THE REWARDS OF VIRTUE

My friends Lily and Cotty (above) flew into town from Los Angeles this weekend and met up with another old friend, Frank, and his pal Bob, who'd driven here from the same place.  They'd all come to volunteer for a couple of days' work going door to door for the Obama campaign, collecting pledge cards and contact information, registering new voters and generally spreading the good word.

They walked (and walked) through middle-class neighborhoods dotted with foreclosure signs (and abandoned homes that will probably soon sport foreclosure signs.)  They did what they could — and Frank (on the left below, with Bob) actually managed to get a new voter to register.  Such things, multiplied many times over, might make the difference in what still looks to be an election of razor-thin margins — with Nevada a crucial battleground in the contest.

Their virtuous behavior was richly rewarded by the gods of chance here in Silly Town.  Lily, who's sixteen, couldn't join us, alas, but the rest of us went off gambling downtown.  We ended up at Binion's, where Cotty and Frank hit the craps tables, Bob took his chances at roulette and I sat down at a no-limit game in the poker room.

I was up $96 when Cotty tapped me on the shoulder and said the gang was ready to head home.  I cashed in my winnings and was feeling pretty smug, until I heard about Cotty's and Frank's run at the craps table.  Without revealing too much specific personal information, perhaps I can say that between them they won about $1500.

They slept, I am sure, the sleep of the just and the sleep of the lucky, a rare but delightful convergence of satisfactions.

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