1928 - Alderson High School - 1968

 

Wager: To Bet. The act of giving a pledge.
Dan Duff 10-09

There is a story of two guys sitting in a bar watching the eleven oíclock news. On the news was the tragic story of a guy standing on a ledge ten stories up and threatening to jump. One of the men in the bar turns to the other and says, "Iíll bet you twenty bucks he donít jump." The other one says, "youíre on." Well, after a few horrifying moments the fellow on the tenth floor jumps to his death. The guy in the bar who made the bet took out ten dollars and gave it to the other man. Whereby the other man says, "I wonít take your money, you see, I saw the news at ten and I already knew the outcome." The other guy says, "Yea, I saw it too, but I didnít think he would jump the second time."

We have all made stupid bets at one time or other in our lives. Whether for money or for just the challenge, we all like to take a chance on beating the odds. In my time I have seen bets made from "If I loose, Iíll wash your car" to people putting their entire fortune on the line. The truth of the matter is, if you stay at the table long enough you will loose everything, including your dignity. When they make that statement "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" they are really saying "the money you bring to Vegas, stays in Vegas. You, your troubles, your attitude and your mojo can go back with you to wherever you came from.

When I was in the army, I woud get into some of the floating card games that were around the barracks. Sometimes we played for match sticks.... now that was my best game. I would wind up with every match in the place and the smokers would have to come to me to get a light for their smokes. Then there were the games where we played for money, moolah, cash. Woe was me when it came to playing for cash. My luck was so bad, if I had come up with four of a kind, someone else would have a royal flush. The only thing I ever won playing for money was an Elgin watch. The fellow was trying to bluff on a hand and put it up for his share of the pot. It had no band and after I won the pot I found that the watch didnít work. I still have that watch. I keep it as a reminder never to play for money and keep the bet on very very friendly terms.

Every once in a while Iíll buy a dollar lottery ticket. I really donít expect to win, but I love dreaming of all the things I would do if I won the money. Then the reality of it hits and I see all these horror stories about people who have won and what it does to their lives and somewhere deep inside I am glad I havenít won.

One thing is for sure. if I ever do win, Iíll be sending one of these blogs from the great state of Hawaii and while my wife learns the hula and I check out the local hardware for a weedeater.

I have a friend that will make a wager on football games. He will even call me from time to time to get my opinion on what team he should lay down good money to try to beat the odds. Of course I know that he knows that if I tell him a team is going to win he bets the complete opposite, because he knows I have the worst luck in the world and nine out of ten teams I pick will be a sure loser. Iíll bet you if I put a wager on a one horse race I couldnít win place.

So if we know the house is always favored to win and we know if we stay at the table long enough the house will have all our money, why do we still wager. Why to we still need to play against the odds? Why do we always need to go against the house and hope we come out a winner? I think it is because we hear the stories of those who take that one in a million shot and win. We somehow feel that if we can win that lottery jackpot we will handle ourselves different. We will not go off the deep end and find ourselves suddenly broke and have absolutely nothing to show for our winnings. We can win a huge pile of money on Saturdays football games and tell ourselves that we are not like those others who plow all of it plus more back into the next round, we will walk away from it all and never bet again. It always winds up the same, we always end up with less than we started with and only more miserable because we wasted it all and couldnít control ourselves. That is when the coulda, shoulda, woulda theory comes into play.

One thing is for sure. Iíll bet you we will bet again because it is like a fever in the brain. A fever that gives you the biggest high when you win and the biggest low when you lose.

You say to yourself, "I can quit anytime I want" well I will wager that you canít.
 

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