The Kenny Rogers Theorem, or one’s minimum daily requirement of folding ’em.


I didn’t always appreciate the timeless wisdom espoused by Kenny Rogers in “The Gambler,” which in retrospect is a surprisingly insightful mega-hit pop song from the 1980s.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run

Yes, the advice sounds trite, and a gambler I’m not, but it finally has dawned during this extended period of grief …

ON THE AVENUES: On patience, grieving, puzzles and a necessary sabbatical.

… that when you’re out of aces (read: utterly powerless), whatever else of merit you might have to offer in this or that situation becomes irrelevant.

Just wait for the next hand to be dealt, and try all over again.

Admittedly I can do without the “die in your sleep” part of the song, although I’m reminded that to “die standing up” is a theatrical term meaning your performance is met with silence rather than applause.


It also bears noting that songwriter Don Schlitz wrote this number, not Rogers, who at least had the good sense to sing it.