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Choco, My Shorts and Me


Here we would like to tell the tale of a most unusual, unique wager; perhaps the most unusual ever in the world of chat. It’s the story of how Choco got me, Joey, out of my shorts.

JOEY:The story begins in the fall of 2000 and involves the same characters from Chats Most Embarrassing Moment. Choco and I had known each other about a year then, and anyone who knows her knows she has a bit of a competitive side. During that first year, we had had a few wagers. These usually involved sports—hockey, tennis, football. Choco won every one, which she enjoyed because I am supposed to be the sports expert; I think she is just a lucky guesser. ;-)

Choco began a campaign to enter into a wager on who would do the best in the NHL season. I knew she would be picking her beloved Colorado Avalanche; I thought about it and my choice was the Dallas Stars, who had beaten out the Avs the past 2 seasons. We modified the bet to who went the furthest in the playoffs, with regular season record being the tiebreaker.

Then we had to determine a wager.

Choco knew what she wanted right away. Many times I had mentioned my blue shorts in chat. They are very nice shorts and I wore them a lot. Since I had confidence in my selection I agreed.

I thought awhile about what I wanted her to put up. Just about this time Choco had mentioned a wedding she had gone to and the sweater she had worn there got a lot of attention from the men there. We began referring to it as her slutty sweater. Finally I decided this was what I wanted her to risk and she agreed.

So the season went along. The Avs got off to a great start and began running away with the best record. Whenever she could, Choco would remind everyone in chat of our wager, and try to convince me to, in her words, SEND ME THE SHORTS! Or something to that effect. She talked of her great plans for them—a spot reserved on her wall for them; photographing them for possible web publication. I held out hope, Dallas was winning their division and finishing strong, and such a veteran team should do well in the playoffs. I even got a few comments in about winning the sweater and running it up my flagpole ;-) .

The playoffs started. Colorado swept by Vancouver and Dallas beat a tougher Edmonton team in 6 games. Both our teams advanced. The Avs lost a game to Los Angeles and I seemed in real good shape.

Then disaster struck in Texas. The Stars lost their first 2 games to St. Louis AT HOME. Colorado came back to win 3 straight over LA and the Stars lost AGAIN, in St. Louis. At this point it doesn’t matter what the Avs do if Dallas loses, as Choco has the tiebreaker.

Finally on May 3 it was over. Dallas was swept out. It was official; Choco had beaten the pants off of me. Even though I lost, I still think it was a cool, original wager.

I prepared the parcel, sadly said goodbye to my favorite blue shorts, and mailed them May 9. They arrived at Choco’s on May 16.

CHOCO:I didn’t find out about my victory until May 4th and I admit there was a spring to my step all day. I didn’t catch up with Joey until May 6th and had decided when I did see him to be generous and not gloat about the shorts. However, as soon as I saw him sign on, I admit all rationale flew out the window and with it the any semblance of maturity. No hello Joey ….no hi nice to see you … Only me carrying on like I had won the lottery. I believe at any given point in time that night, Joey probably had grounds for a restraining order. He told me he would let me know when he had posted the shorts and did so on May 9th. I then learned to appreciate whoever came up with the saying “snail mail”.

The days dragged on and with them my anticipation grew. I don’t have an actual count of how many people I had told that I had won this bet. But I think it’s safe to say it would be easier to count how many I didn’t tell as opposed to how many I did. On May 16th my hubby called me at work. My office was very crowded and noisy. There was no greeting, no hello, nothing. The only thing he said was….”they’re here”.

At that point I forgot where I was and let out a scream that I am sure was heard thru the entire building. Everybody in the room stopped to look at me, with concerned expressions. I told my co- workers that the shorts had arrived, and as a collective group they all rolled their eyes, muttered, some, and you know who you are, uttered profanities and walked away. I was a clock-watcher for the rest of the day and as soon as six o’clock rolled around I was out of there. I am sure I arrived home in record time. I ran into the house, which was rather shocking, as I can’t remember the last time I actually ran, and my hubby and two children were just standing there staring at me. My hubby pointed to our computer table and sitting on the chair was the parcel. I grabbed it and ran down the hall and locked myself in the bathroom. I picked this room because it’s the only room with a lock on it. I wanted to open this by myself.

