Why do I cheat? I have lost count of the number of occasions where I have been asked this question. It has followed me from my youth, the same question hanging in the air as if uttered by some spectral accuser that never leaves my side. I would play board games with my siblings and invariably they would end in shouts as I was accused of cheating. I never admitted doing so of course. Such an admission would be weak and I know that once you admit to something you become tarred with the same brush thereafter. As I successfully cheated through games of Monopoly (I played the banker and the bank’s notes would invariably drift into my pile), Cluedo (I peeked at the cards before I inserted them in the envelope), Chess (I would distract my opponent and move the pieces to a more advantageous position) and Snakes and Ladders ( I would jolt the table and then move the pieces back into slightly different places, for example moving my piece past the large snake in the centre) I revelled in my victory. To me, the means always justifies the end. If those playing were too stupid to notice what I was doing or they lacked the guile to do likewise, well, that was their problem wasn’t it? Nobody gives you an advantage in this world. I learned that at an early age and I learned it quickly. If you fear that your army will succumb on the battlefield, then change the battlefield. Is your opponent stronger and taller than you in a football match? Kick him hard early on in the game or subject him to a vicious nipple twist as a corner is coming in. It will soon put him off his stride and affect his performance.
My early experiences provided a solid foundation as I grew older and embraced the world. Everything is up for grabs and history never remembers the loser. Break into where the exams papers were kept to gain an early look at them? Why not? Advise other waiting candidates for a job that you are a shoe-in as you golf with the interviewer and watch them slink away not wanting to waste their time. Drug test? Handy I know a paediatrician who will sell me pure baby urine to evade any issue there. Renege on a deal? Complain about the service even though it has been exemplary? Insider trading? Yes, yes and yes. If I don’t do it then someone else will and they will then be succeeding where I should have and I cannot have that. My natural intelligence and charisma aid me in extracting every advantage I can by fair and more usually by foul means.
Before you wag a sanctimonious finger at me, take a look at yourself. You never handed that money in to the police that you found in the street did you? When the sales assistant gave you too much change you remained silent. How many white lies have you told? I know you used a relative’s address rather than your own to ensure your child got a place in that prized school. Called in sick when you could not face work after a heavy session drinking? Yes, I thought you had. I’ve seen you park in the disabled bay at the supermarket when it was raining. You have repeatedly cheated and you are worse than me. I at least admit I do it. Hell, I even recognise I have to do it to get what I want, but not you. You deny you have done anything wrong or you mitigate your behaviour by declaring that everyone else does it and therefore why shouldn’t you?
I don’t know why you do it. Perhaps it is because you are bored and want to generate some excitement. That does not make you too different to me does it? The need to excite, the need to cause a reaction. I know why I do it. First and foremost I am entitled to succeed and I must always be seen to be winning. Secondly, the expressions of dismay and indignant protests at my conduct (especially since I am untouchable) cause me to surge with power as they fuel me. Now, you must excuse me; I have some money markets to rig and they close in an hour.