Editor’s Query: Tell us about a time when ... you lost a bet

April 25, 2013

You were right. I was wrong.

What power those six magic words hold over my marriage. Any dispute can become a bet over who will have to say those wretched words. A friend, concerned our marriage was doomed, recommended nine magic words: “You were right. I was wrong. I am sorry.” We came up with our own version: “You were right. I was wrong. I’ll get even.”

Years ago while living in Canada, we were watching a TV show.

“That drug pusher. That’s Roger Daltrey,” Tom said.

“No, that isn’t him.”

We bet. The next day we tried everything: newspapers, TV Guide. No luck. The drug pusher was never identified.

Years passed. Tom went fishing on an estate in England. After an afternoon of casting, he checked out of the Lakedown Trout Fishery as Roger Daltrey, the owner, walked in. My husband asked Roger if he would settle a bet.

“Sure,” the rock legend said.

“Did you ever play a drug pusher on TV?”

“Yes.”

After a chuckle or two at my expense, the two talked about trout fisheries.

Gail Miller,

Solomons

***

One of the perks of being stationed at the U.S. air base in Merignac, France, in the 1950s was the tours to the Bordeaux area for a nominal charge.

While returning from one such tour, our bus was passing a truck carrying white wine, and one of the passengers asked the bus driver to get close so he could filch a bottle.

Everyone on the bus was cheering him on except the sergeant next to me, who bet 500 francs (about $1.42) the man would not get a bottle of wine, and I was so sure that he would that I called his bet.

When the man finally grabbed one of the bottles and was back in his seat, I asked Sarge to pay. Just then the thief opened the bottle to take a drink and proclaimed, “It’s bleach!”

Bernard Jones,

Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

***

A huge family treat was going out to eat in a real restaurant on my dad’s payday.

One evening, after placing our order, we gazed out the window and watched as a drizzle turned into a downpour. To pass the time, my father and I fixed on a piece of paper floating down the street, meandering at first, then dodging clumps of debris lodged in the gutter.

“Bet you a dollar it doesn’t make it to the corner,” Dad challenged me.

Was he crazy? Of course it would make it to the cross street! As the water rose the paper sailed along, nothing slowing its pace. I excitedly agreed to the bet, only to stare in dismay seconds later as the paper disappeared down a storm drain. Amid protest — it wasn’t fair after all that he knew about the storm drain — he hugged me and laughed.

“Kathy,” he intoned with mock solemnity, “let this be a lesson to you: Never play the other man’s game.”

Kathy Cohen,

Boyce

NEW QUERY: Tell us about a time when a child surprised you completely.

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