Thursday, September 3, 2009

Unfriendly Wagers


The recent death of fellow blogger, Nikki Harris, has caused me to stop, pause, and think about life and how fragile it is... as well as death and how sudden can be. I suppose every death is sudden to the person who is dying, since even the condemned don't know the exact hour or minute until it happens.

One day you are healthy and vibrant... and the next, you could come down with something or you're involved in a fatal accident, get shot, or what have you. The thing is, everything in this human existence is urgent and dramatic. The reason being is because, whether we consciously admit it or not, life and death are just so sudden. I would like to talk about two people I know who played the games of chance to illustrate my point...

About two years ago, I was part of a group of five guys who used to make "friendly" wagers (bets) on sporting events... most notably, boxing and football. We would usually bet about $20.00 on (let's say) an Eagles game or a big fight. Throw all of our money in a hat.

One of these guys, (I'll call him) G.F., bet the princely sum of $50.00 on the Floyd Mayweather-Ricky Hatton bout. I wisely chose to sit that one out. At the time, I didn't know much about Ricky Hatton except, he was unbeaten and had never fought in America. G.F. said that he didn't think Floyd took Hatton seriously and that he smelled an upset. He and the other three guys put $50.00 dollars down on the fight and they all took Mayweather.

Well, if you're a boxing fan, you know what happened. Floyd Mayweather knocked Ricky Hatton out. G.F. also vanished right after the verdict and stayed missing. He had welched on his bet. Most of us who have played with him knew that he was always prone to do stuff like that... that's just him. We still bet with him because (if you're a fan of "The Wire ", you'll relate to this) this is America... we have to let everybody play.

One of the guys playing must not have watched "The Wire". He was an old timer and I'll call him House. House wanted his money and he was quite vocal about it. So vocal that, by the time he got finished telling everybody about how G.F. welched on his bet, een G.F.'s girlfriend was talking about him.

G.F. never paid him and then put up $100.00 with these other guys on last season's Eagles-Dallas game. He said that Dallas, who still had T.O., should trample the Eagles. As you all know, the Eagles surprised quite a few people that Sunday and gave Dallas the worse whipping of the season. Once again, G.F. was in the wind.

Old head House and some of his friends caught up with G.F. and lifted him up by his pants loops and shook him until his wallet and all of his belongings fell to the sidewalk. He wanted his money... the man just didn't play that! This pretty much broke up our little group and we never bet on anything else again. Except for me, none of those guys spoke to G.F. again. In the meanwhile, his girlfriend broke up with him and for the next few months, G.F. lived the life of a social pariah.

Earlier this year, old head House had a stroke and died suddenly. We were all sitting around talking about him and sharing stories after the funeral. Then, I heard G.F. say... "You know man, we didn't speak for the last year of his life and it was all over a couple of bucks. It wasn't worth it. He was my friend, man. I was gonna pay him and squash all of that stuff. I was gonna wait until Christmas. Damn, man. You think you got all the time in the world." Which brings me to my point.

You do think you have all the time in the world and you really don't. Here today, certainly gone tomorrow. You never know. Petty beefs over money, something somebody said, whatever... are not really that deep. Not when it's a friend or relative. Is anything really that deep? You better tell somebody that you love them and appreciate them while they can hear it. We better squash the beefs while they can be squashed. When someone is dressed in a suit and laying in a casket with their hands folded, it's a little too late.

My mother always used to say... "Give me my roses while I can smell them." Wise words, indeed.

24 comments:

James Perkins said...

Well Said.

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

Wise words indeed!

Arlene said...

Your mother was right! Here's your bouquet now. Go home and kiss the wife, go get Tash, BW, Lil Sis and Dad and hug them too! Life is fleeting. Family and friends are blessings we must cherish.
Love you cuz.

Toni said...

Bravo Keith!

Angie B. said...

Word!

Sunflower said...

You are so right on this Keith.

Cheryl said...

"Give me my roses while I can smell them" No words ever rang truer."

Brenda said...

Such a soulful post Keith..I love these the best..

Strongblkwmn said...

I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to my father before he passed away. I definitely agree with your mother. I make sure to tell the people I love how I feel about them as often as possible. You don't realize how short life is until someone you love is gone.

Mizrepresent said...

So true Keith, so true.

Rashan Jamal said...

It wasn't worth it, but G.F. shouldn't have skipped out like that on the money. I'd wager to say if it was really about friendship, he would have paid his homeboy.

BTW Ricky Hatton got smoked even worse my Manny Pacquieo (or however you spell it.) I could have made some money on that fight, but I was too cheap.

Shorty said...

My husband and I got a reality check just yesterday when on of his cycling buddies was hit by a car. My husband didn't see it happen since he was about 1/2 mile behind the guy that got hit. A lady was messing with her son in the car and didn't even see our friend. Fortunately he's just really banged up, no head injury and no broken bones. But it was humbling to be reminded that the lights can go out in a flash. With no warning. Take each opportunity as they come, my friend.

Simon Bastion said...

Once Again, A timely post!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

G.F. Needed that a$$ kicked..

Swaggie said...

G.F. would've gotten a straight beat down where I come from for that.

Tate2 said...

Great Post man and so true.

Sean said...

Another timely post bruh!

Captain Jack said...

Your point was well taken..It rings so true!

Halo said...

Death really is an awakening isn't it?

Vanessa said...

Good Post!

Lisa said...

Your mother's words were wise ones indeed!

Jazzy said...

Thoughtful post Fam, as usual you addded a great anecdote that drives home your point.

ShellyShell said...

This is so true. It really makes me think since I'm being very stubborn to someone who keeps asking my forgiveness.

FreeMan said...

I got boys who bet with their mouth too, sometimes it's part of the humor of betting. House just wasn't in the circle to know that.

People come people go and that's the way life is. I realized at a very young age death happens so you smile today happy that we are all here. Hey she has influenced a lot of bloggers as I have read her passing on other sites. Influence who you can while you can.




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