Wanna Bet?

Ah, Cinderella Stories, how they pull at the heartstrings. The rags to riches saga. The child forlorn, forgotten, forever abused, somehow comes out on top—-usually with money and true love as a just reward. The underdog triumphs in the end. The tournament unknown defeats the number-one seed. And the crowd goes wild! But what about the number-one seed? Those who worked so hard all season, practicing proud, relentless hours?

Okay, call me callous, but most often Cinderella Stories suck. The underdog shouldn’t win. How’s that fair? Like in tournaments, for instance, when the number-one seed, the best all season, proven time and again as an uncrushable force has a weak moment or is the victim of a fluke, loses their chance for glory based on one contest. That’s fair because . . . ? Don’t give me any answers. I’ve already heard them all, anyway. Give me a break! The consistently best should win. Period!

When that happens, life will be fair. Really, if God and Lucifer are playing a game of “Horse” out on some driveway in Poughkeepsie and Lucifer wins, are we all supposed to applaud for him? Are we supposed to be happy and say, “Boy, Lucifer really gave it to God that time!” Should we throw him a parade down the Canyon of Heroes? Televise it to the world? Have Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin as masters of ceremony? Give the whole town, the whole country, the day off for celebration?

I just don’t get it. The world should be fair. There should be rules to make it so. And don’t go calling me “a spoiled sport”! I’m a realist! People like Cinderella Stories so much because the majority have been Cinderellas themselves. I remember how kids at the bus stop picked on me because I went to parochial school and had to wear that sad navy blue knit shirt with the school crest, tan khakis and those saddle shoes every dang day. Heck, wearing that get up five days a week for eight years was punishment enough. I didn’t need other kids pointing out to me that it made me look like a loser. Believe me, I looked in the mirror each morning. I knew I looked crappy. But did I think I should be elected Homecoming King because of the “razzing” I got back then? I think not.

Anyway, that’s how I figure it. Just like today. Five hundred hard-earned, hard-saved dollars bet on Silver Stroke—odds on favorite. Won every race this year. This time, though, some “nothing,” Valley Victory, has one, measly good day, chance in a million, and my money? Flff! Out the window. I should be able to get at least half back. And am I happy for those who took a chance on Valley Victory? Not really. Just being rewarded for being lamebrains, I say.

I’m downing the last of this Miller, throwing my no-good ticket stub away and getting out of this Track of Temptation! I know what to do when the odds are against me.


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