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Mr. Wrong

Make Money. Gamble Better.

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 3/24/2010

I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago and besides less snow and higher temperatures, they have Dog Tracks down there, although they like to call 'em "Kennel Clubs," because that's classy. But we're talking about strapping muzzles on a bunch of greyhounds and sticking them in stalls and then springing them to chase an electric fake rabbit around a track a coupla times, so you can call it whatever you want, but it ain't very classy.

Anyway, it is Gambling, so, naturally, I attended the Dog Track while I was in Florida, and let me tell you that the Dog Track is pretty much everything you think it is, and less, even if you have never been to a Dog Track. So this really isn't about the Dog Track aspect of the Dog Track, because, of course, I made some bets on the dogs a coupla times, but it's nothing like horse racing. I mean, you have odds and there's info about each dog's breeding and racing record, but the race is over in, like, 5 seconds, and unless one of the dogs falls down on the track, once one of 'em is out in front, that's pretty much it, and there's no strategy behind how the dogs run, you know?

They're all just like that dog in the commercial for the dog treat that is supposed to be a simulacrum of bacon, where you get this stream of consciousness of the canine's Inner Monologue as he realizes there's some stuff that smells like bacon, so he's freaking out until he finds it. That's pretty much the way these racedogs go at it, Dog Trackwise. They just are, like, in this tiny concrete bunker for a sec, lined up with the other dogs, and they're barking like, Hey, what the heck what am I doing in here? I can hear some other dogs barking so I'm gonna bark, too, because I mean, really, what the hey, when you gonna let us out? And then they run the electric rabbit by and open the gates, and then the dogs are like RABBIT! Holy crap gotta get it gonna get that little rabbit and rip its fuzzy little throat out and gotta catch that rabbit gotta get it get it get it get it arrgh rabbit rabbit rabbit . . . where'd the rabbit go?

So my only suggestion for improving the Dog Track is to put little Monkey Jockeys on top of each dog. Actually, I'm not sure how that would work out, but anyway, as far as the Ethics or whatever of having Dog Track, the dogs all look pretty happy to be out running around for, like, a whole two minutes or whatever, because at the end of the race, they're all wagging their tails. And you can tell by the look on their faces they had fun chasing the electric rabbit even though they didn't know it wasn't a real rabbit, but you can totally tell how they feel, because dogs totally have facial expressions, not like cats, that just sorta stare at you, or else they're asleep. But getting back to the greyhound-dogs, I saw the cages they keep 'em in at the track and that doesn't really look like too much fun, spending most of your day in one of those cages, and then when you're all played out from being a racing greyhound, the odds are you're gonna get executed, because, I mean, I don't have any, like, facts or anything, but there's no way all those hyper-twitchy dogs get adopted, you know?

So I'm not really too psyched about the Dog Track, as in it's not something I would suggest we get going here in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., while we seem to be looking for new gambling-based ways of Getting Paid, and I know horse racing isn't any better, as far as what kind of a deal it is for the horses, since they shoot 'em up with all kinds of dope and stuff, but let me tell you what else I saw at the Dog Track in Florida: Poker.

Yeah, baby, at this Kennel Club, they have a room where you can play Poker, and I was there on a Thursday, at two in the afternoon, and they had about 15 tables going with, like, nine people at each table, and if you want to play, after you "buy in," it costs $5 for every half hour to sit there and play, and the House Rake on each pot is 10 percent. So before you even get to the pots, the room I was in that day was pulling in, like, 15 tables times nine people times 10 bucks an hour equals $1,350 an hour, right? Yeah!

A Room where people try to take money from each other and the State gets a cut. How American is that? Gambling is a Basic Human Need, and This City and This State do not seem to understand you gotta go Next Level on this stuff and provide more variety and more challenge. Scratch-offs and Lottery and Slot Machines are boring, man. I mean, if that's all I can get, I'll take it, but nobody can even get this Slot Machine thing together in the City! I mean, come on, man. And how stupid is it to not have More Gambling at the Horse Track? How much extra dough could the State make if they had a Slots Tent up at Pimlico of the Preakness? Or a Poker Tent! I bet if Walmart wanted to run some slot machines, they'd already be up, you know?

www.theawl.com, mrwrong.tumblr.com

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