Our Charlie Sheen–obsessed Masshole wants to help you come to terms with your gambling issues.
What has the ability to ruin lives, bring grown men to their knees, and tarnish relationships faster than a weekend spent with Charlie Sheen?
Sports betting, that’s what.
Sure, it’s a blast. And we all know the highs are high. But are they worth the tradeoff for the lows? Because, guess what: the lows are coming. Run and hide all you want, but they’re coming—like one of Charlie’s as-yet-unpaid lady friends.
OK, enough Sheen references.
My question is, when does sports betting become a problem? What’s the difference between a little financial recreation and obsession? In other words, what’s foul and what’s fair?
At GMPM, we’ve sought long and hard for the answers to this question—a whole 20 minutes, in fact—and have prepared a short list to help readers gauge their experiences and determine whether their sports betting is a pastime or a compulsion.
So, for the next minute or so, grab a pen and answer yes or no to the following questions. Oh, and sign out of BetUs.com. Now.
1. Do you no longer enjoy watching games when there’s no money on the line? Have you thought to yourself, “I can’t seem to feel emotion when dollar signs are not involved”? Have you chosen Jersey Shore over a major athletic event, just because you didn’t play the spread? This is an issue.
2. Have you turned down tickets to a game because you couldn’t be in front of your picture-in-picture TV screen? Was being a convenient arm’s length from your computer to monitor all your games your priority? Did you honestly choose pixels and Jeff Van Gundy over the sweat of the demigods? This is an issue.
3. Do creepy bookies from Vegas find your information from online betting sites that you frequent? Do they then hound you day and night to convince you to place bets with them? Do you let them convince you? This is an issue.
4. Have you ever, while your girlfriend or boyfriend was over, hid in the bathroom to place a slew of secretive bets with said bookie? Really? You even know it’s wrong. C’mon. This is an issue.
5. Have you chosen betting over sex? (No elaboration necessary.) This is an issue.
6. Finally, are you missing limbs, major bones, or vital organs as a result of faulting on a bookie payment? This is a serious issue. And if you haven’t realized that by now, please call Time Warner immediately and have them cut off your Internet.
If you said yes to more than two of the first five questions, or if you even had to consider answering number six in the affirmative, you, my friend, have a problem. Best of luck. I’m not qualified to recommend a rehabilitation center, but Charlie Sheen (Dammit! I swore I wouldn’t!) probably can.
—Photo Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr