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The Heretic's Sermon

Why Never to Bet - By John Hornberg

        Author’s Note - None of this article reflects the views of this site or the people who run it, but the author himself.-

Okay, this first part is extremely serious, so I want everyone who reads this article to read this part closely and carefully:

On September 11, 2001, all of us, from me here in Sacramento, California to those in Augusta, Maine woke up to a stunning, disgusting, and awkward event:   Terrorists turned OUR own passenger planes on the Worlds center for Economics - The World Trade center.

It was heart wrenching to think of all the people in those planes, and of all who were killed in the building.

It was horrifying see the buildings collapse, and I couldn’t help but be in an absolute state of shock.  A mix of emotions ran through my mind - anger, shock, disgust, sadness.  All of this caused me to cry.

Throughout the day, my teachers talked about the incident, saying how shocked they were, what could happen next, and how 9/11/01 will be remembered for centuries to come.

All except for one - My English teacher Ms. LaRocca.  Yes, she did tell us how horrible this was, but it was different, she told us what could be in store for the future.

She told us an amazing display of foreshadowing and compassion that this could lead to more terrorism if we go to war.  We could be playing right into their hands, and we might not.

Still, she left us with one last final comment, that touched all, and I hope that all of you will remember this comment the next time you hear of Bush talking about going to war, or crazy’s insulting Muslims and people of Arabic descent - The first casualtie of every war is the truth.

Let’s change that.  Please, I ask of all of you, do not insult these people.  Just because someone of their race did something horrible, doesn’t mean that all of them are going to hop on planes, hijack them, guide them into

American landmarks.

It doesn’t work that way, and it never will.  So, I leave it to you, get over any to all prejudice that you have for anyone,  so we can band as one in this time of need.

Thank You.  If you disagree, and want to try and change my mind, fine, go ahead and e-mail me.  I don’t give a damn.

Now with the Magic half of this article.  Okay, I have a ridiculous situation with a moral for all of you.  It has to do with something so stupid, that I don’t even know why it happens in Magic - betting.

Okay, and here’s the story behind my belief:

At my local store, Comics and Comix in Citrus Heights, we have a wide array of players - everyone from the extremely experienced snots who want to win at all cost, and make excuses why they lose instead of the fact that their just is just plain bad, to those who are just beginning.  Me, I’m in the middle, as is my friend Jay.

Well, the story goes like this.

Jesse, one of the casual players who has lots and lots of good old stuff, had been .... well, maybe I shouldn’t say for fear of censorship, and he came to Arena on Friday when maybe it would have been in his best interest not to.

He made a bet with one of the good players, Dustin, over what a card did. 

Not a game, it wasn’t ante, it was over what a card does.  I forget the card.

What remains an enigma to all of us to all of us, is what Jesse bet - an unlimited Black Lotus.  You read right, a Black Lotus.  I think he ment the bet as a joke, but apparently it got to the point where it got serious, something that should never have happened.

Dustin proved Jesse wrong, which presented a problem - Jesse wouldn’t give up the card.  He simply wouldn’t.  Kenny, the best player in the store, and probably in the area, came to the back room, and everyone talked.  Dustin got angry over the fact that he wouldn’t give up the card, and Jesse was angry I think because Dustin was being an ass about the issue, which is quite common for Dustin.

Finally, they reached an agreement, although a bittersweet one - Dustin got a Mana Drain.  Jesse, while angry, cheered up, but still stormed right out the door afterwards.  Dustin followed about five minutes later, angry as hell.  He said before he left, or his friend Nathan did, I don’t know to the entire store, “A Mana Drain!?!  That’s F----d up!”

then, in an amazing turn of the tables, one of the really good players, Paul Venable, yelled back, “No, what’s f----d up is people running planes into buildings!”

Still, that will not figure into the point, my point is this - don’t make a bet you don’t intend to keep.  If you do, don’t do it over what cards do, because, that’s just going to erupt into a confrontation.

I would say ante, but even ante is dumb.  Don’t even do that.

So my final moral - gambling and M: TG don’t mix, and, unlike Poker, you’re not loosing clothing or money with is ho hum to lose, but cards that could be extremely hard to replace or buy.  So, I appeal to all you extremely experienced players to not take advantage of the relatively stupid or inexperienced.  Underhanded tactics like that are uncalled for, unfair, and over all, stupid.  It hurts your reputation, because then people like me, who have considerable connections in the local Magic community, spread the story.

Then to the inexperienced, don’t bet your cards.  Pure as that.  You don’t bet, then you don’t lose them.

Thank you again.

God Bless,

John “The Happy Heretic” Hornberg

I can be e-mailed at promiseland85@hotmail.com if you want to.  Just remember that I have lots of things to do, and e-mail often winds up being a lowered priority.  i mean no offense, because I do read everything, it’s just replying which I don’t always get around to.





Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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