How Gary Quit Gambling
This is chapter 15 from the book. I added a little from chapter 3 which explains how his mentor Gordon starts using a computer and a transducer to transport Gary, to help him quit gambling.
“Gary, good to see you. I really appreciate you letting me stay at your place.”
“That is no problem, happy to have you. So Gordon, what is new?”
“I have been working on an invention called the CHG. It is designed to help cure gambling addictions. It weighs nearly nothing and you simply snap the transducer on your teeth. This device has a wireless connection to my computer, which interacts with you and analyzes your thoughts and emotions. Then it uses this information to feed the brain impulses that train the person to change. But despite all the hard work I have put in on it, I just do not have the computer power to get it working correctly. My computer can’t handle the massive flow of information from a brain. So the whole process gets bogged down before it even starts.”
“Funny thing,” I say. “Yesterday my best buddy just offered me his old computer. It was on the list of the five most powerful computers three years ago, but he just upgraded. He said to just come by if I want it. That computer will handle anything you need.”
“Let’s go get it. By my scientific calculations, using this machine plus the code will result in a 70% improvement over my old methods.”
The Pleasure Principle
I’m transported into a hospital research lab. The biggest drug maker in the world, “Phister Solutions” is my employer. Phister took a public survey. It revealed that a safe “pleasure” drug with no negative side effects would net profits of hundreds of millions of dollars. They want this drug made as soon as possible. We have the task of trying to develop this wonder drug.
“The tests from this latest drug indicate sales will be enormous,” Dr. Krapepit says. People love it and are finding that it increases the pleasure in their lives.” Dr. Krapepit is a used up, dieting fifty-year-old Mexican whose work is his life. Yesterday, he loudly declared he would eat a maximum of ½ of a doughnut each day this week. His belief in a magic pill gets on my nerves. But when you add Dr. Fryham to the mix fireworks ensue. He is a Jewish, bald-headed, fitness freak powerhouse with good intentions. Working nonstop is fine with him in his endless pursuit of green gold.
“Seems to me we need to be careful about our terminology with our wonder drug,” I say. “If people take this pill in moderation, it’s going to be no better than any other activity. But if they overindulge, will the destruction more than offset the pleasure?”
“I don’t care about the destruction,” Krapepit snaps aggressively. “Plus I believe you can overindulge and increase your pleasure.” He eagerly begins stuffing his second huge apple fritter into his mouth.
“Fryham, straighten him out,” I say, quite annoyed. “Do a ton of drugs make people happy?”
“My doctor buddies who work with addictions say that severe habits usually cause depression,” says Dr. Fryham. “But the point is not their experience, the point is how much money I can make.”
“Overindulgence makes life better,” Krapepit says in a condescending, cocky voice.
“I disagree,” says Dr. Fryham calmly. Krapepit whirls around and stares at him. Fryham continues, “My evidence shows you can’t increase your pleasure through any type of overindulgence.”
“Are you crazy,” Krapepit says loudly.
“Just hear me. You can’t improve your year with overindulgence. You are unlikely to even improve your month with it, maybe not even your week. It’s a short term pleasure blast. All you are doing is moving your pleasure around. If you increase pleasure through illicit means, you are simply stealing pleasure from the future and using it now. But that debt must be paid back. Usually sooner than later. The big problem is that whether you pay the debt back now, or later, you now owe interest. The interest is paid through destruction on your life.”
“The destruction does not bother me. I just want to have me some fun,” Krapepit says, and he does a little dance with his shoulders. This is getting good.
“Even from the strict viewpoint of fun, I can’t agree with you,” Fryham says. “A second way the interest is paid is through a decrease in pleasure in the future. Think about people who steal their future pleasure by staying up all night on Friday and Saturday. They can be watching the greatest movie on Sunday with a blank look on their face. They stole their pleasure from Sunday and probably from Monday as well.”
“Overindulgence causes some minor difficulties, so what,” Krapepit says.
“The problem is, if we can’t learn from minor disasters, we will always have major disasters.”
“So what, I’m going to do what I want to do.” Angrily he grabs yet another doughnut, takes a bite and glares at Fryham. “That tasted great, and it was 100% worth it.” He says condescendingly.
I look away, pretending to work. One minute later he grabs his doughnut and slams it into the metal garbage can.
Someone knocks on the door. Dr. Krapepit opens it to reveal a tiny black-haired man with horn-rimmed glasses. “Can I help you, this is a private work lab.”
