I love betting on the ponies, and last year, I had a spontaneous “let’s hit a couple of races” moment.  I headed to the Arlington OTB.


I normally bet $2 – $10 on a single race.  That day, I grew a pair.


I looked at the monitors, chose the next race, and bet $50 on the favorite to win.  He lost by a neck.


Damn.  That meant I was close.  I chose the next race and bet $50 on the favorite.  That was my entire bankroll.  He won by two lengths.


I checked the payoff board: $125.  Groovy.  I won $25.


I cashed in my ticket with the crusty old cashier.  The display rang up “$125.”  He handed me a wad, and I folded it up and stuck it in my wallet.


I got to my car opened my wallet.  I unfolded the wad and counted it: $250.  Couldn’t have been another wad, I only had a few other dollars.  And those crusty old cashiers never make mistakes.


Thank you, eight-pound-six-ounce baby Jesus.


Anyway, I wanted to spread the loot, kind of like Jesse in Breaking Bad, so I went to the local thrift store, one I know helps a lot of people in the community.  The plan was to unceremoniously donate a $50 bill.


I walked in and there were about six old ladies in the checkout line.  The cashier was the only employee there.  I walked up and kind of hovered back, trying to politely wait until the current customer left so I could quickly jump in, hand the cashier the bill, say, “just wanted to make a quick donation,” then vamoose.  Here’s what I heard:


Really-Very-Old-Lady-Customer (troubled): But it says fifty cents.

Not-Quite-As-Old Cashier: No, it’s $5.

RVOLC: But it says fifty cents.

NQAOC: No, it says $5.


MY BRAIN:  A damsel in distress.  And I could be Bill Gates for five minutes.


I stepped forward, holding the bill, and said, “you know what?  I can pay for it.”


The customer was flabbergasted.  “You can’t do that.  That’s five dollars.”


I said, “No, it’s okay.  I was going to make a donation anyway.  I can get everybody’s stuff in line, or at least what $50 will cover.”


The hens were abuzz.  “You can’t do that, that’s too much, etc.”


I said, “ladies, I had a good day at the racetrack, and something told me to come here and give this to you.”


A bit of silence, then a lot of thanks you’s and gratitude.


I moved toward the door and said, “I hope you all have a wonderful day.”  Then I vamoosed.


MORAL OF THE STORY:  Even though they may deny it at first, chicks dig it when you buy them stuff.