Grandmother’s are supposed to teach you a lot of things, like how to bake cookies, sew on buttons, or prune a rose bush. My Mémè doesn’t teach me those things though, instead she taught me the more important skills of life: how to cry my way out of speeding ticket, French cuss words, and that you should always bet a quinella at the race track.
I have to say, those lessons have probably come in more handy than pruning a rose bush ever will.
My Mémè started taking us to the races when I was about 7, maybe 8. She could have been taking us before, but I don’t remember that. We used to go to watch the dogs race or so she could bet on the horses. My Mémè has always been a gambler. Back then you could leave kids alone and as long as they were in shouting distance you didn’t worry about them too much, also you didn’t have to be 18 to go to the races. I learned pretty early how to read the race book, tell which dogs were good, too high strung, or sluggish, (if a dog pees on the way to the pen, he’s a winner) and my Mémè would split the winnings with us if we picked the right dogs.
I loved that old race track, we got Shirley temples, ice cream, and we always had a good time.
What’s a quinella? Well for you non-gamblers out there a quinella is when you pick the two racers you think will take first and second place and it doesn’t matter what order (there is also a quinella box and you an pick 3 under the same premise). Now you can place other bets too, but you should always place at least one quinella per race. They don’t pay out a lot but your more likely to win. At least according to my Mémè.
It’s not a bad way to bet on life either. You’ve got 4 or 5 things going on? Let’s say dates for example, pick the two you think are most likely to work out and you won’t be upset which ever one comes in first. Now, you do run the risk of neither of them being a winner, but hey, that’s the chance you take right?
I know you can’t bet on everything like you can on the races, but it’s never a bad idea to hedge you bet.