Me in the OTB
So today I went to my PO box on Varick Street to get my mail. Usually afterwards I go to the Subway Sandwich shop down the street and get lunch and read the paper. The weekly PO box/Subway trips are nice little field trips for me. Anyway today walking out of the post office, I noticed for the first time that there is an OTB directly across the street. I've never been to an OTB before and I got the bright idea to try my luck today. I had $7 on me which I planned to spend on Subway. I decided I'd bet my lunch monay. If I won, I'd get lunch. If I lost, I'd skip Subway today and eat whatever I had in my place.
When I walked in to the OTB it wasn't anything like I imagined. It was quiet. It was clean. Not smoky and noisy with tickets all over the floor. It was all turquoise and tiled and smelled a little like windex or urinal cake. There was no smoking allowed which made me think that the new anti-smoking laws should have had a clause that exempted OTBs. It seemed like a crime that smoking should be banned in a place like the OTB. There were a bunch of guys standing around all from various backgrounds. All wearing hats of some sort. One guy was showing off his ring to another guy like he was a new bride or something.
I didn't really know what to do or where to go but I was happy that no one seemed to care that I walked in. I grabbed one of the xeroxed racing sheets from the thing and started to glance over the page. I looked up at the monitors and saw the first race started at 12:25 out of Philadephia Park. I picked my favorite horsey name 'Toosie Town Snooks' and went up to the window and followed the ordering directions that were posted. I said, 'Philadephia Park. Race 1. Horse 8. $7.00. To win.'
After I got my ticket and sat down on the bench. I turned to the guy next to me who was probably 5 feet tall and 80 years old and asked him, 'How ya doing?' He said, 'Not sure yet...' Meaning the races hadn't started yet. We laughed at the one. Then I asked if he had any tips for me. He said, 'Yeah. Don't bet horses.' I laughed again. He didn't laugh at that one. So I stopped laughing. And stopped talking. I saw that the odds on Toosie were 35-1. I sat there and in my head tried to figure out what I'd win if Toosie won. Then the odds went up to 40-1 and I had to do more math...
And they're off! Toosie Town Snooks was off like a shot!.... and quickly dropped to the back of the pack... and off the screen... and stayed there. That was that for Toosie. Toosie never had a friggin chance. I started looking at the second race and saw another name I liked. 'Tizfunnymagee'. I checked my wallet and it was empty (even the secret pocket where I hide monay sometimes). I looked in my bag for stray dollars but there was nothing but the letters I got from the post office. For a split second I thought about how the letters probably had dollars in them. Before opening any letters like an idiot, I got out of there before I committed what would be nothing short of a crime against humanity.