Meandering Monday about Fairness

Games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Simple board games and card games when I was younger, canasta with my grandparents when I reached my teens, chess with a variety of people into my early twenties, Serious war games – historical reenactments, fantasy wars with miniatures.

In all games, there are rules. They sometimes seem stupid, and those of us who play enough games often think of ways to make the rules better – to make them more fair. But you can’t do this in the middle of the game – rules don’t change once you’ve started. It wouldn’t be fair, would it? There’s an agreement between players when a game starts – on what the rules are, when the game is over – how a winner is determined.

What is fair? People talk about fairness all the time – how UNFAIR things are. This is rarely objective – it usually happens because they didn’t get the RESULTS they wanted. Everyone was playing the same game with the same rules, but they or their team didn’t win, so it’s not FAIR.

Folks – LIFE isn’t fair (I think there are a lot of people out there who’ve forgotten this); the results won’t change just because you don’t like them, but you still have to live it. Play the game the way it’s laid out – the field the way it’s striped. Do your best, and win the game on your own merits.

The tortoise and the hare had a race – the agreement was that the winner would be the one who crossed the finish line first. Not who got halfway there, or ¾’s, or a foot from the finish line first. The winner had to FINISH what they both started.

In the current GOP race, we have two candidates vying for the nomination. Mr. Trump is the only one who still has a mathematical shot at reaching the magical 1237 on the first ballot, but that seems to be as far as he’s willing to play the game; he wants to be declared the winner for getting CLOSE (but this isn’t horseshoes or hand grenades, Donald.) Senator Cruz knew from the beginning it would be a long, hard slog; he studied the rules and prepared for the LONG game – including what’s beyond that first ballot. If no one wins by then, there has to be a way to determine the winner, and there are rules already in place for that scenario.

Cheating is what happens when you ignore the rules. Being a gamer myself, I want ALL the rules adhered to – not just the ones that give the results I hoped for. IN ALL FAIRNESS, I wouldn’t want to play a game that’s won by whoever whines the loudest. I don’t think that’s what was agreed to. It certainly isn’t in the convention rules – at least not yet.

Just saying…


BuggingOutCoverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “Bugging Out”:

Change is hard to deal with under the best of circumstances, but what do you do when everything you know seems to be disappearing around you? A lonely, cantankerous shopkeeper struggles to keep what’s left of his world.

This is another instance of things appearing out of one of my stories after the fact. I struggled to find a picture of an appropriate beetle for the cover, and then, what I recall as a month after publication, there were swarms of these:Beetle

I’ve lived in Texas for over 40 years, in my house for over 20 years, and I’ve never seen their like before or since. Fortunately, they don’t seem to have the predilection for making things disappear as the ones in my story do.

Use coupon code LB32E to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until May 7th. Here’s the link:

“Bugging Out” is also available in my fourth collection: Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.


SolidPeopleCover4 days remain on the “Solid People” preorder campaign:

The afterlife is what you make of it.  A run-in with Mr. Topp’s flatbed strands Sarah and her mother in Newbury. Despite her mother’s warnings about becoming  attached to things, Sarah decides to spend her time with some Solid People.

Release date is May 6th, but you can preorder now at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):




William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Burial Details”, can be found in many places, including:




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