Oldest Son would rate a seat at this table.
It's not that I have anything against gambling. If you want to throw your money away in a casino, I figure it's your business. If the casino pays taxes to a jurisdiction in which I live, so much the better.
I don't gamble much because I'm not good at it. I am rational enough to believe that no one is really "good" at gambling: The house wins in the end.
But Oldest Son sees an element of skill in poker -- and in betting on sporting events.
I was having a conversation with him last week, before the game. Our conversations take place on line, via AIM. I type complete sentences and attempt to use proper grammar and spelling. All of my children find this hilarious.
Anyway, he favored me with his prediction for yesterday's game: Bears by at least 10.
Fine, I typed back, I'll take the Saints and 11. Here, I thought, was a chance to show the boy up: Gamble with your heart, be a Superfan, I thought. Maybe I can teach him a lesson.
My jumping at his exuberant prediction did catch Oldest Son a little by surprise: He waffled just a bit -- the Bears were favored by no more than three on any line -- but ultimately gave me the Saints and 9.5.
Then the question was the stake.
Because I am ordinarily an abject failure as a gambler, I have learned that, when I take the plunge, it must be for low stakes. I usually go for a penny.
That's not gambling jargon. That's a coin with Lincoln on it.
But -- in this instance -- where I had trapped Oldest Son into an irrational bet, I went all out. I went up to a nickel.
Again, we are not talking gambling jargon of any sort. This refers to a coin bearing Jefferson's image..
I am quite certain that Oldest Son realized, by my venturing into such high stakes territory, just how serious I was.
And, of course, I lost.
He called to gloat within a few minutes of the end of the game, too. My nickel is in the mail today.