Thursday, November 26, 2009


I've never been much of a gambler. I decided early on that my winning streak wouldn't be one at all, more like a stumble. I would enter contests as a kid but was always dissappointed. Bikes, BB guns and other toys to drool over, went to those that Chance smiled upon. I gave up trying in my adolecent years.
When the state lottery became official, temptation coaxed me out of my wariness and I got the itch to scratch. I don't remember how many tickets I bought, but I can assure you that there weren't many and all my money stayed in the treasury. I now think of money spent on lottery tickets as taxes which keeps me from buying them.
My wife and I stayed a night in Reno once while on a road trip. We did the cheap buffet in one of the joints and sauntered over to the slots. She played the nickel machines. I think all the bells, flashing lights and noise must have numbed me into thinking I could leave with more than I came with. I was overcome with naievity and invested in a quarter bandit. I looked at my small handful of coins and hoped that one would nausiate the box enough for it to puke out a pot. It just burped a beep and had no indigestion for any of them. Susan the Lucky though, won a bucket full of nickles and we left pretty happy. However, a speeding ticket on the way home consumed her winnings along with a bit more. Did I mention she was driving? We've since sworn off casinos.
I have never even once entertained the thought of betting on horses. The odds against winning to me seem astronomical. My relationship with Chance along with the inconceivable variables of horse and rider, guarantee a loss for me. You've got this guy on a horse who has to keep his weight down and may be faint from hunger. Or maybe had a fight with his trainer, girl friend or wife or maybe all three and is not in the mood to ride. Or perhaps nature calls in the middle of the ride. Cramps, pulled muscle, brain anurysm. Is he going to race at his full capacity? No. Then there's the horse who may have had a bad oat for breakfast or a fight with rider. Maybe it's thinking it will just stop running because it's tired of getting whipped and wants to retire. Cramps, pulled muscle, brain anurysm. No bob-tail nag for me. Gambling on horses is like feeding them dollars.

We were standing on the platform in Polgate, England waiting for the train to London when I noticed small gaggles of ladies starting to gather. They were dressed in their finery and all had hats of various sizes perched on their heads. We boarded the train and I sat across from the woman pictured above. Her's was much less ostentatious than most, but I wanted to ask if the crow put up much of a fight. I thought better of it. Someone popped open a champagne bottle and passed around the bubbly in paper cups. Curiosity won and I finally asked her what the occasion was. It was ladies day at the horse races and those of the feminine variety with a hat would get in free.
Oh. I immediately explained to her that the laws of probability were dead set against her and suggested she give me her betting money since she was going to lose it anyway. No, she wanted the chance to lose it herself. Too bad. I would have spent it wisely on overcrowded tourist attractions and taken a chance on bland fish n chips.

Monday, November 9, 2009


My face is taller now. It was much shorter earlier in my life but has grown alot over the last few years. I don't like it. As a matter of fact I never really liked it. It never looked good enough for me. I had someone once tell me I had bedroom eyes but that's a different item. If I could go back to those days of yesteryear, I'd tell myself I looked pretty ok. My face wasn't movie star material but I look acceptable in photos from then. I should have accepted what I had and not worried about my handsomness factor. I would have been less shy.
Andre Aggasi was concerned about his looks. His face grew taller than mine at an early age. So much so that he had fake hair in his twenties. It looked good probably because it was long and flowing when he played tennis. He doesn't have much hair now but he looks good. Real good. I'd like to look like him but I've decided that what I have is enough. When I'm seventy and my face lengthens to the upper back half of my head, I won't look as great as I do now. I'll see pictures of myself taken in my more hansome years and realize even though women didn't chase me down I need to like my face now. I'm starting to.
It's been said that God knows the number of hairs on an individual's head. I think people lose their hair so He doesn't have to keep track of so many. I'd be more comfortable now though if I still had my younger number.