Wedding odds 

Sitting in front of my laptop Saturday night of a conference, I am so thoroughly bored that I'm flipping through the Sports Guy's archives.

I stumble upon this old mailbag entry:

Q: What types of non-sporting events do you bet on? We recently attended a wedding in Atlantic City, and had the following lines in play:

Number of bridesmaids: +/- 6

Number of ice sculptures: +/- 3

Length of church service: +/- 45 minutes

Time when first drunk guest makes a fool out of themselves: +/- 9.30 p.m.

Any ideas for other events? -- Mike K., Philadelphia

SG: You came to the right place. I've attended so many weddings over the past 10 years, they've all merged together into some sort of drunken haze. And let's face it: Every wedding is pretty much the same. By the time you hit your late-'20s, you could care less about who's getting married; you only want a fast ceremony, an open bar, and a cool balcony or deck outside where everyone can smoke butts.

So sprucing the festivities up with gambling. ... I mean, that's inspired genius. Let's assume that we're working with a 5 p.m. wedding ceremony, just for the sake of accuracy. Here are some other things you could gamble on:

1. Quality of the best man's toast vs. quality of the cake (even odds): This one could be especially fun if you wagered heavily on the best man, then he choked in his speech, and you wanted to kill him afterward. And yes, few things in life are more enjoyable than someone screwing up a best man's speech. I can't believe somebody hasn't turned "Worst Best Man Speeches" into its own TV show yet.

2. Girl who catches the bouquet hooks up with the guy who catches the garter (10-1 odds): I've only been to one wedding where this ever happened, so the 10-1 odds seem generous here.

3. Groom's horny friend starts grinding on the dance floor with somebody's attractive cousin who isn't 21 yet (even odds): And somebody's mother is always horrified. You can usually see this one coming. As an aside, I was delighted when this exact scenario happened at my wedding. It was a dream come true.

4. Band plays "I Will Survive" (+/- 8:45pm): I hate this song. There's always that one girl on the dance floor who just broke up with someone and gets a little too into the lyrics. Calm down, honey.

5. Token slutty bridesmaid goes after a waiter, band member, or any friend of the groom attending the wedding without his girlfriend (wager $400 to win $100): Easy money. When you mix the emotions of "I'm sad because my friend's getting married and I'm still single" with "I'm horny and drunk" and "Everyone looks good because we're all dressed up," just about anything's possible. They probably can't make these odds high enough.

6. Groom cries or faints during the wedding ceremony (3-1 odds): And here's the worst thing: You can't really make fun of them afterward. It was too big of a moment. So you might as well wager on it.

7. Puking or fisticuffs during the reception (10-1 odds): Although these odds drop to 3-1 in the general Boston area.

8. The Mother-Groom dance is "You Look Wonderful Tonight" (20-1 odds): We needed a long-shot wager on here. Imagine the excitement if you had 20-1 on Clapton and those first few seconds of the song started playing.

9. Fat guys dancing without their jackets and sweatstains under their arms (+/- 2.5): Another great part about weddings. Huge, sweeping sweatstains are always funny.

10. The token "couple who's been dating for three years and either need to get engaged or break up" have a huge blowout during the wedding reception (even odds): Not good times. Uh-oh ... I'm having flashbacks ...

And the ultimate long-shot bet...

11. Wedding called off at last minute (50-1 odds): It's dark, it's evil ... but a $10 bet wins you $500. More than enough to pay for your tux.

No wedding I have ever been to has ever had the prospect of any of these items happening. I think I need to find new friends.

Do Not Trade A Superstar For Less Than Equal Value 

A more restrictive rule that requires less judgment is Do Not Trade A Superstar, Ever.

If the Red Sox unload Manny Ramirez, I will jab my eye with a rusty nail repeatedly.

In other news, the Yankees plucked Alan Embree off the scrap heap. It is clear that this is somehow going to turn out bad for Boston -- if he stops serving up gopher balls, he'll provide New York with the solid left-handed reliever they've been missing the last couple years.

EDIT: As big a headcase as Manny is, things could definitely be worse.


