Oh Those Stupid Races

By Jim Hagarty
2014

Well isn’t that cute, I thought. One of the horses in the race we were betting on was called You Can’t Fix Stupid. Six of us former journalism teachers were sitting around a monitor and looking out the big windows at the racetrack, following the excitement and checking our tickets after every race. We had each thrown $20 in a pot and when that was gone, we’d quit betting. This night, we were doing pretty well. In fact, by Race 5 we were up almost $500.

I’m new to this but nevertheless I was sent up to place our bets for Race 6. I took some money, approached the wicket and carefully placed $24 worth of $2 bets. When the race was over, there was great rejoicing at our table. We had won $499.80.

OMG we’ve made a thousand dollars tonight went the shouts and there were still six races to go.

One of the other teachers grabbed the winning ticket and went to the wicket to collect. He was there a long time and he seemed to be almost arguing with one of the women there. I suggested helpfully that maybe she didn’t have enough cash to pay us. Someone else said he looked like he was negotiating with the clerk. Finally, he turned and came back to the table with a disgusted look on his face. He tossed the ticket on the table in front of me. “You bet on the wrong race,” he said to me.

It was quiet on the way home, all of us in the car. The only thing that saved me at all was the fact that our winning streak carried on for the rest of the night and we ended up ahead $800. Nevertheless, there was some suggestion made that I would be left in a cornfield somewhere and the words “hide the body” were also spoken but I am not sure what that was all about. I didn’t want to know.

All I do know for sure is You Can’t Fix Stupid didn’t win, place or show, and I felt badly for him as he and I seemed to be kindred spirits that night.

Author: Jim Hagarty

I am a 65-year-old retired journalist, busy recovering from a lifelong career as an unretired journalist. This year marks a half century of my scratching out little fables about life. My interests include genealogy, humour and music. I live in a little blue shack in Canada and spend most of my time trying to stay out of trouble. I am not that good at it. I also spent years teaching journalism. Poor state of journalism today: My fault. I have a family I don't deserve, a dog that adores me, and two cars the junk yard refuses to accept. My prized possessions include my old guitar and a razor my Dad gave me when I was 14 and which I still use when I bother to shave. Oh, and my great-great-grandfather's blackthorn stick he brought from Ireland in the 1850s. I have only one opinion but it is a good one: People take too many showers.

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