"Who's in your multi this week?"
I was attempting to make strained conversation with the 40-something man I had to referee with. After the "what do you do?" thing I was pretty much out of ideas, so there was a a long pause and he asked me that question.
"My, uh, what?" I replied, because I'm quick like that.
Turns out a multi is a type of bet where you pick three sporting results and if you win you get more money than otherwise. Please feel free to tell me how wrong that explanation is in the comments because, quite clearly, I have no idea.
I don't bet on sport. Which means I am constantly befuddled by people who do bet. Not to mention people who profess to know how I should be betting, or people who throw away their careers over betting, or commercials that tell me how much fun I would be having if I made a bet on the game I'm watching - as though I'm not having fun, and am watching as some kind of self-flagellation.
Really the only sensible thing I can think of doing in regards to betting (other than sticking my money in my pocket and buying beer with it later) is to bet against the team you want to win because then if they lose you may be sad but you have some cash too.
But every week there are tips for betting. For tipping - which as far as I can tell is like betting but without the money - and for fantasy rugby. Fantasy rugby is something I have tried repeatedly to get into, but it involves a lot of numbers and very little drama, which is the opposite of what I look for when playing pretend.
And I just don't get it. Why do people give money to betting agencies, when those agencies have a lot of money already? Why do people think they have the best insider knowledge, when if you did, you'd be working for the bookie?
I'm not talking about poor folks here. I know why they bet - it's the only way they have to get a little bit of hope. Which is both cruel and a subject for a whole other website.
I'm talking about the guys (and it is always guys) who have the means to generate their own hope by putting that money into a savings account and looking at Tripadvisor.
Have they just never known the "am I going to have extra money at the end of this week" feeling - which could be mistaken for excitement by those who are unfamiliar with it - and really want to experience it? (Spoilers: It's no fun.)
Do they want objective, monetary proof that they are the best at predicting sports things? The existence of tipping says yes, because that seems like all the righteousness and none of the monetary penalty, but people still put actual money across actual tables.
Is a rugby match really more exciting when your money's on it?
That isn't a rhetorical question, I want to know. Tell me why you bet - or why you don't.
And what should I say next time the question "Who's in your multi" comes up?