Sunday the Patriots play the Indianapolis Colts, who are the worst team in the league this year and maybe one of the worst teams of all-time. The Colts are usually good, because their quarterback is usually Peyton Manning, but he's got a stubbed toe or a broken neck or some damn thing, so now they're using men with names like Painter and Orlovsky, and good gravy are they awful.
I don't like Peyton Manning, because he looks silly and sometimes he has the nerve to be better than Tom Brady, but I wouldn't wish a serially stubbed toe on anyone. I hope he enjoys a full and speedy recovery—now that I've had my fill of horse-bloodlust.
For a while it was fun to watch the Colts get taken to the Slim Jim factory every week, but now watching them lose is even more boring than watching the Packers win; at least Packers fans have the good sense to show their regional pride by wearing foam cheddar on their heads. The good (as far as I know) people of Indianapolis might consider a similar flair with ... [Google pause] ... seems Indianapolis is home to erection-drug stalwart Eli Lilly.
Anyway, this Sunday seems a fine time for Emily and me to fire up the train and embark on the next leg of our Intergalactic Exploration of Smallish Cities With Commuter Rail Stations Within Walking Distance of Bars. We need something unfootball to peg this Sunday on, because the Pats/Colts game is at the inconvenient hour of 1:00 p.m., and the only way it could possibly be compelling is if my favorite team suffers the most unlikely defeat in NFL history.
New England is favored to win this game by about 21 points. This means that for a dollar correctly gambled to become a dollar scuzzily earned, you need to decide not if the Patriots will win, but if they'll win by greater or fewer than three touchdowns. This betting line is a useful indicator of the expected outcome, but it has no practical application to my life, because I don't bet on sports, or much of anything else beyond the pharmaceutical industry developing a Magic Health Pill by the time my goutabeteshrossis kicks in.
But I'm not gambling-abstinent. I certainly see the appeal of all games of chance, but I avoid the ones that disguise themselves as games of skill. I adore barroom Keno, a bingolike game where you pick a bunch of numbers and if they pop up on the TV, you win. Yippee! I play three times a year, lose $10 each time, and consider my life much the richer for it.
Sports gambling is much more pernicious, because it invites you to pretend that you have any actual insight into the Patriots' chances to beat the Colts by 22 instead of 20. A great and shady friend of mine used to operate one of those 900-number gambling advice hotlines. Oh if only this were the appropriate forum for telling some of those stories. Alas, this is not jail or television or Caligula's bachelor party, so I think it's time we shift over to our weekly discussion of the deviled eggs and Bloody Marys with which we will honor the Indianapolis Colts.
For the Deviled Eggs
It's a small shame that I wasted the horseradish theme last week, because it was clearly best suited to a team called the Colts, but lucky for us all it's the sort of shame that gives birth to brilliance. This week we're going to serve our eggs hot, and we're going to serve them with oatmeal inside, because horses eat oats and people don't eat hay. Make oatmeal to your heart's desire, then blob it into half a hollowed-out boiled egg white, then pop it under the broiler for a good few to get it all crispy and devilish.
For the Bloody Marys
Again, horseradish is too easy, plus it's already in the master recipe. I was toying with horse homonyms, but how do you cram a Kardashian or a sore throat into a Bloody Mary? This brings us back to the Slim Jim. Did you see the guvmint might re-allow the slaughter of horses for human consumption? Well, where do you think the mechanically separated portion of that horse meat is going to end up? Yup, standard Mary, garnished with a Slim Jim.