Saturday, August 10, 2013

Aunt Sally

Way back in the day, when number lotteries were run by guys at the corner instead of state governments, the racket was known as "Playing Policy." The name was a sly reference to an insurance policy, and the ways in which the insurer might try any means necessary to limit their liability; the numbers game was only as honest as its local purveyor, and many ended up singing the 'Playing PolicyBlues.' By the 1970's, the state lotteries had put the numbers games out of business -- still, as recently as 1980, I can recall an elderly African-American woman, who sat across the aisle from me on a Greyhound bus going from Greensboro NC to Cleveland OH, extolling the virtues of her "policy book." These books -- Aunt Sally's was just one of many -- told you what numbers to bet on, based on your dreams. If you dreamed of a ball, 'money would be left to you' -- assuming you laid yours on 39, 53, and 68; to dream of monkeys 'shows many evil enemies' but recommends 1, 2, 4, and 44. You can read more about Aunt Sally at luckymojo.

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