The Woodlands

My sister, A., and I went to the Woodlands today. It was the last day to bet before they closed the pens for good. I had never gone before and debated about wearing a bustle dress with a big floppy hat. Instead, I opted for my signature “is she attending a funeral somewhere?” outfit.

When we arrived, I was greeted with what I imagine NASA looked like in the 70s. Little cubicles with state of the art monitors watching the shuttle take off.

We had arrived several hours after the first race and wandered around the stadium sitting down at various tables before their owners came back to boot us off. Even if it was just a pen laying there, that meant the table was taken. And these people were ruthless. I mean, more so than if you cut in front of someone at Sizzler’s buffet.

Eventually one man got sick of watching our rigmarole and offered his table. We debated about ordering a Denny’s breakfast as the tables looked eerily similar. And what beats pancakes and gambling?
We were pretty excited about our first bet. A. ended up breaking even on this round. On the next, I won $30 for a $2 bet. I took my mom’s advice and put all my winnings in my purse. At the end of the day I was up $1.50. Nice for two hours of fun!
A man studying the menu, er- the odds of each greyhound. We brought the median age of the group down by about 40 years.
After spending just enough money, we started to wander around the complex. The lady at the entrance had told us there were no outdoor seating. And then we stumbled upon these benches! We felt outraged, put-on, and…
lonely. These weren’t exactly the popular seats. In comparison, the indoor stadium felt like Wall-E, with every one’s faces staring at a screen instead of watching something live.
We tried to bombard our way into where they keep the greyhounds, but Don was on top of his game. No way was he letting us past the ‘authorized’ area, you know, even though it was the last day. They stayed strong to the end. Let’s tip our hats to them, boys.
A. felt a kindred connection with Greyhound #6 after he “looked into my eyes, Carrie. I swear it” and wanted to go back in and bet on him. Or that might be the gambling addiction trying to find any excuse to play, A..
Instead, we stood on the side of the track and watched them to do a lap. It’s not until you can hear their paws pounding and their panting that you can appreciate the skills this particular breed of dog possesses. I hope they find good homes and don’t turn into something used to paste a kindergartner’s school project together. They really are beautiful.

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