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Why I am not an expert on everything27 November 2008
When my kids, Greg and Mike, were growing up, they looked up to me. As little kids they thought Dad knew everything — at least Dad knew everything that they asked about, which is all the important stuff in a little kid's life. Yes, I strode through their little lives as a god among mere mortals.
Somewhere in their early teenage years it started to dawn on them that Dad didn't actually know everything — in fact, Dad didn't know a hell of a lot about everything. Like the American education system, Dad became "dumbed down." I lost the entire aura I had when I was that striding god. It was a long tumble. I went from knowing everything to knowing almost nothing. It was remarkable that I even knew how to feed myself, so low I had fallen in their esteem.
Now both Greg and Mike are adults. Yes, I am smarter now in their eyes than I was when they were teenagers but I will never be as smart as I was when they were little kids. That's the way of the world, specifically the way of parenting. Start off big; fall a long way; then slowly climb as your children age until you aren't dumb but you aren't a god either. At some point your kids look at you as a human being, which is, frankly, only what you are. There are no humans who are gods.
I do have a shot at being in the divine intellectual category again — for a few years, anyway — as my little grandson, John Charles, looks up to Grandpa Scobe and seems to listen to everything I say with rapt attention. Of course, I know that when he gets older he too will realize that Grandpa Scobe doesn't know everything about everything.
That is all a prelude, dear readers, to my gambling confession, which is — I don't know everything about gambling either. Yes, I know the casino table games and the slot machines and I have decent knowledge about poker. But my gambling "genius" does not extend to horse racing or to most of the sports bets that are available to the gamer.
In short, I am in a thick fog in some gambling areas.
Early in my gaming career I thought I would tackle horse racing — but do it in a smart way, by getting inside information. A certain individual who had "inside knowledge" started me off with a great pick for one of the Triple Crown races. "This horse can't lose. He'll blow away the field," said my source. I was convinced I would win a lot of money if I bet on this horse so I bet a lot of money on this horse — with my wife, the beautiful A.P. saying, "I don't think you should bet that much on a horse. You don't know anything about horse racing."
"Honey," I said confidently, "this horse is going to blow away the field."
My horse did not blow away the field. Instead he broke his leg midway through the race and had to be put to sleep. He had been a superb animal but a miserable betting choice.
My inside source gave me two more "can't lose" tips, upon both of which I bet heavily. I explained to my wife, the beautiful A.P., "Don't worry, these horses can't lose!" when she fretted about how much I was putting on my horses' heads.
In the first of the two races, my horse came bolting out of the starting gates and looked like he would destroy the field. However at the first turn he decided he didn't want to continue the race and he headed for the stables. All the other horses went around the track but my "can't lose" horse just ran to the right and into the barns. The jockey was whipping him, yelling at him; the fans were jeering him merrily — and I lost the first of two very big bets.
Okay, two races, two horses that didn't finish, so my third horse had to at least make it around the track, didn't he?
Don't bet on that.
My third horse looked a little weird — if horses can actually look weird — as he walked to the starting gate. He didn't want to go into the starting gate but that is not unusual, as many horses don't like to go into the starting gate.
But when the race started, my horse leaped out of the starting gate and ran in a small circle, around and around as if chasing his tail, foaming at the mouth, bucking and kicking, and trying to throw the jockey, who was hanging on for dear life. The horse looked as if he had taken a massive dose of LSD. It took a whole bunch of people to settle the horse down and save the jockey. The horse then walked meekly back to the stables while the race proceeded without him.
Three horses, three non-finishes, three losses.
My horse racing career was now over. It is one thing to lose a race, but my horses couldn't even finish a race. That had to be God telling me, "Scobe, no more betting on horse racing for you."
I am not sure anyone can beat the horses in the long run, although I have heard tales of some long-term winners, but I remain skeptical. Too much is involved in horses running around the track, not the least of which is the enormous vig you have to pay when you win those races. You also have no idea if the race is fixed, to put it bluntly. Obviously my horses didn't need to be "fixed" because they couldn't even get around the track, but horse players always talk about how the smaller races might actually be more like professional wrestling than real competition.
I have no idea really. I don't want to have any idea, really. Because I really know that while horses are really the most beautiful of animals, betting on them racing around a track is not really in my cards. When it comes to horse racing I am the father of teenagers — I have no glory, no glow, no godliness. I am really a dumb loser.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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