Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Card Games

It's a fact of life that you need a little back-up every now and then.

This was emphasized for me yesterday while I was talking to some people at the office about my 'accident' last week. Accordingly, the talk shifted to having a number to call on the cell phone to someone who can "back you up."

But who? Who do you call when the police (or suspicious-looking people calling themselves police) are knocking at your car window asking you to step down so they can search your vehicle? Who do you ask for help when someone flashes a 'police' ID in your face because you accidentally bump into them in a crowd? Who do run to when you can't trust the authorities not to throw you in an interrogation room for a little 'tender loving'?

(Mind you, this is for selfless purposes only and not so that you'll avoid getting caught for running that 34th red light in a busy intersection. You need a car bomb installed in your chassis to show you the error of your ways, asshole.)

Thusly, I came to the realization that having a 'back-up' is just like a game of cards, like poker. Like in any card game, you can also bluff your way through it. However, unlike real card games where there's a highest card limit, someone will always have a better hand to trump you with.

Huh, I remember my dad used to carry this letter from the Office of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) signed by then-chief Benjamin Abalos in his car in case he needed to get out of a jam. Of course, that became useless when Abalos moved out of MMDA but I digress...

Anyway, let me describe you how this game goes. For example, you know a cop who can help you out? Well, the other guy is a soldier. You know the mayor of the city? The other guy is the brother of a congressman. You can get in touch with the head of the Philippine National Police (PNP)? The other person's 'godfather' is the presidential husband. And so on and so forth...

Of course, you have wildcard deals too. If your opponent is a policeman, that's not a problem if you were college friends with a member of the communist front who can get in touch with the New People's Army (NPA) and their urban hit squad. And there's always the occassional hired gun available at your local street corner for a ream of cigarettes and a case of beer (last I heard).

So... the next time there's an emergency, do you know who're you gonna call?

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