Saturday, May 21, 2005

Flying Bearcat in the Eighth

I went to the racetrack for the first time tonight. Hollywood Park, to be precise. My friend Jeff is having his birthday party there, and my friend Chris informed that it was tonight. So a bunch of us headed down there. Jeff and his birthday party, however, were nowhere to be found. So we did the only logical thing...

We got drunk and bet on a bunch of horse races. I didn't win. Which is surprising considering I used the fool-proof first-timer-at-a-horse-race technique of betting on the horse with the most clever or interesting name. That would be Girlsintheoffice in the fourth race (who came in next to last), King of LA in the six race and, yes, Flying Bearcast in the eighth. I wound up not going with Flying Bearcat, thinking that I should abandon my betting philosophy after two straight losers. Of course, the horse came from behind to win the race. Sigh.

It was at this point that my roommate and friend Nathan pointed out to me that I am not a lucky person. I have often thought this very thing myself. I never win contests or games of chance or gambling or anything like that, really. But, though it has often occured to me that my luck is not so great, I have always sort of assumed that everyone feels this way.

Most people tend to focus on their failures, and I'm no different, so when we look back on our lives and how things have gone for us, it's only best remember the difficulties and setbacks. Thus, even if a lot of things have gone our way, it still feels at times as if we've been horribly unlucky.

But now that it has been pointed out to me by an independent third party observer, I guess it's safe to say that I'm actually unlucky, and it's not just a feeling. Which is strange. Because on a certain level, I don't really believe in luck.

Now, sure, I believe that if you're playing poker and you have a pocket pair of Aces and then an Ace comes up on the river, that's a "lucky" card. So luck exists in that sort of a sense. But the idea of a person being innately "lucky" on "unlucky" rings totally false to me. It's just more silly superstition, a way for people to make sense out of a senseless, chaotic world. We believe that our number comes up or not depending on a variable known as "luck," when really it's just how the dice are falling at this particular moment in time. Because a variable like luck can cahnge, but chaos is forever.

So I'm not sure if there is such a thing as being naturally "unlucky," but if there is, I'm pretty much completely screwed. But the evening wasn't all bad. I got pretty buzzed because of Hollywood Park's generous $1 beer on Fridays promotion, and I got to see an angry old man wearing a suit and a fedora pumping his fists excitedly at a horsetrack, which is just one of those things I you don't get to see very often outside of old movies.

On our way to Chris' car in the parking lot, I got a call on my cell phone from Jeff. His party isn't until June. See what I mean? Unlucky!

1 comment:

Lons' Mom said...

i happen to think you have loads of luck....just not at games of chance. I've seen that before. I believe it's in the genes.