I went to a meeting for addicted gamblers last week. Other than an occasional dollar sweep at the office, I’ve never actually gambled. It was my friend James who’d asked me to come along. After a couple of month’s rehabilitation you’re allowed to bring in some friends or family to boast about your success. I knew that James had made no progress whatsoever – he just loves gambling. Sport, slot machines, politics – he’ll bet on absolutely anything. If they were giving odds on the speed at which Sting’s hair recedes, James would put some money down. The guy running the show asked my friend about his habit. James offered an honest response: “I spent my entire monthly income on Albania to qualify for the world cup. It’s a long shot but it just might come in.” The guy tried to guilt James out of such poor decision making; he went on about the effects on friends and family. “You have a good point,” James replied, “but I’m so far in debt that it doesn’t matter. The amount of money I have simply isn’t enough. Yes, the chances of winning are low, but there is a possibility. Without making the bet I’m fucked. It really is my best option.” The guy was lost for words. It was difficult to find fault with the warped logic.