If there was a Mount Rushmore for paying attention, there are two guys I think should automatically be put on it:
Joseph Jagger, a British engineer, who with the help of some of his clerks in 1875, identified a defective roulette wheel at the Beaux-Arts Casino in Monte Carlo, Monaco. He found that one of the wheels favored a set of nine numbers, and after three days of continually betting on those numbers, he walked out of the casino with what today would be worth around $6.5 million dollars.
Michael Larson, an out-of-work ice-cream-truck driver from Lebanon, Ohio, who went on CBS’s Press Your Luck and set what at the time was the record for winnings in a single day on an American game show. Starting in late 1983, Larson began taping episodes of the show to see if he could figure out the spinner’s patterns, looking for ways a player could avoid the “Wammies.” Through his analysis, he found five specific patterns that he was able to memorize. In May of 1984, he appeared on the show and recorded an unheard of 47 consecutive spins on the board and walked away with more than $110,000 in cash and prizes.
In Larson’s case, CBS executives were reluctant to pay out his winnings, feeling he had duped the producers of the show and cheated his way through the game. But at the end of the day, they realized he simply out-smarted them. Michael Brockman, then head of daytime programming for CBS, summed it up best: “Nowhere in the rules did it say that you couldn’t pay attention.”
Because things have been pretty easy going with Kristin through the planning process and there have been no major dustups, I figured I needed to be on the look out for some tell-tale signs that trouble might be on the horizon. Much like someone might hit WebMD when they aren’t feeling well, I searched the Web for sites that might give me a little insight into possible situations where wedding “wammies” could begin to surface. I found what I was looking for in one place, GoingBridal.com, in the section titled Confessions of a Bridezilla.
Needless to say, self-diagnosis in this situation was a poor choice. What I found on the Web site fell into the camp of the old expression about seeing sausages made:
• Number of complaints about cheap members of the bridal party.
• Number of engaged women on the site who are supposedly getting married but don’t have a ring nor have their fiancés agreed to set a wedding date.
• Number of women who refer to their fiancés as “my man.”
• Number of women who have lost their jobs due to wedding planning.
• A woman lamenting the inconvenience of the US military continually sending her fiancé back overseas.
• One bride who made her husband change his last name before they got married—because she didn’t like it.
• Another demanded that her bridesmaids lose weight.
• There’s actually a maid of honor on there complaining that she wasn’t properly invited to be the maid of honor.
• A woman called off her wedding because her mother put a deposit down on a venue the bride had not signed off on.
• One bridesmaid requested that her friend’s wedding be moved because she had a big project at work due two weeks after the planned date.
Names of some of the posters:
• MOH in Hell
• Evil Me
• Why am I Doing This?
As G.I. Joe once said, “Knowing is half the battle.” In this case, knowing means bracing for impact.
Read Carl's story from the beginning.