I opened the box and of course they were every bit as great as I had hoped they would be. I finally came out of the bathroom and jumped around the island in my kitchen singing the theme to the movie Rocky (“Gonna Fly Now…"). Finally after about four laps around the island my hubby looked up from the newspaper he was reading, looked at me and said, ”you need serious help”.

JOEY:So the playoffs went merrily along. The favorite team of my heart, the Pittsburgh Penguins, won their first two rounds and played New Jersey for the Eastern title. Choco’s Avs were up against St. Louis for the Western championship. I considered the possibility of a new wager if the Finals wound up being Penguins vs. Avs. Alas that was not to be; the Avs handled St. Louis and held up their end of the bargain, but the Pens failed to win but one game against New Jersey. With the Finals being Jersey against Colorado, no wager was possible; I couldn’t bet on Jersey and Choco of course had the Avs.

While Choco did seem excited by the Avs being in the Finals, she admitted to a bit of a problem. Watching the actual games made her nervous. So we worked out a routine where we would meet each game night in chat, and I would watch the game and keep her updated, provided I held her hand during each update. I had no problem with that!

The Avs romped in Game # 1. Although they lost Game # 2, they came back and won Game # 3, breaking a long losing streak in Jersey. So far it was working out well.

Then disaster began to strike. In Game # 4, Choco’s favorite player, Avs Goalie Patrick Roy, made a bad mistake trying to handle the puck and Jersey got an easy, game-tying goal, and later scored again to win. Then, Game # 5, back in Denver, the Avs dropped another one. Going back to New Jersey for a game, the Devils were up 3 games to 2.

Choco then told me, for during Game # 6, to give the Avs a bit of a good luck boost, she was planning on wearing the shorts. I was surprised, but just a little; Choco is the kind of person willing to try anything. I thought of every good luck charm I knew…I placed 5 pennies on my desk face up, with a charm 4-leaf clover in the middle. I told Choco I was trying to think of something to put in my freezer to freeze Jersey and I couldn’t think of anything; she thought of a Jersey Candy Bar they sell there and she bought one and put it in her freezer. We were pulling out all the stops.

Well the game began; the Avs jumped right out on the Devils, and never let up. Jersey just couldn’t get anything going; the Avs scored 4 times and Roy notched his shutout. We were both happy for a while but that was tempered by knowing that 2 nights later there would be one more game, Game # 7, winner takes all.

Of course, as we had all series we would be meeting in chat while I watched, reported, and held Choco’s hand. With the “luck” we had brought the Avs for Game # 6, we were repeating everything we had done lest we should break the good luck streak. Choco was wearing the shorts again and kept the Jersey Bar in the freezer; I had my pennies and 4-leaf clover intact.

Choco even had the opportunity to go to a few concerts that Saturday night—one being Eric Clapton—but turned them down in favor of the game. Her friends and family thought her crazy, but she had come this far with the Avs and she wasn’t giving up now.

The game began. Avs scored first…and second…and third!!! Jersey finally got one back, but the second intermission came and it was 3-1 Avs.

The last 20 minutes seemed to take forever. We chatted, I watched the clock slowly wind down, and kept Choco updated. No one was scoring. As the clock wound down to 30 seconds, Choco finally relented and turned on her television. At long last the buzzer sounded, the Avs had won 3-1 and 4 games to 3, and Patrick Roy was named Playoff MVP. We were both very happy, and it almost felt as if we were a part of making it happen! As the buzzer sounded I e-mailed Choco a graphic I had made earlier in the day…an Avs logo with “2001 Stanley Cup Champs” underneath.

We “celebrated” our victory by ourselves and decided that June 9 would always be our “Stanley Cup” night. Choco even blocked some of her friends from Messenger while we celebrated, but not out of spite…it was just such a special time for both of us.

For me, it turned out well worth the price of a pair of athletic shorts (and the postage to mail them ;-) ). I really had a blast with it, and in the end the last team I picked won out after all. I’m sure Choco had loads of fun too; after all, she got the shorts in her permanent possession, her team won the Cup in an exciting fashion, and she got to tell everybody (and I do mean Everybody!) of her triumphs. But what a blast that was too.

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