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Texas Hold'em Story

How Much Money Have You Made Without Your Clothes On?
by Leon Carpenter of

I make several thousand dollars a year this way. . . and I'm here to tell you that, without offending any of your sensibilities, YOU CAN TOO ! ! !

Howdy folks! My name is Leon Carpenter, and yes, I have made a lot of money without even the smallest regard for what I do (or do not) happen to be wearing at the time. No, I am not a model, an actor, or even a “naturalist”. In truth, I am actually kind of an old-fashioned person that believes that most people (and I'm one of them) probably look much better with their clothing on. In fact, I get embarrassed whenever I go to the doctor’s office for a physical. Allow me to explain. . .

The Best Thing I Ever Did On Accident

You see, it all started about three years ago when corporations were “downsizing”, including the outfit for which I was currently working. They offered a few of us “more-seasoned” folks an early retirement plan, and not knowing what my employment future with that company held, I went ahead and took it.

However, as always at it happens in the real world, there was a thing or two about this new life of mine that I had not foreseen. One thing was trying to figure out what to do with all of my newfound free time. I was used to working long hours to make a living, I found myself being driven plum crazy by the deafening silence of boredom. Another thing that I guess I had forgotten was just how darned tough it had become to live in today's world on less than my full paycheck. Bad combination to be -- both bored and broke. . .

So one day, I was talking to the neighbor’s kid that used to mow my lawn (back when I could afford to pay someone else to have that done), and he suggested that I get myself a computer to help me occupy my spare time.

“Besides”, he said wound with an enthusiastic smile that was starting to tick me off, “using home computers, people by the millions all over the world are making billions of dollars off of millions of people the world over.”

I protested that I had barely the “foggiest” idea of what he had just said, and then quickly sought to mercifully put an end to our conversation by making it abundantly clear that I knew even less than that about computers, but he cut me off in mid-sentence.

“You don't have to be a rocket scientist or a computer programmer to operate a home personal computer; and you don't have to spend a lot of money to get started -- In fact , I know a friend who just happens to have. . .”

Yep folks, I am sure you can probably guess what happened next. I had that kid right where he wanted me. I mean, it had been almost a year since I left work, and it wasn't exactly like I was a veritable fountain in spewing out ideas that had even a remote chance of solving either of my problems. The way that kid made it sound, this computer thing could be the answer to both my problems. Besides, I desperately wanted to be financially comfortable enough to once more hire the kid to do my yard work. I really hated mowing the lawn more than anything else in the world.

With my investment in the computer, however, this immediately changed. I now hated typing more than anything else in the world. During the first few months that I had the dang thing, the only way the computer saved me any money was that I now no longer needed to buy a night light for the den. I think it's fair to say, that as a PC user, I was perhaps, still a ways away from being able to optimize my overall computer efficiency and enjoyment.

One evening, I received a phone call from an old Army buddy of mine from my platoon, having been stationed with me at a base in Texas. We reminisced a bit and he let me know that he was coming into town next week for a day or two on business. Since I didn't have a lot of money to go out for dinner and drinks, I invited my old friend over to the house to share some old times over a beer. Eager to portray myself as a fully-functioning member of society, despite not being employed, I reasoned that I could show off my new computer and hopefully create the illusion that I actually knew how to operate it. He had casually mentioned over the phone that he wished he had a picture of the large golden company flags that were flown near our barracks. The day before he arrived, I figured that I would do an Internet search to try to find one and surprise him. It was then, that the happiest accident that I have ever had, took place.

Sitting at my desk, I began typing the first few words of my search, “Texas gold emblem”. I got as far as “ Texas gold em” when I realized that I had mistyped the letter “g” as the letter “h”. Reaching for the “backspace” key, I accidentally hit the “enter” key instead. What followed was a doggone epiphany . . .

Read part II here: Revelations.

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