Wagering Conversation II

Excerpt from a recent phoner with my father:

Al Sr.: Well, that’s good. What else is new with you guys?

Me: Hmm. Oh. We’re going to Vegas in a couple of weeks.

Al Sr.: When’s that?

Me: First weekend in May. For the Derby.

Al Sr.: That sounds cool.

Me: You want me to put anything down for you?

Al Sr.: I don’t have a horse this year. At least not yet.

Me: Well, if you do.

Al Sr.: I’ve only really liked a horse in one of the Triple Crown races once. “Pass Catcher”. Won the Belmont in, oh, jeez, 1970? 1971?

Me: Make some money?

Al Sr.: Yeah. I almost didn’t. I was hanging out with my friend redacted because he is now a respected community leader, you remember him? His wife and your mom went to school together? Anyhow, this was when we lived in New York, your mom and I, and redacted community leader and I were hanging out one Saturday, and he said, “Hey, didn’t you like Pass Catcher in the Belmont today?” And I said, “Oh, Christ, is the Belmont today?” And he said, “Yeah.” So we both put a little money down on win tickets, and Pass Catcher won. Broke up somebody’s shot at the Triple Crown. Paid pretty well.

Me: You just ‘put a little money down on win tickets’? You had a bookie that did paramutuel?

Al Sr.: What? Oh, no. We were already in the OTB anyway.

* * * * *

Three notes to help those not raised to know get the comedy here:

1)”OTB” = “Off-track betting parlor”, a place, not generally filled with savory characters, where you can bet on televised horse racing in places with the ambiance of an unusually low-rent bus station waiting room. I love them.

2) My dad and redacted community leader were about four years out of Harvard at this point, and would, as regulars go, probably have fit in at a New York OTB in the early seventies about as well as Luna would fit in on, say, the Boston Celtics.

3) To be in an OTB on the day of the Belmont and not be there for (or aware of) the Belmont indicates hardcore OTB patronage equivalent to being a roaster of enough turkeys that you are preparing to pull the bird out of the oven when it dawns on you that it is, right then that very day, Thanksgiving.

Now, go read the transcript again.

Wagering Conversation I

This is from a Yahoo! Sports column on fantasy baseball. I wish I had written it:

“Before we go any further, it should be stated for the record – formally and unequivocally – that Yahoo! Sports, its corporate partners, its fantasy experts, Larry Biel, and basically everyone else connected to the site are disgusted by wagering. Seriously. We’re disgusted. It sickens us. Blech. Unless of course it’s done legally in a place where gambling is sanctioned, in which case we’re intrigued. The notion that some of you might play fantasy sports for modest financial stakes, though, is sickening to us. Sickening. We refuse to endorse it. Or even mention it again, ever. Just so we’re clear.

But let’s consider a totally hypothetical scenario. Let’s just say – again, hypothetically – that in one of my fantasy leagues there are fourteen owners, and each owner has agreed to wager five cupcakes. Not money, but cupcakes. And each cupcake has a picture of Alexander Hamilton on it. Because we’re all staunch Federalists. At the beginning of the season, we give the commissioner all seventy Alexander Hamilton cupcakes to hold until October. When the baseball season ends, the guy who finishes in second place gets ten Alexander Hamilton cupcakes, and the winner gets sixty Alexander Hamilton cupcakes.”

The Annoying Music Show

About a week after I wrote a couple of new verses for Afroman, bondgirl called me one evening and said, without greeting, “I HAVE BEEN SINGING THAT SONG FOR SIX DAYS!”. (I’ve cleaned up her language extensively, here — you wouldn’t believe the actual content. Like an old Bob Saget show, our bondgirl.)

Anyhow, I was thinking of her foul little earworm tirade last night. While listening to Honey muse on my suggestion that she would not love the big orange cat nearly so much if he wasn’t as lazily malevolent as he is — yes, I know, there are parallels — I rewrote “My Hat It Has Three Corners”:

My cat he is an asshole,
An asshole is my cat.
If he was not an asshole,
He would not be my cat.

Catchy little tune, no?

Good luck getting it out of your head without a shotgun.

Monkeys With Guns

Very little makes me so angry as the hijacking of grief and tragedy for entertainment, unless it’s the hijacking of grief and tragedy for purposes of ostensibly strengthening the validity of a political opinion already held. Needless to say, the last day or so, I’m very glad I’m not working in news-talk radio anymore.

