I have a little best friend who’s willing to get up at 6:15 on a Sunday morning and drive up into the mountains to watch another friend try and do a 7 mile obstacle course in less than 59 minutes. We were excited driving into the fog, rooting for miserable weather, only to get excited when we were above the clouds and enjoying a unique view. He didn’t even mention getting car sick once.
He knew there was money at stake. He knew there was a time to beat. We killed the time looking at their vendor stands, eating some specially branded Chex mix. When the first finishers came in and jumped in the mud, he let out a joyful cackle as he saw someone willfully do something that seemed so…not right. He loved watching everyone jump in the mud.
But when we saw Shawn, it was all business. In the video, you’ll hear him ask near the end “time? time? time?” – he was a little anxious too. But my favorite line was his candid observation.
Afterwards, he was excited – talking about how easy it was to win money, since I didn’t have to do anything. I spent the drive back down the mountain trying to explain to him the difference between betting on something you can control and something you can’t. He spent the drive down the mountain thinking about what Gundam robot he was going to get with the winnings.
He’s seen the fun side of friendly wagers. He acknowledges that he’s got the easiest task in our family weight bet (Catherine and I have to lose weight, he has to gain weight or grow).
Then he turned on me.
We’ve been playing a bit of Battleship on the iPads now and then.
They’ve extended the basic game a bit by adding super weapons. You unlock those by achieving various goal through the game. Sal was talking some trash to me the other day, because he unlocked the Sky Sword. It basically uses 1 shot to wipe out a 5×5 diamond on the board. I wasn’t sure if I had unlocked it on my account, since it sounded tough – winning a game in less than 10 turns. I was impressed he did that.
But you can’t show weakness.
So I told him I had a Sky SuperBomb which would fill up the entire board with one shot.
His eyes opened wide and he leaned across the table towards me.
“I bet you don’t!”
“Yes I do.”
“That’s not even possible in the game.”
“Yes it is.”
“What did you have to do to unlock it?”
“I don’t remember…something super tough though.”
He kept pestering me about the various super weapons. Till he found enough weakness, mixed with enough self-confidence…
“I bet you a hundred million thousand dollars you don’t have that weapon.”
“Ha. Sal, you can’t bet money you don’t have.”
“Okay. Five dollars.” He said it without a pause.
“Uh…I don’t think I’ll take that bet.”
“Because you don’t have it!”
So the next morning, we played. I kept bluffing that I’d use the Sky SuperBomb, but of course, I don’t have one. I was pleased that I had the Sky Sword though at least. But I missed everything with it. He got 2 hits with his.
I still won the game. Couldn’t let him know I didn’t have that super weapon and lose the game all in one fell swoop after all.
But I am pretty sure I only won just a battle…not the war.