The baseball postseason always makes me think about my betting buddy Aline. Aline was like a spring breeze, (actually she was more like a tornado looking for a place to touch down and cause trouble) that blew into my life when I was working at Northgate Salon.
Aline came every Wednesday evening after work to get her hair set. She was always with her best friend Adah, who I thought was a sister for a long time because they were so close. Liz set their hair one right after the other one.
Liz and I were the only ones working Wednesday nights and if we were busy Aline would answer the phone for us. Most of the time she just asked them to hold or if she could she would ask us the question for the person on the line.
One night a man called and wanted a haircut, and she asked if one of us had time. Liz said if he could come right away that she could while the two of them were under the hairdryer.
Aline didn’t leave it at that but asked him about getting it blown dry, but not in those exact words. Liz and I about had a heart attack when the words came out of her mouth. We both dropped our scissors and ran for the phone.
But the guy had hung up and arrived at the shop in record time. Thank heavens he was a regular, and he got a kick out of her wording. After that Aline was banned from answering the phone.
Aline was an avid Royals fan or maybe it was an excuse to pull my chain since I don’t like the Royal’s. I could see no reason to change, when the upstart Royal’s came on the scene years after I became an avid Yankee’s fan in grade school.
The fact that the two teams became staunch rivals only made it more fun to argue with Aline. Then she suggested we start betting on our teams and the bet was always $1.00 a game.
When I started fixing her hair, after I moved my shop to the house, I would bet with her no matter what team the Royals were going to play. I put a dollar in a drawer the minute I bet her just in case I lost. Knowing full well that even if I did lose the bet I would get the dollar back as a tip when she left the shop.
If I lost the bet I would tape the dollar on the outside of the door into the shop. If it wasn’t there when she walked up to the door she would start yelling, “Where is my dollar? You lost the bet and you owe me a dollar!”
If I won the bet I would hang a note on the door that said in big bold letters: I WON THE BET, WHERE IS MY DOLLAR? When she drove onto the drive I would stop working and watch the door. As soon as she was out of the car the shop door would fly open and a wadded up dollar bill would come sailing into the shop.
Then she would say,” There is your D _ _ _ dollar. Then her next statement would be, “I will get you next time……do you want to bet tonight?” “You’re On!” I would say and the money would go into the drawer, just in case.
One bet a week was normally our limit, but she certainly got more enjoyment out of that $1.00 than most people could. When the World Series came around it didn’t matter who was playing we always had a bet.
Now the bet jumped to $5.00. I always let Aline choose the team she wanted but if the Yankee’s or the Royal’s were playing in the series it was a given who we would bet on. The bet was on the series not each game.
One year the Yankee’s were in the series so we knew who we would be betting on. She had a nephew that was in Africa, working for the State Department, and he wanted to bet with her on the series too.
The only problem was; he wanted the same team that she wanted so she had to bet for the Yankee’s to win with him and against them with me. If the Yankee’s won she would pay me and then he had to pay her.
But if the other team won my $5.00 would go to her and she would send it to him because he won the bet between them. She didn’t come out ahead either way that year. But she didn’t care; it was the betting that made it fun for her.
Even when the baseball season was over she would call me to place a bet on a basketball or football game. I don’t follow football or basketball; in fact I don’t know anything about the pro teams. But it didn’t stop me from betting with her.
She would call early in the evening when someone she liked was playing to see if I would bet on the other team to win. “Of course, I will bet against your team!” I would say. Then I would check the paper the next morning so I knew if I had won or lost a dollar.
It really ticked her off if I won when I didn’t have a clue about the teams or even watched the games. But whoever she wanted to bet on I would always bet on the other team. It wasn’t whether I won or lost it was just to get Aline’s dander up.
Aline showed me a cartoon strip one day; it was a moving van in Heaven outside the gates, with a lady watching the men unload it. An angel, probably St. Peter, was standing inside the gate. The caption said, “You can’t bring that with you!” and the lady said: “You wanna bet!” Now that was definitely Aline.
Aline passed away very unexpectedly and we had a bet on a ball game the night she died. I lost the dollar that night and she got the last laugh; she won the last bet. I made sure she had the dollar in her hand when they buried her.
Knowing Aline as I did, I knew she would need that dollar when she arrived at the pearly gates. She probably bet St. Peter that he was going to let her in. And I am betting he lost if he bet against her. To contact Sandy: [email protected]