No conversation with my brother is complete without the words "I bet you..." We've been doing this for as long as I can remember, I have no idea how it started. It is not a throw away comment. No, if the sacred words are spoken, stakes must be made. Unwritten rules.
Since the darling sibling moved into my house the betting has become a regular practice, resulting in the consumption of unhealthy food or imbibing in the winner's choice of wine. It comes so naturally now I don't even know I've made the bet until my hand is firmly encased in his and he is grinning that grin of his that makes me want to thump him on the forehead.
So far this week I've had to make nachoes, lost a bottle of wine, and then, in a brilliant double or nothing move, evened out the score card.
The nachoes resulted from a bet that Dear Brother would not be spending the evening at home. It was a suckers bet really because once nachoes came into play wild horses couldn't get him to go out. Stupidity on my part and not at all what one would expect from a vetern player like myself.
I lost a bottle of wine when Dear Brother announced that he would be running on the treadmill every day while visiting our parents. I snickered, I chortled, I guffawed. There was no way this kid was going to haul his butt out of bed to run on the treadmill. I knew him too well. "I bet you a bottle of wine you won't even go near the thing." When he returned on Sunday he informed me that he ran every day. I wasn't going to take his word for it so I checked with mom. Dammit! I really need to stop making these bets that involve him doing things for spite. That, and I should have hidden his sneakers in a better place.
All was not lost. Dear Brother was engaging in another of his annoying habits, taking my words and turning them into songs. This particular evening I was trying to get the Wild One to bed while the brother was in the kitchen singing "Eat that, brush your teeth, get your ass to bed..." I glared. He shrugged. Then he grinned. I wanted to thump his forehead so bad.
"Do you like that? I just wote it." Pause. "Actually you wrote it, I just put it to music." Pause. "I'm the Elton John to your Bernie Taupin." This was followed by a rousing rendition of Bennie and the Jets.
"I think Elton John did that song on the Muppets." I could picture him surrounded by muti-coloured creatures, but I wasn't sure if I was remembering Muppets or one of his costumes.
"Nope. He did Crocodile Rock and Don't Go Breaking My Heart."
I could feel a bet coming on. "I'm pretty sure he did several songs, more than most guest stars. I think he may have done Goodbye Yellow Brick Road as well."
Hands were extended. "Tell you what. Double or nothing if he even did one of those songs."
"And a bottle of wine for me if he did them both."
And so I sit at my computer, blogging, and drinking a lovely shiraz. I have never been let down by Elton or the Muppets.
Dear Brother is sulking in the kitchen, huffing and puffing and muttering under his breath. He hates to lose. Before this night is over he'll have thought of a way to get his bottle of wine back, maybe a burger or two. I'd put money on that. If I was a betting woman.