"You're on," Deborah said.
"Unfortunately we won't be able to watch it live," Chris responded, "So I'll Tivo it. We'll just avoid any news on the way home."
Chris and Deb had a reoccurring bet since they started dating. Chris was from Washington D.C. and a Redskins fan while Deb grew up in New York, and rooted for the Giants.
"I told Patty that it wouldn't make a difference if Timmy got christened next month, but she didn't agree. It starts at one thirty. And then there is lunch at some restaurant after." Deb said.
"We could skip the and maybe be home by five?"
"No, we can't. I know how much you hate small talk, but we'd miss the game anyway." The couple made their way through the mall, "So what's thewinner get this time?" Deb asked.
"Looser cooks for a week?"
"Hmm, I don't know if my stomach could handle winning that again."
"Hey!" Chris responded giving his wife a playful nudge on the shoulder.
Still laughing Deb said, "We need to pick up some of that coffee for Patty."
Deb guided Chris through the maze of retail, directly to the kitchen supply store. While Chris filled a one pound bag Deb wandered the aisles. When he had finished he found his wife perusing the cutlery section, "Do we need anything else?" He asked.
"Not really, unless I found our bet?"
"What do you mean?"
Deb said lifted a long breadboard, "the looser gets 10 with this?"It was 18 inches long unfinished wood with a handle carved into it.
Chris laughed out loud, "Um, ouch?"
"What's the matter, worried?"
"Me, my team has a quarterback."
"Ok then, ten for the looser, that's a good number."
"Ten how about a little more interesting? We'll go by the difference in the score?"
"Oh, I don't think I could hit you that many times. But if you think you can handle it, OK"
"Fine, may the best man win" Chris said emphasizing "man"
"The only position I have to think about is your's, bent over," She said holding out her hand. Chris took it and they firmly shook.
"Wow, that service was painful," Chris commented.
Debbie let another couple enter the restaurant ahead of them and tugged Chris' sleeve to stop, "That's three times you said painful in the last ten minutes. You preoccupied with what you're getting later." She whispered.
Chris laughed and walked through the door, "You betterhope not, because you'll be the one paying for it if you loose."
"If? You don't sound too confident," Deb said following.
One of the couple that they had entered with had over heard Chris' comment, "Sounds like someone has a bet going?"
Deb answered as they took their seats at a nearby table, "Chris and I always have a bet on any Giants Redskin's games."
"Mixed marriage huh?" The men said, taking a seat. As the whole table chuckled, the man's wife answered, "So what is the bet."
Deborah glanced at Chris who was reaching for his water glass. A mischievous grin spread across her face as she turned to the woman, "It's usually pretty tame, this time we've upped the stakes though." She turned back toward Chris. "This year the loser won't be sitting down for quite a while after the game."
Chris blushed. He didn't believe she would really say anything, but the way she'd been acting recently, Chris didn't want to take that chance. "Yeah, all the chores that were put off from coming down here get to be done by the looser after the game," Chris said as his eyes met Deb's.
The look she gave him said, "ha-ha made you small talk."
The rest of the lunch passed uneventfully. After coffee had been served, Chris leaned over to Deb, "We should get going. If we leave now we'll get home around the end of the late games."
"Well we have a long drive, it was nice meeting everyone." Debbie announced, "email me those pictures when you get a chance."
"As soon as I get home," answered the woman they walked in with.
Chris immediately went to the TV and checked the saved programs. There it was in big bold letters NFL FOOTBALL WASH VS NYG 1:00PM.
"You know? Part of me is a little disappointed," Deb said as she walked in carrying the paddle, "If you missed it, we could just check the final score and I could start using this on you," She laid the paddle across the top of the TV.
The first half passed quickly. There was more emotion in the living room than on the field. Deb taunted Chris about every good New York play, and ridicule for every Washington mistake. Chris' only response was, "you know, you really sound more like an Eagle's fan." She answered by sticking out her tongue. The half ended in a 6 - 6 tie.
Chris paused the TV, "Do you want something for dinner?"
"Good idea, you won't be able to sit comfortably to eat if we wait until after."
Chris chuckled, "What do you want?" "To eat," he added just as Debbie was going to make a smart comment.
"What ever you're having is fine," she said as she kissed him. "Having for dinner, not what you're getting later," she joked and grabbed his ass. "I'm going to get changed."
"Wear something easy to pull down," he replied giving her a squeeze.
Deb ran upstairs while Chris made two sandwiches. He put them, a bag of chips, and two beers on the coffee table. He stopped in front of the TV and hefted the paddle. Chris swung it slowly once through the air. This was certainly the heaviest implement they owned and a part of him was not looking forward to feeling it. Especially not tonight, "Let's go guys." He replaced the paddle and trotted toward the stairs like the players heading into the locker room.
Chris changed into sweatpants and his team jersey. Deb was across the hall at the computer in her Giants sweatshirt and stretch pants, "Just checking emails. We got those pictures for the christening."
"You ready to get put away in the second half."
"You were watching the same game I was right?"
"If it was the one with the sucky team in maroon, then yes" she joked.
"You just don't quit. You're cocky because it's close. Probably be decided by a field goal. So only three swats."
"Ok then, let's up the bet. Double?"
"You sure you want to do that"
"Yeah my arm won't get tired."
"OK then, double it is."
The second half went much like the first. Nothing exciting, but neither potential spankee gave up on their team. With under a minute to go, Washington had just tied the game.
"Come on boys, hold 'em and take this thing to overtime." Chris said leaning off the couch.
"Plenty of time Big Blue. A field goal for six of the best." The kick went up. Deep and long, it seemed to use up half the time on the clock while in the air. The New York Giant fielded it at the goal line. The ball bounced off his chest and landed a few yards in front "No!" Deb screamed.
The return man tried to scoop up the errant ball but only managed to bat it up the field. The Washington players drew closer.
"Fall on it, fall on it!" Chris yelled as if they could hear him. Two players dove for the ball but it avoided their grasps and bounced away. Finally as if the ball acted on purpose, it bounced perfectly into the waiting hands of one of the Giants. Most the other players were either on the ground or entangled with someone else. He took off down the field, easily out distancing everyone else. Only the kicker stood between him and the end zone.
Debbie kept chanting, "Go! Run you fool, run!"
Chris was transfixed mumbling quietly, "get him, get him." The kicker made a valiant attempt, diving for the Giant but only sprawled himself across the field. New York scored a touchdown with seconds left, and the rest of the game ticked away while Chris sat dumbfounded.
Deborah on the other hand instantly sprang up and retrieved the paddle, "Woo Hoo! Go big Blue, go big Blue!" She sang as she held it over her head like a trophy. Chris looked at his wife in disbelief, "Let's go mister, There's going to be one more Redskin tonight."
Chris chuckled despite himself, "You've been saving that one," Deb just nodded with a huge grin, "I should paddle you just for making such a bad joke."
Laughing and motioning to the stairs she replied, "Oh no, this is all for you. 14."