Taken for granite

Taken for granite

November 17, 2019

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by Trey Nosrac

My Silicon Valley pal is crazy rich. He was born into a middle-class family in central Ohio in the seventies, so he remembers the value of real money as it relates to real people. When I showed him the results from the first day at the Lexington yearling sale, he scanned the prices, gave a low whistle and spoke slowly.

“Spending that kind of money on an unproven young horse is an act of extraordinary optimism.”

I nodded. “Sort of like getting married.”

Then he asked me a serious question about male versus female relationships, which is like asking a Galapagos Turtle for flying instructions, “Where did your marriage go bad?”

“Let me count the ways. I had multiple counts, one didn’t last as long as an evening race program at Northfield Park.”

“Give me one time when your relationship took a bad turn.”

“One afternoon, I’m driving Amy to her sister’s house for one of those rip-off parties where women drink tea, then purchase woven baskets and trinkets from Guatemala for the price of processed plutonium. My plan was simple, drop her off, go home and gamble a few harness races on my computer in peace and quiet. Life was good.”

“Then it wasn’t?” he asked.

“We were idling at the stoplight in front of the Taco Bell two blocks north of the Beaverton Mall. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were ripping through a live version of “I Won’t Back Down” on my Ford Mustang CD player. I’m into the performance, strumming my steering wheel air guitar and joining Tom on vocals. Suddenly, my wife, Amy, punches the off button and asks, “What do you think of our kitchen countertops?”

“I don’t.”

“What do you think of the laminate.”

“I don’t.”

“What do you think of granite?”

“I’m a Kryptonite sort of guy.”

“We need our countertops replaced.”

“Are they broken?”

“They’re almost 20 years old.”

“Amy, you’re 32, should I be looking for a replacement?”

“I’m serious.”

“So am I.”

Her voice turned to butter, “The estimate was $6,000, give or take.”

“Give them a no and tell them to take a hike.”

“We could probably get it down to $5,000.”

I wagged a finger, “Or, we could get it down to zero by doing nothing and stop talking about countertops and minerals.”

“Don’t be sarcastic.”

“Listen, Amy, you could strip me naked, stake me to the ground, smear honey on my body, and set loose armies of fire ants and I could not remember our current kitchen countertop. Not to mention, you would need to repeat the fire ant experience before I would write a $6,000 check for countertops.”

“We don’t have to pay it all at once.”

“Amy, Amy Amy, if they were free granite countertops, they would be overpriced. I could place my beer bottles, chicken wings and potato chips on a piece of plywood. Let’s drop this subject.”

She began to sulk and plot. A few miles down the road I make my big mistake. I pull out the needle and ask her, “What do you think of buying a yearling harness horse?”

“I don’t”

“What color do you think we should buy, brown or black.”

“Very funny.”

“What do you think of trotters?”

“Don’t push it.”

“We need the excitement of live animals.”

“Keep this up Trey, there will be excitement

“For $6,000 we could purchase several shares of a horse with The Stable.”

“You’re such a child.”

My voice turned to butter, “You realized that buying into a yearling trotter has the potential of making money.”

“With you, not likely.”

“True, the odds that we turn a profit with a yearling are long. However the last time a $6,000 slab of granite in a kitchen made a profit was….well…never.”

“You’re such a smart ass.”

“Thank you.”

She finally got in the spirit and growled, “You could strip me naked, stake me to the ground, smear honey on my body, and set loose armies of fire ants and I would not let you waste money on ANOTHER racehorse.”

“We don’t have to pay all at once, the training bills are spread over time. I bet we could find some great yearlings on sale!”

At this point, my pal signaled with a finger roll he wanted more.

I said, “You know how a silly squabble can snowball?

“Oh yeah.”

“This stupid thing turned into a glacier. She wanted granite, I wanted a yearling. The battle of Granite Hill raged for another week. Suddenly we were like a Trump fan living with a never-Trumper. The other person was beyond reason. The marriage limped along for another six more months.”

He asked, “Did you get your yearling?”

“No, I barely got out with my golf clubs. I heard through the grapevine that her new counter-tops are black granite with silver speckles.”

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