Life imitating The Simpsons, again 

Did anybody else notice that Team Discovery Channel won the Tour de France?


Sending a message 

One of these new ads by the Partnership for a Drug Free America tries to scare teenage boys by telling them that steroids can mess up their bone development and lead to liver cancer.

I wonder if there's some reason they don't mention that steroids will shrink their balls.


Lawmakers to extend fall Ultimate frisbee season by one week 



The moon is made out of... 

...a rectangular lattice of plastic-looking cheese, according to Google. (Ed: link fixed.)

At the very least, they could have used one of the sixteen other crystallographic patterns.



Amazon.com is now ten years old. I once remarked that any bozo could launch a dot-com that would lose hundreds of millions of dollars in a few years, much as I once remarked that any bozo could write a chess program that would lose to Garry Kasparov. Oops.

I'm quite heartened to see that the Beatles and U2 are 1-2 atop the bestselling musicians list. I'm quite nonplussed to see that Spencer Johhson (Who Moved My Cheese?), John Grisham, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins (Left Behind), Robert Atkins, Stephen R. Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and Tom Clancy are all among the top 25 authors.

No prizes for guessing what the top three selling DVDs are.



David Wells on Kenny Rogers:

"Some guy's being aggressive with a woman, and she says no, and he keeps on doing it. Well, you know what's going to happen. No is no in anything, when it comes to sexual or you know, whatever it is. No is no. And I'm sure Kenny said, 'Hey, get it out of my face, don't do it.' But no, they want the big story, they want the scoop, you know?"

Terry Francona on David Wells:

''I don't think Boomer has ever been accused of thinking before he opens his mouth."


Most commented-upon blog post in history? 

It's a tribute to our wacky friends on the other side of the pond. Feel free to pile on.


Plot hole of the week 

(minor spoiler alert)

If the electrical storms in War of the Worlds are capable of knocking out wristwatches and AC power, shouldn't they be able to stop the human central nervous system?

Musings from Los Angeles 

Traffic in Los Angeles is ridiculous, but part of this is no doubt due to the fact that drivers actually let you in if you need to make a sudden lane change. Contrast this with being stuck in the left lane of one of the tunnels on I-93 in Boston during rush hour.

LA desperately needs elevated trains and express lanes on the 405, but it's a bit late for that now.

For the last week I've had to commute from my relatives' place in Torrance to UCLA, about 10-15 miles. Having surfed the radio stations for an hour during each trip, I can safely conclude that LA is a radio wasteland.

I'm reaaaaaly glad that I found on-campus housing (I'll be moving out of my aunt and uncle's place in a few days).

Southern California is very hilly terrain. As a result, the mathematics building at UCLA has exits on the fifth floor on one side of the building, the fourth floor on another side, and the second floor on another side.

Large portions of the UCLA campus are under construction. The result is that it's almost impossible to walk in a straight line between any two buildings.

The UCLA science library and mathematics reading room both catalog the Springer Lecture Notes in Mathematics by Library of Congress call number, instead of putting them all on one shelf. Kind of silly.

I'm sharing a temporary office at the math department with one other guy. When the department chairman showed me my office, my officemate reminded him that a chair needed to be fixed. The department chairman ran back to his office to grab some screws and a screwdriver in order to fix the chair. Now I know California has been suffering budget problems, but this is surreal.


Last night, I ate at a Japanese steakhouse with my uncle, aunt and cousin (at whose place I am currently residing). In the process of cooking a large slab of onion, the chef stacked the concentric rings on top of each other, creating a conical structure. He then squirted some water into the center, making it look a bit like a volcano. A twenty-ish-year-old gal sitting at the center of the table asked the chef what liquid that was.

Had I been sitting next to hear and thinking more quickly, I would have told her that it was a toxic chemical called dihydrogenous monoxide.


Just a reminder 

Al-Qaeda and related groups have declared war on the entire civilized world. The bombings in London are just another episode in said war.

And to those who would blame this attack on the quagmire in Iraq -- note that Afghanistan is on the list of grievances as well.

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