Typed Versions of Notes I Found
Fiction. It'll make sense as you go through it. Maybe.
Where: Scrunched up in a ball, next to a bin, as if tossed and missed and not retrieved.
Written in: Pink gel pen.
Rhyme Scheme: A pretty torturous A-A-B-B.
Message: Steve. I know I can never make it right but hopefully this first stanza of an epic poem I’m writing (I’m gonna call it Steve Don’t Leave) will show you that I still care. Text me back.
I know your heart aches but for God’s bloody sake it’s only one mistake,
Still love you so much your soul and your touch UP we should not break.
You’re kind and you’re clever I’ll love you forever I’ll fix it however you say,
I don’t want space I just want to erase that day I pashed Trevor, okay?
P.S. Trevor wanted me to tell you that it wasn’t his fault and can he please have his basketball back?
Where: On the footpath across the road from a primary school, folded into a paper aeroplane.
Spelling level: Maybe like year four (fixed here for coherence).
Handwriting: Adorable, but bad.
Message: Dear Bradley, I know what you did. None of the boys saw it because they were looking at their shoes because they were getting ready for the race and didn’t see you get a head start. You ran before Tiffany said “Go”. Mark would have caught you because he is the fastest boy but you won because you cheated. You are a cheater. That means you will go to hell or at least get in trouble with Mrs White if I tell on you because cheating is bad. Super bad. It is against the law. I will not tell on you only if you tell me why you cheated when you know it’s bad. Do you think you are special and don’t need to follow the rules? I think that too sometimes but I never cheat because I don’t want to go to hell or get in trouble with Mrs White. I hope you don’t go to hell but you won’t go to heaven unless you stop getting head starts and let Mark beat you. Love, Cindy.
Where: Bathroom stall of Star Casino.
Written on: Toilet paper (3-ply) with a black sharpie, rolled back in to the dispenser.
Tone: Upbeat, if a little nutty.
Message: Hey! You! The House doesn’t always have to win, you know! That’s just a saying that The House invented to make you okay with losing all your money. Sure, if you follow the rules (or play the pokies), you’ll lose. If you want to keep losing money just go ahead and wipe your ass with this ten-thousand dollar toilet paper, BUT! If you want to WIN! Keep reading.
Black Jack is a solved game. Kind of. It’s calculable to a degree, it’s not just God or Lady Luck or whatever. Counting cards is an actual thing you can actually do to know, at any given time, the probability of your success - there’s movies and YouTube tutorials all about it that you should look up when you’ve finished taking a shit. It’s easy enough and it works. What I offer you here is some incentive. Why I’ve chosen to deliver it to you on this 3-ply toilet paper in the bathroom stall of this massive casino, I don’t have time (or enough rolls) to fully get into. Just thank God or Lady Luck or your bowels that I am.
The obvious reasons why you should count cards and cheat The House are, well, obvious. I think you probably already know them. Money, duh. Power, maybe. Love, depends on how much money. But more than that, if cheating exists, aren’t you just a fool not to do it? If you think of your life as a game of chance with limiting rules - if it’s possible to prosper by subverting those rules (and by the way other people are doing it too, don’t think they’re not) then you’d be crazy not to do it! Right? Right? Leave the ethics of it all to the Ancient Greek philosophers, a.k.a history's greatest chumps. Don’t be a chump. Be smart. Count cards. Of course, you may have to hide from casino security in a bathroom stall every now and then. That’s just a risk you’ll have to take. There is no right and wrong, only risks you have to take.
Pray for me to God or Lady Luck or whatever. I hope this has been an illuminating shit.
Where: Written in red sharpie in a public library book.
The book: Ethics for Dummies
Logic: Circular and self-serving.
Message: I just keep going around and around this one idea. So, if everyone in the world was a good person (I mean like a utilitarian good person who put the needs of the many before the needs of the few), then the world would be perfect. But, there would be an incentive for a person like me to be and act self-interested, because basically everyone’s giving and I could just take take take. But then, if I act in a grossly self-interested way I must be rationally understanding of other people doing the same. So then we’d be living in a world where every single person is self-interested. But that would be a horrible fucking world, where everyone is take take taking. And in that horrible world it would eventually make more sense, and actually ultimately be in everyone’s self interest, for everyone to be a good, utilitarian person. So then the world would be perfect again. But if the world is perfect, then it would make sense for me to be self-interested. And so on and so on and so on. And round and round and round. The only real solution that I can see is that half of the world has to be givers, and the other half get to have fun. And basically my point is, I scribbled all through this public library book (drawings of dicks mainly) and I’m not sorry about it.
