The Old Bet

Right before you read this, you need to know a few things.

I am a fully-grown man. I am a highly functioning, academically successful, fully-grown man. In fact, I am not only fully-grown, but also somehow, I manage to hold down a job as the head of a department of data nerds. You could say that I’m king nerd in our organisation.

I’m forced to lay this down at the outset, because the rest of this post will probably make you think that I’m a child and not a very useful child at that.

It all stems back to a bet I used to have with a childhood friend of mine. We had grown up living across the road from each other, and we had formed our friendship when 50p was a huge amount. So, naturally, our bet stems back to these days. The bet propositions have gotten larger and grown with age, and yet the bet stakes haven’t. We have a rule of the 50p bet. Now don’t think I’m that stupid, our bet uses the very same 50p piece every time. Inevitably, it’s more about the ownership of the coin, than it is about the money.

I’m writing this wasting some time before my flight back from Barcelona. One of our 50p sports bets has left me sitting in the airport in Barcelona wait to get home and hopefully back into work before 9am.

I had a week off and had no plans. I was going to chill at home and probably spend far too long and far too much money looking through the best online sports betting Australia had to offer. Why Australian? Well more than probably because I was bored.

Then the pub happened and the 50p bet got introduced. Barcelona is almost exactly one thousand miles from where we had met for a drink. One drink and a lot of chat. That chat turned into a little brag about how long it would take to cycle to Barcelona.

My calculation was based on cycling at ten miles per hour for twelve hours a day. Then I decided that neither of which would be difficult to achieve and therefore in a long week, the whole journey should be easily achievable. Well, this was Friday night.
Before I had even got home on the Friday night, I had booked the ferry and was already looking for flights back.

It’s amazing what power a 50p coin holds over both of us. We both know that it didn’t matter who was going to offer the challenge or who was going to accept the bet, one of us was going to be waking up on Saturday morning and heading off for a very long bike ride.

The mere fact that I was right in my assumptions is completely irrelevant. It was all about reverting back to our childhood and the fascination which only a 50p can bring. The prospects of bags of sweets and cans of coke. Even now, writing this stuck in an airport where 50p won’t buy me anything, I know that I won and that brings back a childish smile to my face.

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