I have nothing wise or useful to say about Virginia Tech’s shootings. But, in the face of the negative onslaught, I find this nice to contemplate:

“We were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles, and our irreconcilable regiments? Or our treaties, whatever they may be worth; our symphonies, however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted to battlefields; our dreams, however rarely they may be accomplished. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk, but how magnificently he has risen.” (Robert Ardrey)

Down With The Sickness

Three weeks ago, I had not considered playing fantasy baseball. Fantasy football was enough. Besides, I have a family startup business to run, and an apartment in Chicago to rent, and a cat to accommodate, and debt to climb out of, and a car with a Check Engine light that will not go off no matter what, and I’ve been trying to eat more vegetables, and I hit the gym six times a week, and I am working my ass off to be able to run two miles by December, and I have to get this apartment ready for departure, and I must soon find a storage locker for the Florida stuff for the summer. I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to non-Cubs baseball anyway. Three weeks ago.

Today, I spent two hours figuring out how to connect my laptop to the internet by plugging it into my cellphone, so I can adjust my lineup while I’m in the car.

Geek Comedy Jam

I have recently finished reading a book about using the genome to reconstruct human prehistory and identify ongoing evolutionary patterns; “Before the Dawn”, by a guy named Nicholas Wade. Fascinating book, which was not surprising. What was surprising, to me, was the amount of high-quality bone-dry comedy included:

On the inadvertent surprises discovered about 10% of the time during the testing of children for genetic diseases:

“…these discrepancies, known delicately as ‘nonpaternity events’…”

On exhibitionism:

“It was presumably at this time that human societies developed a taboo against public sex, a custom that would bring chimp or bonobo societies to an almost complete standstill.”

On the matrilineality of Judaism:

“It is sometimes suggested that (this is) in wise appreciation of the fact that maternal descent is a fact and paternal descent is only a probability…”

On math in the Middle Ages:

“…the Indian numerals in use today, and specifically the concept of zero, did not become widespread in Europe until around 1500. Figuring out xvii percent of cccl, without the use of zero, is not a straightforward computation.”

On the future speciation of humans:

“Our previous reaction to kindred species was to exterminate them, but we have mellowed a lot in the last 50,000 years.”

Capsule book review: Worth reading, on several levels.

Demographics Are All

Tropical Heat Key West April 12-15, 2007

Thursday, April 12

6.00pm Sunset Twist – opening reception with great music, hot dancers, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. Big Ruby’s Guesthouse , 409 Applerouth Lane .

9.30pm Special Tropical Heat Show. World Famous “Reality Is A Drag” Show with The Aquanettes takes on Tropical Heat in a specially designed show! Aqua, 711 Duval Street.

11.30pm Black Out… “Really Get To Know You” Party. Men Only. Hot bodies, cold drinks and the rest is just too hot to print! Kwest , 705 Duval Street.

Friday, April 13

5.00pm Sizzle…Happy Hour and Pool Party. Men Only. Party in Key West ’s largest clothing optional gay complex. Dancers, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. Oasis Guesthouse , 822 Fleming Street .

5.00pm Where The Girls Are. Women Only. Drink specials and lots of ladies! Free Admission just buzz the back parking lot entrance. Pearls Rainbow , 525 United Street.

9.00pm Pleasures in Paradise . The 801 Girls and their Boy Toys heat things up as only they can do. 801 Bar , 801 Duval Street.

11.30pm Key West Cocks….Men Only, Hot Dancers, and Cold Drinks. Kwest , 711 Duval Street.

Friday Late Night/ Saturday, April 14

2.00am The Last After Hours Party at Atlantic Shores…Tropical Drink Specials, Key West Morning Music, Adult Contests, Prizes & Give-Aways, and Breakfast Sandwich Specials. Atlantic Shores , 510 South Street .

1.00pm Wet and Wild Pool Party – Bare what you dare. Men Only . Hot Dancers and Cold Drinks at the cash bar. Island House, 1129 Fleming Street .

5.00pm Happy Hours at Aqua, Bourbon Street Pub, The 801 Bar and Pearls Women Only Resort. Get Warmed up for the long night ahead. No Cover.

8.00pm Exit to Eden – Leather and Lace fashion show around the pool at Pearls. Women Only. Dressing accordingly for this event with some leather, some lace and skin will always win! Pearls Rainbow, 525 United Street. Entrance at the back of parking lot.

11.30pm Gurrlesque – Burlesque Remixed and Redefined! Women Only. Intoxicating women, sultry lighting, and great music set the mood for this “Women-Only” event. Aqua , 711 Duval Street.

11.30pm Less Is More – Bourbon’s infamous underwear party. Men Only. Dance the night away in your tighty Whiteys. Bourbon Street Pub , 724 Duval Street.

What’s in *your* town’s Chamber of Commerce newsletter?