD cinema screen playing five MTT’s whilst a sixth whizzes away on a separate laptop.

I am in a mood. I just don’t seem to be able to get any luck in these MTT’s and I am getting beat by the worst players in the world. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry as my tables slowly diminish like sand slipping down the hourglass.

There is only one thing worse than continually losing to fish and that’s losing to fish whilst people talk to you about non-poker related topics. You simply cannot listen to them. The people talking to you think you are being rude. They think you are being selfish. But you are the one who has paid the money to play in the tournament, not them, you are the one who loses the money if you get distracted, not them. You are not being rude, you are actually acting in a sensible manner. It is in fact rude to talk to someone whilst they are trying to concentrate. I doubt people walk up to Tiger Woods just as he is about the sink an Eagle on the 18th and ask him how things are? Why should poker be any different?

Debbie has been in the kitchen with her niece Amy-Leigh since I got home from work. That was over four hours ago so I would guess they have drunk at least three bottles of wine between them. If anything can get me in a bad mood worse than poker it is my wife when she is drunk.

People who consume large amounts of alcohol search for excuses to justify their behaviour and you will be amazed how they can lie with such false belief in their own words. I actually believe they fool themselves sometimes.

“I work hard all week. I deserve to spend my money enjoying myself!”

I believe that an important component of enjoyment is your memory. Without it your enjoyment is very fleeting. Memories allow you to look back fondly on those times of enjoyment. How can someone say they work hard and therefore deserve to spend their money enjoying themselves if they cannot remember the experience? Is it any different than throwing your money down the toilet and then hitting yourself over the back of the head with a baseball bat? Either way you end up with no money, no memory and a sore head!

Debbie comes upstairs and tells me that her and her niece Amy-Leigh have decided to go to the pub and she asked if I would look after Jude? The easy answer would be to say yes. I would have said yes, she would have given me a kiss and gone to the pub and we would have all lived happily ever after. Instead I decide it would be a good time to start an argument from scratch. Tilt works in mysterious ways.

“Why are you going to the pub? You have obviously had enough already and are just wasting your money. Money you don’t have.” I say trying to concentrate on the tables.

“I am going to see your Dad, he’s in the Con Club. Will you just look after Jude?” says Debbie

“No” I say

“What do you mean no?” says a puzzled Debbie

“I am not going to look after him.” I said

“Why not?” Asks Debbie.

“I am playing cards and if I told you that I was going to look after him then I would be telling you a lie. I have a five-minute break every hour where I will pop downstairs to see him but I am not looking after him? I can’t I am in some tournaments” I say.

I can feel the resentment building up inside me. Resentment brought on my by the fact that she is drunk not the fact that she wants go out. I couldn’t care less if she went out, more time for poker. The conversation continued for at least 20 minutes. Debbie was obviously not able to think coherently because she was drunk and I was acting “Honest-Lee”. I could have easily have said,

“Yeah no problem. You go out and enjoy yourself. I’ll look after Jude”

But that would have been a lie. Instead I said.

“I don’t want you to go out. You have had enough to drink. I am not going to look after Jude because I am playing cards and he is playing on his Nintendo DS.”

People can’t handle the truth! When you tell the truth you are accused of starting an argument. This is why I am extremely good at starting an argument from scratch because I tell it as it is. When you are younger you are castigated for telling lies and when you get older you are castigated for telling the truth. What was even more annoying was the fact that Debbie and Amy-Leigh had been in the kitchen getting pissed for four hours whilst Jude was in the front room quietly playing on his Nintendo DS and here was Debbie getting angry now because I was saying I wouldn’t look after him? If they were not going out they would have stayed in the kitchen-drinking bottle after bottle. Would they have looked after Jude? I don’t think so. So why am I any different?

In the eyes of the girls this is an easy one. I am selfish. I am sat upstairs playing poker whilst my son is in the front room on his own. Poker, poker, poker! Get a life.

Drinking wine and being sociable while ignoring your son is fine, perfectly natural behaviour. Playing poker, shame on you! Talking about being truthful. If you give a kid the choice of playing on his Nintendo DS or spending time with his parents, the Nintendo DS wins every time!