In the fall of 2010, my good pal Bryan got married. I was his Bestest Man, so in July 2010 we had a heckuva bachelor party weekend. We went down to Louisville’s 4th Street Live, where a bunch of weird things happened. On Sunday, he wanted to finish the weekend in Broad Ripple to watch the World Cup Final.

I’m not exactly a soccer enthusiast, but I watch some. I appreciate it. Staunch soccer enthusiasts know the criteria for the winner of the Golden Boot. They’ll tell you that it’s awarded to the player who scores the most goals in the World Cup. A simple Google search will tell you that.

That’s where my favorite World Cup final story begins.

****

Bryan is a soccer enthusiast, and clearly he knew the criteria for the Golden Boot. Another man in our crew did not. And he insisted – loudly and for several hours – that it went to the overall leading scorer. Had he taken out his Razr flip phone or his iPhone 3, he would’ve figured this out. Instead, he drunkenly yelled false information and proclaimed everyone was stupid except for him.

The argument heated up. Our incorrect friend decided he knew this for a fact and would bet $500 on it. Again: he could’ve just Googled it and this could’ve ended right there. But he didn’t. He was in such a state – still going at sprint speed with vodka/sodas as everyone else was cooling down – that everyone agreed it’d be wrong to take the bet. We told the groom, “You can’t take his money.”

The clock ran. Spain would find the game-winner in the 116th minute. The argument continued. Loudly. Obnoxiously. On and on. “OK,” we all decided, “he needs to learn a lesson.”

Take his money.

****

$500 it is. Bryan wanted to buy a road bike. By the time Germany’s Thomas Mueller won the Golden Boot, our friend was in bad shape. The fever pitch of Spain and Holland will do that to a man. He had acted in a manner that everyone had unanimously decided the bet should be taken. It became one of those “it’ll hurt me more than it’ll hurt you” moments. But a bet was a bet. He was the challenger, he ran his vodka-singed mouth for 2 hours, and now it was time to pay.

I helped him down the street to the ATM. We walk down a busy Broad Ripple Avenue when he says, “Wait, I need to go get a check to put in the ATM.” In actuality, he didn’t say close to that, but I translated pretty well.

Moments later, he arrived back at the ATM. With a check. His severance check. For $19,346. To put into the ATM.

The ATM didn’t allow him to take out $500. So it had to be $400. Well, on the way, he tried to enter 4-0-0 himself but keyed in 4-0-0-0. I clicked Cancel and withdrew the money for him.

Twenty $20 bills shot out of the ATM, as they do. 400 dollars, in 20 bills. Our friend caught the twenty $20s in his hands…and immediately threw them in the air. Like LeBron did with the chalk toss. I scrambled to catch all of the bills in the air and on the concrete.

He walked away.

He’s Got Jokes

All that talk of a Mexico-Portugal final allowed many people to see this classic gag:

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