North Door 37 Publishing




AT A CERTAIN point the gambler who holds a losing hand once too many times knows it’s time to call it quits.  Those who haven’t committed suicide already are inclined to consider the merits of getting “professional” help at least once in their gaming life.  This “help” is offered in-house by British Columbia’s Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) in the form of its Voluntary Self Exclusion (VSE) program, or in casino-speak, banning oneself.

To ban oneself is actually a big deal for the gambler because it means saying goodbye to people who are almost like family.  After all, what else is family if not the people you spend 12 hours a day with, and more if you could?

So when Joyce May Ross and Mike Lee said goodbye to their families for three years it was not a moment for celebration.  Before long both realised that saying good-bye was not what they wanted.  They needed their family; however, documents had come into play so that there was now essentially a restraining order in place for these two from seeing family.   Of course, these kind of things happen to the best of families.  Look at Dennis Hopper and Victoria Duffy.   Alex Baldwin and Kim Basinger.  It didn’t mean there wasn’t love there, did it?

Joyce and Mike decided love was more important than restraint.  They ran back into the arms of their respective families and felt alive again.  Love is a wonderful thing until money comes into the picture, or the lack thereof.  Joyce’s pseudo family continued to sponge off her, and at the end of three years she was out $331,000.  “What kind of family was this?!” she asked herself.

They sucked.

In the normal dysfunctional family where one member has money and the other’s are waiting for moneybags’ eventual demise to inherit, the first thing to do is to write the little sponges out of your Will.  Unfortunately in Joyce’s case the little sponges had taken so much of her money there was nothing to disinherit.   She called her lawyer, anyway. The rest is now a byline story in the news, awaiting only a judge to decide whether Joyce can rightfully squeeze some juice out of the little sponges that were once family.

We call that making lemonade out of lemons.

Mike’s family actually treated him a little better.  Mike would treat his family and they would treat him back.  In fact, one day, Mike’s family decided to surprise him by stopping his heart with a $40,000 win.  What an adrenaline rush!  Mike was so happy he wanted to kiss someone and probably did.  But remember what I said about love and money?  

“April Fool’s!” said Mike’s family, pouring a bucket of ice on his happiness. “The joke is on you, because we’re really not going to give you $40,000.”  What?  Why? said Mike, although he knew the answer.

Pseudo families suck.

Mike’s pseudo family was punishing him for abandoning them.  It didn’t matter that he had returned and continued to support them when he legally said he wouldn’t.  In their mind, he should never have said he would leave in the first place; and if he was going to, then he should do it – you know, go to to Timbuktu.   

You might say Mike’s pseudo family had abandonment issues.  Mike pointed out that he loved them – after all, had he not returned after saying goodbye?  Say goodbye again, said his family.  

“What the....” thought Mike.  “These little *$#@&.  I’ll show them love.”

And so he is: in a courtroom. Before a judge. With a lawyer.

Love sucks.

Some might say – and in fact they have – that Mike and Joyce are just sour lemons, who should have respected their restraining orders.  But those of us who share Mike and Joyce’s extended family know better:  when you know a member of the family is not well, you don’t prey on them.  Not knowing any better means you are an animal; and even certain animals know to care for their sick.  How sad to realise that Mike and Joyce’s pseudo families are not actually run by a pack of salivating wolves or blood-sucking leeches but, supposedly, the most evolved of human species, government.


from a blog published July 27, 2010.  Mike and Joyce feature in the eBook Somebody Get Me A Hammer!!

Written by H B — April 05, 2012

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