The man pulls a pistol out of his pocket, “It’s not private anymore,” he says as he comes striding in. “My name is Herbert Martinez. I’m sure none of you know who I am because no one cares that my son Hector used your prescription drugs to overdose this week. He is dead, and I know for a fact your lab developed the drug that killed him.”
“We just, um, make the pill,” Dr. Krapepit says, softly, as he starts to shake and back up.
“So you are saying it’s not your fault,” he says, menacingly, as he points the pistol at him. “You know, a lot of people will say it’s not my fault I came here today and slaughtered the three of you. They will say I was angry and you deserved to die. But the truth is, I came here to kill you of my own free will. Now it’s time to die. Who should I shoot first?” He cocks his gun.
“Don’t kill Gary,” says Dr. Fryham. “He is a good person, and he was just telling us today what we do is wrong.”
“Good, so you are first.”
“No, I’m not ready to die like Gary is. He is a Christian ready to meet his Maker. I need some time, I’m a bad person. If I could be last that would be great, I need to pray first.”
He then points his gun at Dr. Krapepit who turns chalk white, “If anyone should go last it’s me,” Krapepit stutters nervously. “I’m the real heathen.”
“Obviously, I’m going to have to pick someone at random,” he says as he looks all of us over intently. “Kneel on the floor.”
We all kneel and I say, “I’m a Christian and you should shoot me first. But before you do, I need to tell you Jesus loves you and died on a cross, for you. Years ago, I repented of my sins and accepted Him and you can do that also.”
“Why would I do that?” he says, lowering his gun and staring out the window.
“He will fill you with His love and give you a plan, for your life.”
“You kill my son and still you tell me to follow your God,” he says, angrily, with spit flying out of his mouth. He places the gun firmly against my temple.
Every inch of me is frozen. But I have to say something, or my life will end now!
“When you kill me, I need to have someone to replace me,” I say softly. “Someone who will tell others about the love of Jesus.” Lord, I need a lot of help here,” I pray.
“No one has ever loved me.” He stares off into space, sadness fills his face.
“I am sorry our drugs killed your son,” I say with genuine love. “In the past, our drugs would help with pain when someone has a badly broken arm. But I accept responsibility. Right now our company is working on,” I pause, “I don’t know what.”
He lowers his gun, pauses for a minute deep in thought. “Okay, I will accept your Jesus, but afterwords you all still die,” he says with each word getting softer and slower.
“If you want, I will tell you how I prayed when I accepted Jesus.” He nods.
“Father, forgive me of my sins. I commit my life to you. Please accept me and give me a chance to live the way you want me to live.”
He closes his eyes and silently prays. Tears begin rolling down his face. Dr. Krapepit’s shaking gets worse as he waits. I decide to eat another doughnut. If I die today, it can’t shorten my life at all. The chocolate one is still there. “Herbert, would you like a doughnut?” I ask. He shakes his head no.
“Guys, I’m not going to kill you today. Go ahead and call the police.”
I put the doughnut back. “We don’t need to call the police,” I say, putting my arm around him. “The person who committed that crime is dead and Jesus has something for the new you to do.”
“What am I supposed to do?” he says, looking up in shock.
“Just go around helping people. Getting connected with other Christians. Praying about the great plan Jesus has for your life.”
“Sounds like a challenge.”
“It is, but it’s worth it,” I say, while hugging him. “I’m sorry my friend.” At that point I am transported back to reality.
Back in Chicago, as Gordon unsnaps the transducer, I ask, “How can knowing that gambling can’t increase my pleasure for the month help me.”
“If I could make a movie about what your life gambling would be like next year. Your twenty worst moments in the upcoming year and twenty best moments. If you were forced to watch it every day you would want to quit gambling. But, for most people, that’s not what happens. They think about the twenty best moments and act like the worst moments won’t happen.”
“That’s me,” I say, nodding my head.
“Instead, get to know Christians who are living great lives. Think about what they’re doing that makes their life so great. Say WWJD every day as a symbol of your commitment to change. Then, turn it around a bit. Say: What Would Jesus Do, but also think: What would a vibrant Christian I know do. Here is a secret: What if I could make a movie about what your life would be like copying a vibrant Christian. Your twenty worst moments in the upcoming year and twenty best moments. If you were forced to watch it every day, you would want to live it exactly that way.”
“Good. Make me that movie.”
“Find those vibrant Christians and let them help you understand how to make it yourself.”
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This exciting book has multiple idea’s on how to quit gambling.