So last night I had a dream that I was being presented a lifetime achievement award for my work writing about baseball. This was odd, since a) someone in his 30s has not usually accomplished enough to get a lifetime achievement award; b) my career in journalism consisted of a brief stint as a reporter for my school newspaper as an undergrad; and c) I dislike baseball, as do all good people.
In any event, the highlight of the awards ceremony was that I was presented the award by Fresh Air host Terry Gross (because of course she would be hosting the event). She praised me not only for my non-existent career, but also for my triumph in overcoming a crippling gambling addiction. (Now would be as good a time as any to point out that I don't have a crippling gambling addiction, having placed maybe six or seven bets in my entire life, only one of which was for over a dollar ($10 on a Super Bowl), and none in the past decade or so.)
After the ceremony—at which I received a lovely standing ovation, as is befitting my status as a high-profile honoree—Terry and I went out for a drink. I was still confused and a bit offended by the gambling addiction thing, though. Why bring that up in the first place, especially since it's not true? And then I thought, "Well, shit—now I can't go out and gamble, because everyone would judge me as if I had a relapse, when I wasn't addicted in the first place." But if I was that upset about not being able to do it, maybe I did have a problem. Is it possible to be addicted to something you never do? Come to think of it, how do I know that I'm not a heroin addict who is just lucky enough never to have tried it in the first place?
Thanks, Dream Terry Gross—now you've convinced me that I'm an addict, even though that's just silly. I need to relax—if anybody needs me, I'm going to be drinking for the next six hours to forget all this stress.
ETA: Also, just to be clear, she actually used the term "crippling gambling addiction" in her introductory remarks.