From BRUCE PATTERSON
All us humans need something to distinguish ourselves from the dirt. Don’t matter what it is: a human will take pride in anything. If one fellah takes pride in having traveled the world round, the next will take just as much in never having laid eyes on anything beyond what he can see from his porch. If one fellah is generally acknowledged to hold clear title to the strongest, hardworkingest and sweetest-tempered mule in the whole valley, another will claim to have the laziest, stupidest and most ornery. A fellah with the fastest horse won’t take kindly to a stranger with a reputation for gambling that rides into town aboard a sleek and feisty colt. The township’s undisputed checkers champ will generally hold a low opinion of the fellah who’s even more highly regarded as being the best damned horseshoe-chucker, or the most crack with a long barrel or deck of cards.
It’s a well known scientific fact that you can take a ragamuffin hillbilly and have him win a giant lottery jackpot and, at least until the novelty wears off, he’s gonna be as happy as a hog rooting around in hog heaven. But make it so that no-good brother-in-law of his wins a jackpot the same size or bigger, and he’s going to feel like his own good fortune has been cheapened. If he’s the sort of fellah whose pride is easily wounded and hardly mended, the other winning himself a jackpot will take all the fun out of him winning his.
Damnest thing, human pride. As far back as there’s been head-scratchers, they’ve been scratching their heads over that one.