It is officially on. It’s on like the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. What is? The bet, my friend.
I have officially entered the debaucherous underworld that is betting. This weekend, while missioning around town, we met my friend Mahon at Sheridan’s Irish Pub for a pint. Mahon ended up telling a story about how he cycled from the east to the west of Ireland to a music festival on a racing bicycle because his friends bet him he couldn’t do it. Not only did he make it, says my Irish friend, but he beat his friends who were travelling to the said festival in a car…
Now, maybe this doesn’t sound that unbelievable, but then you don’t know Mahon. A short description follows: My Irish friend is a skinny white guy with shaved red hair, who smokes more than a pack a day and drinks himself to death…literally. He is probably that white because he doesn’t come out at night. Why? Because he starts drinking in the morning and by the afternoon he’s too kieshed to move so he either drags himself home or gets dragged home. I’ve never seen him move faster than at slow, deliberate, walking pace – the kind you do when you’ve got to take a dump but you’re scared of running to the toilet in case of an accident so you carefully manoeuvre yourself towards the bathroom. Actually, I lie. He chased me about 20 metres down the road one night after we left Sheridan’s because I was singing a horrendous rendition of “Finnegan’s Wake” and he hated it. He was out of breath for three days.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love this guy, he’s an awesome, kind-hearted dude that’s supposedly a wizard with a paintbrush and a poet to boot. Sounds a bit like the tragic Dylan Thomas but Mahon would probably chase me another 10 metres down the road for comparing him to a Welsh writer. As I was saying, he’s a fantastic guy and has become a good friend this year, but when he regaled us with that one particular tall tale, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Gently nudging my way towards my goal, I asked whether he would be able to do something similar again, to which his Irish ego obviously took offence that I could even suggest that he was not in good enough shape to attempt the miraculous feat again. Thus, I proffered the invitation, involving a wager of $100, to cycle to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City next weekend (Vung Tau is a seaside town about 120 km from Ho Chi). Mahon said he could do it any day of the week and that I just needed to provide him with a racing bicycle.
So, barring any divine interventions, Mahon has to cycle to VT within the daylight hours of next Saturday for $100, stops for beer are allowed, but if he forfeits he owes me $300 and if he fails in the attempt he owes me $100, which I have gladly offered to donate to charity, barring I don’t have to pay for the ambulance back to Ho Chi after he collapses with a heart seizure, severe abdominal cramps or an irritable bowel, in no particular order.