Choosing Where to Live
written February 15, 2008
Living where most people go for vacation is immeasurably better than living in an area where most people are scared to walk to their car at night for fear of being mugged.
In poker, probably the most fundamental concept is called table selection. The premise is basically this: if thereís a table full of sharks, avoid it. If thereís a table full of fish, sit down as long as you can. Or as Amarillo Slim said,
If you canít spot the sucker at the table, youíre probably it. The same concept applies to life. Different areas in the US offer different opportunities for money, safety, socializing, recreation, etc. Why would you settle for a location that offers difficult, unsafe living when you could live somewhere so much nicer?
Iím not sure why people like to live in a place where the #1 cause of death for a black male between 14 and 35 is murder. Where you canít walk alone at night for fear of being mugged. Where you canít tell some kid in the movie theater to stop talking during the movie because he might pull a knife on you in the parking lot. Where you canít find a KFC that doesnít have bullet proof glass between you and the cashier. Where you canít turn on the local news without hearing about an officer gunned down, a woman being raped and then killed with a hammer, or a series of arsons.
One night my ex-girlfriend came over to my house, and when she was ready to leave, we realized her car had been stolen right out of the driveway. Before school one day my grandfather went to take out the trash, and by the time we were ready for school, the car was gone. Somebody stole it in the half hour between him taking out the trash and us going to school. My sisterís classmate had to call the cops because he found a dead body in a car on the side of the road. The victim didnít die in a car accident, he was shot to death. That's one hell of a story for a high school kid to come home to tell mom and dad, donít you think? My grandmotherís car was stolen out of her driveway three times in two weeks.
Why live like that?
Then I moved to southwest Florida. I parked the car in my cousinís driveway, and when I locked the doors she laughed at me. Another time I was picking up another cousin to go to the beach, and he left the front door of his house unlocked. I asked him why he didnít lock it, and with utmost sincerity he asked me why he should. One of my other cousins had a cherry red mustang in which he would leave the windows open with the keys in the cup holder by the front seat. It was never stolen. Children ride their bikes in their own neighborhood at NIGHT. Headline news features kids who get arrested for throwing house parties. Thatís right, news doesnít cover stories about serial snipers looking for a payday worthy of a rap song; the news covers stories about underage drinking. Now thatís a safe area to live. Of course the other end of the spectrum is that the lower-class down here is upper-class everywhere else. You get the pleasure of dealing with all the pretentious money worshippers who look down their noses at you for driving a car worth less than $75,000.
But alas, I would rather fix toilets and watch the sun settle into the horizon of the gulf every night than earn more just to listen to sirens every night.
Call me crazy.
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