A couple tries to give away a house in beleaguered Flint, Michigan, one of the most violent cities in America.
An author meets a full-time gambler at the racetracks, who later ends up becoming his roommate:
“The Scholar, the Human Computer, and I were interested in a horse named Keys to Astro. According to The Scholar’s speed figures, Keys to Astro was two or three lengths faster than the rest of the field. A horse that talented is likely to set off a bidding war. Keys to Astro opened at 6-5. The Scholar had an investment rule, which I’d learned to follow as well: Never bet a horse at less that 2-1. The risk isn’t worth the reward. It’s easy to follow when you go to the track every day, as The Scholar and I were doing. You can always wait for tomorrow’s 2-1 horse. But The Human Computer’s work interfered with his gambling; he couldn’t get to the track more than once a week.
“When the track announcer intoned, ‘You have five minutes to wager,’ Keys to Astro was still 6-5. The Human Computer folded his arms.
“‘I refuse,’ he shouted at the speakers.”