the woodlands are closing.
kansas city's dog race track used to be a huge attraction back in the late 80s and early 90s, but their business has been declining drastically and they will have their last day of races on Aug 23, 2008. this isn't the saddest news of my life, but it definitely isn't something that particularly excites me.
a few friends and i have gone to the woodlands on a number of occasions. we have a system of greatness that we like to employ when we make our minuscule bets. we start by all putting $10 in a pot and betting together - therefore, winning and losing together. we make $2 quinella bets over and over. sounds monotonous, but its not. we quickly purchase a $1 booklet with all sorts of information about the dogs racing in the days events: past races, weight, class, gender, etc. we act like there is a rhyme or reason to it all, but it really just boils down to luck i've decided.
in fact, the only substantial amount of money i've ever won out at the woodlands was on a mistake bet made by my buddy, dan. we had perused the dog selections and had decided to pick dogs 3 and 8 to take the top two spots in the race. it was dan's turn to make the walk to the betting booth to make the official wager. he got back, sat down, and the race began. dog 3 looked great, but from start to finish, dog 8 was in dead last. a pitiful performance - we were losers. but for some reason, dan was stressing out and jumping around the whole race.
turns out, dan had messed up the bet and gone with 3-6 by mistake, winning us $103.
we went ape.
that mistake is where my sadness comes from today. the woodlands provided me with extreme excitement that evening, and every time i think of the race track my mind goes directly to that moment. i wasn't thrilled about the money (though it was nice), but any time your morale can go from loser to champion in a single moment it's going to be a moment to remember.
there was also a dog named "Whataburger" that raced regularly. yum.
RIP woodlands. i really wish you didn't have to go. however, i don't blame you for closing your doors when punks like me show up twice a year and win. i feel somewhat guilty actually.
there was an article in the kc star about it that made me feel even guiltier. now that the tracks are closing there are tons of greyhounds who need homes. they're currently being kept in kennels at the racetrack and will have no home in less than a month. so, if you know anyone who wants to adopt a really fast dog, you should give a call out to the woodlands.
but i also feel bad about profiting off a 'sport' where animals are kept as entertainment. it somewhat taints that thilling feeling i just told you about. makes me wish these creatures had a greater purpose than to run around a track for the enjoyment of a bunch of homosapiens hoping for a pay day. it makes dogs seem more like fish or hamsters. or maybe lab rats...if the scientists were making wages on how long it'd take the mouse to find the cheese at the end of the maze.
there's some sort of injustice here i feel like, but i can't place my finger on it perfectly. i feel bad cause i can't have fun there anymore, but i feel bad for having any fun there in the first place, and that makes me feel worse about wishing i could go have one last hoorah before it goes out completely. what i'm saying is, i feel bad for a number of reasons...it's a complicated emotion.