Thursday, May 14, 2009

OTB= Olde Tyme Barbershop, or The Sport of Kings

The air at the Kasson Road Barber Shop is notoriously thick with testosterone. Between the sports rags and the girly mags, sit most of Camillus’ sturdier specimens. The younger set, brought in unwillingly and unawares, usually fall victim to a hazing and dressing down that might have been standard 20-30 years ago in a shop such as this. Now, because of PC sensibilities, these have all but disappeared, cropping up only in these hidden suburban eddies.
"How can a room this cramped, laden with ozone-sucking hairspray and old newspaper clippings, be such a breath of fresh air?" said Mr. Hall, sliding into his favorite chair. As he nodded off during his regular trimming by Dominick, Mrs. Hall contented herself with the Derby news. “Are you betting on the Derby?” asked Dom. “Oh sure,” said Mrs. H. “Who can resist a long shot? We’ll probably lay some clams on ‘Flying Private’ at 50- 1.” “Would you put some money on a horse for me?” asked Dom, and he pressed $3.00 into Mr. Hall’s hand. “Place it on ‘Atomic Rain’ for me, would ya? I really like that name! Atomic Rain- sounds good, doesn't it?” Mr. H. rolled his eyes. “Looks like we’re going to the Auburn OTB this afternoon,” he sighed, and he paid the gentleman, glanced approvingly in the mirror and they left.
The Derby results are history already, and a long shot did come in, but it was neither Dominick’s nor the Halls’ horse. “Oh well,” said Mr. H. as he explained the finer points of the game to Dominick. “Easy come, easy go. The Preakness is next week and we’ll have another shot at winning.” Dom waved them off, discouraged by his loss, but Mrs. H. was not that easily deterred. “I’ve got my horses picked already,” she said, “and besides, the hot dogs at the OTB are the best in Auburn!” It’s a cinch the big black car will be parked there again come the weekend.

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