The Ryan Report – Episode 202 "The Double Down" Ryan's Bio
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You ask me, competition's one of the great American traditions – in healthy doses, of course. Whether it's a foot race, the Super Bowl or one of those hot dog eating competitions, it always inspires the competitors to achieve greater heights than they otherwise would.Think of the Wright Brothers and Otto Lilienthal, the US Space program versus the Soviet one, or Charles Lindbergh and all those other guys whose names we don't remember.Okay, a lot of air and space references, but you get the point.A healthy rivalry has encouraged some of the greatest achievements in this country of ours, technologically or otherwise.
Take my family, for example. My parents made a deal with my sisters and I – whoever got the best grades that week got to stay up an extra half-hour on Sunday and choose what we had for dinner on Thursday night. Pretty heady power for a ten-year-old! My unbeaten streak of fifteen perfect spelling tests in a row was a direct result of my desire to have lasagna every Thursday night –especially since my sisters both hate lasagna.
Of course, the only thing that's more American than competition is competition with a little money on the line!As "Fast" Eddie Felson said, Money won is twice as sweet as money earned. And as my Dad said, Vegas wasn't built on winners!
My first experience at this was back in the fifth grade when I bet Butch Laetnner five bucks that he couldn't eat twenty tacos on Taco Day. Turned out Butch had been doing some 'training' and twenty was pretty much a gimme for him. Still, Butch should have spent more time on math class than taco training, because even though he won five bucks, he spent ten on the tacos! Not to mention checking the class schedule and seeing we had PE right after lunch. After the first set of wind-sprints, he spent that whole period in the bathroom, where he set a few records he'd rather forget.
Since then, I've developed a bit of taste for betting. Not necessarily on the typical "gambling" games like roulette, craps, slots and all that. No, I'm more interested in betting on little everyday things, like what color shirt Castle will wear today or what part of town our next call will come from. And of course, Esposito is always down for a wager – that man would bet on the clouds in the sky… and has (I won that one).
And we get all sorts of different things to bet on in our line of work, since we're always headed somewhere fascinating. Gotta love a job where you don't know if you'll be heading to a fancy charity ball, a stall on Canal Street, or an SRO favored by a cross-dressing clientele.
Still, somehow we've never done any betting on a case. Of course, that changed this week when, due to a heavy workload, Beckett & Castle ended up on one case while Espo & I ended up on another. Castle started talking smack about solving their case first and Espo and I had to step in to correct him… for a small wager, of course.
What started off as a little wager went Precinct-wide as the cases heated up (I even heard Beckett put some money down, but she won't admit to it, of course). In the end, the cases were connected and nobody won any money – well, actually, all of us won, since we caught the bad guys. And that's what this job's about at the end of the day. Well, that and the never-ending search for the best dive greasy spoon on Manhattan Island.
It did, however, leave a little sting in my gut that I won't be getting to see Castle wearing a floral print dress anytime soon. Not to mention the fact that I already lost 20 bucks to Esposito last week when Beckett took Castle back onto the team – didn't see that coming. But hey, that's why it's called gambling – if it was a sure thing that you'd make money, then it'd be called work.
I'd go on, but Espo's betting me on whether Captain Montgomery will pick up his phone on the first or the second ring… and I've got five on second. What can I say? We're just like the US Space Program and Charles Lindbergh – competition makes us great! I could've been an astronaut or an aviation pioneer… but I prefer the little things. The details of everyday life. And death. Guess that's why murder's my line of work. It's the devil-in-the-details kinda thing. Know what I'm saying?