Monday, June 25, 2007


Sunday was the annual day out for a bunch of the dads from the neighborhood. It started with a 7:04 a.m. tee time. I don't like golf, which makes me a statistical freak for my demographic. I prefer sleeping in, so I did that instead.

Golf went long and we didn't meet up until almost noon. When I asked what happened, one of the golfers explained they'd decided to baptize the Hindu member of the foursome in a water trap but he'd turned out to be stronger than they expected. "It's all the curry he eats," someone said. "That stuff gives you superhuman strength."

We got into my car for the long drive to the track. Two of the guys are pretty serious gamblers and two are semi-casual ones. The remaining two of us are a lot more interested in hanging around with our buddies than in the complexities of simulcast betting.

In fact, I'd never been to a horse race before and I was kind of looking forward to seeing what it was all about. Best as I can tell, it involves a lot of intensely scientific-sounding theories, all of them grounded in hunches, voodoo, and faith. It's much like Intelligent Design that way. There was a lot of talk about exactas and boxing and daily doubles, alternating with spasms of "that goddamned horse went wide at the end, I can't believe you did that to me you fucking cow!" After a couple of hours we had a nice pile of losing betting slips in the middle of the table, christened the Pit of Despair and festooned with cigarette butts and bottle caps.

I was driving, which meant I wasn't drinking. That was a good thing. I gamble a little, but it's one of the few vices that hasn't gotten its clutches into me over the years. Pour enough liquor into me, though, and it's "Come to Daddy!" time. Yesterday I was content with a long series of $2 to show bets, most of them made based on which horse's name could be twisted into the filthiest double entendre.

Even then it quickly became apparent that my bets were the equivalent of the icy hand of death and I finished with two wins out of twenty or thirty wagers. Given that the more impressive win returned me $3.30 on a $3 investment, the best value I got for my money was the delicious cheeseburger I ordered. For all I know I was eating my horse from the third race. I might as well have been, because she sure couldn't run for shit.

By midafternoon I'd hit my self-imposed stop-loss limit for the day and I turned to lending moral support to any of our group who lost a particularly ugly race. You don't need to much about something to be able to mess with someone else who's getting hosed.

"What the hell is that thing you bet on, a llama?"

"I've never seen a horse and a jockey in a sack race before. Good pick!"

"What was the name of your trifecta - Alpo, Eukanuba, and Science Diet?"

"Hey, I'll rent you a cardboard box in my backyard if things don't get pick up for you. It's an all-you-can-eat mole buffet out there."

Finally it got late enough that most of the tracks around the country had closed. One of the guys was willing to stick around for the results from some place in Australia, but peer pressure won out and we got him to the car. As we pulled out of the lot, I looked in the rear view mirror and said, "Boy, when you've been away all day like this, do you miss your families as much as I miss mine?" We all laughed and laughed, the whole way home.


Adorable Girlfriend said...

Sounds like a fun day!

Anonymous said...

I would have sworn AG would have had something to say about the llama comment.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I'll bet you're hell on wheels at the Moose track though.

Good choice on the goffing

Kathleen said...

mmmm, mole buffet. Chicken mole, enchiladas mole, tamales with mole. sounds like heaven.

Anonymous said...

"mmmm, mole buffet. Chicken mole, enchiladas mole..."


Anonymous said...

AG had something to say, Jlo. The thing is that there is no point in talking when the male bravado of the Internets is not listening.

Instead AG silently bans these dudes.

Snag said...

Mole sauce. Now you're talking. A nice mole sauce over baked llama.