Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winning is Everything!

[image: A. Juell]

So I've Been Told

Afraid that I've always been a hunch-bettor -- worse yet, a dyslexic hunch-bettor.  And the epitome of all worseness:  self-delusion combined with a jinx or two.  See, having raised these young super-stars, I feel it to be a matter of honor that I only wager on the home team.  I mean, how would it look if the guy with the most inside information had his mouth and his money occupied elsewhere?  And if the boss found out?  "Well, you see Doc, I bet $400 on the other horse figuring it would raise the odds on your horse."  Doc's eyebrows would rise an inch or two, followed by, "You flunked arithmetic...what, six times?"  Five actually.  But aside from a few jinxes, misguided loyalty issues, blind love and what not, around a race
track it remains critically important to embrace a 'system.'  Serious punters respect that sort of thing.  Besides, you've got all that time to kill between races while the track's accountants add up the profits from your last bet.  And believe me, they never got less than a B+ in arithmetic.

So one afternoon the cat and I decided to develop a system of handicapping based on what the two of us were familiar with on a day to day basis.  Naturally, I wanted to name it after myself.  Maybe "Andy's Superhot Guide for Finding the Losers First in Order to Bet on What's Left."  The cat thought it was a little wordy.  He/she (You ever try to determine the sex of a cat?  Not worth it.), preferred "Intestines."  No, I don't know why.  Assuming some kind of metaphor is involved, but the cat wasn't giving it up just now.  We did finally compromise on the number system itself, hoping to settle on the semantics issue later.  Personally, it was my kind of science:

"I added the number of times the tractor broke down, multiplied that by the number of moldy bales of hay I was forced to throw away, deducted my salary from the total and added in the inches of annual rainfall for western Washington.  I also factored in the dead pheasant count (the cat insisted), promised to start going to church (the cat, not me), and when I figured God was busy elsewhere, threw in a little Haitian black magic."

Okay.  That took care of the first race.  So, how about the daily-double!

"I would use the firing order on the tractor multiplied by Chet's weight (our neighborhood mechanic), divided by the number of goats that escaped over the summer (you'll have to buy the book to find out how badly that went), subtract the number of dates that Jesse was forced to suffer through (sorry, details are not forthcoming), and subtract the exact number of 16 ozs. beers it took to convince the van driver to help load the yearlings.  I was going to use his blood-alcohol level, but the trial's still pending.  Believe an 'insanity defense' is in the works.  Funny though, they didn't want me to testify.

Well, now you have my our system.  Oh, we finally agreed on a name:  "Andy's Cat has a Superhot System to Find Intestines or Whatever is Left."  That's what happens when you compromise with a cat.



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