Starting gambling at the tender age of six, I knew there was more than money to quench one’s wallet, or lack there of. I had no wallet, let alone money, but I longed for the almighty Twix candy bar. Making a wager for a candy bar was worth the risk of receiving a spanking for gambling a dollar I didn’t possess. However, I knew my father was good for the buck if I lost a bet….as long as I made his bed and dusted the house.
In 1979, prior to the Super Bowl, I marched over to our neighbor’s house and made a wager with the father of some of our great friends. He knew I loved football, and he knew I was six, but he also knew I liked chocolate more than money. Additionally, he clearly knew I was ignorant.
Fortunately, he and my father were good friends, so he knew I was solid for the dollar if I lost. If I won, I knew he was solid for the Twix. This was hardcore Locust Street gambling.
The Pittsburg Steelers ( the steel curtain) were playing the Los Angeles Rams. The Steelers won and I lost. I was good for the dollar after making Dad’s bed while dusting a five thousand square foot house.
One week later, there was a Twix candy bar lying on our porch. My father required that I return the Twix to our neighbor, as a bet is a bet and you have to stand tall (or short) regarding how shrewd or dimwitted your bet may be. Reluctantly, I did return the Twix, yet our delightful neighbor denied he had purchased it for me. It further solidified my father’s friendship with our neighbor. I still have the Twix. I keep it in my glove compartment. That’s B.S…I crammed that cookie caramel chocolate finger sandwich in my mouth on his porch like it was my last supper.
Other than friendly bets, I don’t gamble anymore.