Where: Letter box of house with incredibly, suspiciously green lawn.
Water Restrictions: Level four.
Message: We heard your sprinkler on at 2:00 AM last night. Last warning.
Where: Recycling bin of elite AIS cyclist training centre (idiot).
Shredded: No, but kind of torn a bit I guess. Still readable though (seriously, what an idiot).
Ultimate purpose: Probably to make some heavy-handed point about fairness or whatever.
Message: Toni, please see my suggestions as per your request to blood dope. As your coach I am bound to give you this information if that’s what you want, but I do not support it. Cheers, Damian.
Train at high altitude for two weeks, then extract blood and store for later use.
Undertake first EPO injections, which I will organise discreetly (if that’s what you want).
Second EPO injections.
Infuse blood (From 1.) into body ahead of competition, but ensure there’s enough for regular replenishment throughout race.
Think of what precedent you’re setting, and what a world would be like where everyone is out for themselves in the way that you want to be out for yourself by doing this.
Third EPO injections.
Like, I’ll do it. If you want me to.
But I think that it’ll hang over your head forever. I think deep down you know that it’s wrong but that you’re justifying it because of some warped sense of specialness and entitlement.
And I don’t care that “Everyone’s doing it”. If everyone else blood doped off a cliff, etc etc.
And you know what, logically, rationally, think of how dumb it is for everyone to risk their lives or at least careers to cheat if everyone is cheating, as you claim. They’ve all got the same advantage. They should have some sort of agreement, some sort of honesty system, that everyone will be a good and decent person until the race is over.
We should all be good and decent people all the time.
But I’ll do it.
Fourth EPO injections.
If that’s what you want.
Where: Hidden beneath a ‘Very Good Guitar Lessons Only for Students’ flier on a cork noticeboard at a University, obscured in such a way that it can only be seen if you remove a tab from the guitar lesson flier.
Why: Bit of cash on the side probably.
Targets: Rich kids whose parents made them go to University instead of following their music dreams, and who are consequently quite privileged and lazy and aren’t very good at guitar.
Message: Aristotle believes that seeking virtue is embedded into human beings in the same way that an imperative to grow is jammed into an acorn. He believes that morality is uncomplicated, that it is simply a matter of listening to the programming inside of you that commands you to do good: be courageous and honest and generous, and then you will be virtuous. And a virtuous person does good things. They simply know what is right, they don’t need a rule book or system of ethics. Well, I am a virtuous and rational person, and I want to help you out. By Aristotle’s definition, then, nothing about this is “cheating”. I want to clear that up from the start. Aristotle says it’s not cheating. And you wouldn’t disagree with Aristotle, would you?
Don’t you think that the Fantastic Four (as in the superheroes, not like a successful rowing team or anything) should just kill their arch nemesis Doctor Doom? His name is literally Doctor Doom: an obvious bad guy red flag. If they killed one evil person, they’d save thousands of innocent lives, millions of tax-funded dollars in building repair, and could probably cut back to a four-day work week. Killing him is utilitarian: the intention is good, the consequence is good, and even if the act is bad it does the greatest good for the greatest number of beings. So let’s think about you and me and what I’m proposing to do here. Say you pay me a couple of bucks to write your essays for you. Our intentions are good. The consequence for both of us will be good. And even if the act is bad, which I assure you it isn’t (Aristotle says it isn’t), it does the greatest good for the greatest number of beings.
Look. It’s so fine. Even Kant would approve. Formulation one of his categorical moral imperatives is this: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law”. I don’t know about you, but I’d be more than happy if paying a few hundred dollars for an educational service (which is what I’m proposing) became a universal law. It’s really just a normal, transactional job that we’re talking about here! Of course, some (in my opinion, overly literal) interpretations might say that what we are in fact doing is acting according to a certain deliberately immoral breaking of explicit university policy and the implicit social contract we’re beholden to to be rational, honest and cooperative human people, and that the exchange of money in no way legitimises or expunges any, like, ethical dubiousness or whatever - but that’s all pretty confusing, right? It’s annoying to think about? Like all your other subjects at this goddamn institution? Well guess what? You don’t have to care about that stuff anymore, you don’t have to know about moral philosophy! Just pay me $50 per one hundred words and I’ll know it for you.
Email me at the address on the tab below for further instructions and identity verification. Serious applicants only. Even though it’s morally totally fine don’t tell anyone about it and take the secret to your grave. I’m studying law and will sue you if you snitch. Also let me know in your email if you want guitar lessons as well.
Thank you for reading this story. Or maybe, thank you for just scrolling down to the bottom. I don’t know which one you did. I’m not a cop.
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