Sadly, I won $20 last night.
Let me provide some background. While back in my hometown over the weekend for a birthday party, I was arguing with a friend of mine about the attitudes of people on either side of Prop 8. His view was that Prop 8 detractors needed to calm down and approach the issue with civility. Apparently, around there, they were the more likely to be flipping off their opponents, etc. My counter argument was that civil discourse is appropriate for situations where two opinions are being compared. This, I claimed, was not a matter of opinion, but rather that one side was fundamentally wrong on a purely factual level, and therefore the proponents deserved absolutely no respect for their "views." Of course, I was willing to recognize their basic rights as people, but only to set up the obvious "more than I can say for them" quip.
Admittedly, both sides of the argument were highly hyperbolized for the entertainment of the rest of the people at the party; my friend and I are both passionate debators. In addition, he and I were both solidly on the same side on this particular issue.
I was expressing concern that the prop had been polling with a majority. He seemed confident that there was no way that Californians would be so thick, bigoted, narrow-minded, and short-sighted.
"I'll bet you $20 that it fails!" He proclaimed. I can have a rather cynical view on the thick, bigoted, narrow-minded, and short-sighted capacities of people. I added the condition that we were merely betting on the popular vote, as I held out hope that the supreme court would once again shut down the shennanigans, which could be considered "failing." He agreed, and I accepted the bet.
It might sound like I was betting against my own team. However, the way I saw it, I'd eather lose the bet, be out $20, and have hope for the citizens of this great state, and society in general... or win the bet, and have $20 to try to cheer me back up.
Well, it appears I won the bet. However, my friend's reaction made me smile:
"So I lost the bet, I know we are both bummed. I will either give you $20 or donate $40 to Stonewall in your name."
The latter, naturally! I have some good friends.