There are stories that are so unbelievable that a novelist would first think twice about writing them that way. Or was I just drawn into a novel by chance? In any case, the following happened authentically:
I had just become a proud “backgammon pro” and was always on the lookout for a “good game”. This term may also have entered the language of gamblers, because its content is congruent with the otherwise and everyday used “one has made a good game” or whatever it is called. So once again I visited one of the pubs on the Ku-damm where there was a chance of finding one. And I did indeed meet a young man who was obviously willing to play backgammon with me for stakes. I had never seen him before, but he was easily identifiable as a motorcyclist, and there was a really fancy Harley in front of the door, so it was easy to match these things.
So first we played backgammon. He really wasn’t an outstandingly good player or luck was with me that evening, but I won about 600 DM. The payout was no problem either, he wasn’t too dejected, as it seemed.
Well, we said goodbye and it was left open if or when we would meet again. But I was still allowed to admire his motorbike. He showed it to me in all its details and then roared off with the engine revving.
Well, I expressed myself badly, I had become a “gambling pro”, backgammon was to become my game, but I still had Black Jack up my sleeve. So I went to the casino from time to time. And on my next visit there, I actually met this Harley man again. We talked for a while, I tried to steer the conversation unobtrusively back towards backgammon and give him a little revenge; I certainly wouldn’t have a lucky day like that a second time.
But he couldn’t be dissuaded from his topic. He had one thing going for him, he had now become a gambler, a roulette player. He recited his strategy in all possible variations. Unfortunately, it was not much better than most others. It was, so to speak, ridiculous, ill-considered, naïve. And I really would have known a good place for his money, it didn’t have to be the casino. So I explained to him the downsides and doubted the long-term nature of the business, I practically told him that he couldn’t and wouldn’t win that way.
But in the meantime, he had become downright obsessed with this idea and wanted to continue with his strategy at all costs. Backgammon was simply out of the question. However, since I continued to visit the casino, it was inevitable that we would meet there more often over the next few weeks. He wasn’t my enemy or anything, we regularly talked amicably, but he somehow lived in a different world, it was clearly noticeable. He was kind of hectic, slightly disturbed or something.
Well, so we met, said a quick hello, exchanged a few words. And then it happened twice in that time that he took out his wallet and held it in front of me, as inconspicuously as possible. And each time it was bulging with 1000s of notes. Well, I congratulated him and wished him good luck, maybe he would like to play a game of backgammon again sometime?
But he was removed from the world, the rest of his life was no longer an issue for him. And what happened then? One morning, as on many other mornings, I leafed through the daily newspaper. But on this day, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have told it, my eyes fell on something extraordinary. I discovered somewhere a small photo of a person who looked familiar to me. Now that it was somewhat unexpected, I had to rummage in my memory for a moment, where did I know this person from? It came to me quite soon, especially as the first name was printed underneath: our Harley man.
However, the article dedicated to him was a little less pleasant: he had been caught. There was talk of a dramatic chase, he had thrown away his bag at the underground station, a pile of money had flown through the area, just like in a (bad) novel. But it wasn’t the first time: he had finally been caught during his eighth bank robbery…
There are already original ways to satisfy his gambling addiction…