It was August of this year when I finally got around to visiting the Windsor Casino in Windsor, Ontario, in order to bring the readers of The Interim the reason why 14,000 gamblers (called casino customers) blow $419,000 per day to beat actuarially impossible odds. I think they are going to make a film about it called Blind Optimism.

Passing the strict scrutiny of the Casino security force. I was allowed into the main gaming room. It was like being let into the Windsor Castle. It proves the gambling, like crime, pays very well – at least for the operators.

Warmly lit, it is designed to encourage you to throw caution to the winds, and your money with it.  The casino hummed with activity- punctured by the clanging of bells as the rows of brightly lit machines spewed out streams of tokens of various denominations to the lucky winners.

Who should I spot at the dice table dressed rather oddly with a large black long leather apron and a visor on his forehead?  It was Premier Bob Rae! As Rae didn’t appear to be very busy, I went over to his table.

“Premier Flip-Flop! What are you doing here?”

Bob looked a little embarrassed and replied: “I’m a croupier.  I just started recently.”

“But, Bob,, you said that you would never allow crap tables in a casino when you were premier.”

“That was then-this is now.  I need to supplement my pension and I have a family to support. If a job here is good enough for Marion Boyd, it’s good enough for me.”

“Marion Boyd?! She’s here too!?”

“Yes. Over there.  Marion’s in a bit of trouble.  She’s consistently run the only blackjack fame here that’s lost money.  Marion’s got to work now, the new government is charging here with misappropriation of funds.”

“Misappropriation of funds?”

“Yes.  Poor Marion’s alleged to have taken over a million dollars out of the health budget funds.  Now the new government wants Marion to give it all back.  They say that health care.  Where did they get that idea from?”

‘You mean Marion’s got to pay back a million bucks?”

“Actually its closer to two million dollars.  She lost another million playing the slot machines.  She tried writing a book about her political career but it only sold about 12 copies.”

“There’s Peter Karmos!” I cried

“Yeah,, Karamos.  He’s the pet around here” said Bob disdainfully. “Him and his big leather riding boots and cowboy hat.  He was around earlier selling tickets on his salary.  He always wanted to buck the system.”

“And there’s Floyd Larghern!”

“Yeah, he offered to do my books. I said: ‘No way.  I saw what you did to the province of Ontario.”’

“What’s Maurice Strong doing here?”

“Poor Maurice—sold some rain forest tract in Costa Rica that didn’t belong to him.  He’s here doing community service.

The whole cabinet’s working here! They got something an all of us.  I didn’t think gross incompetence was a criminal offence”

“I didn’t think you’d lose that badly in the last election”

“The same-sex benefits issue killed us.  I didn’t know there were so many heterosexuals around. I never was that strong in math.”

“I heard you pulled a David Peterson and wouldn’t sit for a portrait of past premiers of Ontario?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t have minded but they wanted to put my portrait on a dart board and hang it in the press gallery.  No way.”

“Surely you could have got a better job then this, Bob?”

“Oh yeah.  The only other offer I got was selling snake venom door to door.”