Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: Bettin' On The Weddin'

The big day is finally almost upon us. After months of sweaty anticipation by domestic news agencies, Prince William of Wales will marry Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey "on the morrow," as they say (probably) over there. That is, unless one of his groomsmen convinces him to bolt to Mexico and live his life as a swashbuckling, devil-may-care expatriate with naught but the sun at his back and the salty air of freedom in his face.

But maybe I'm projecting.

Personally, you could measure the amount I care about the event in micro-give-a-shits, but that won't stop many in this country from dragging their asses out of bed at 4 AM (Eastern time) Friday to watch the whole ordeal. And it's not just Anglophiles and shut-ins who'll be tuning in; the gambling community will also be paying close attention.

Because as with anything else, sport books have odds on a number of so-called "prop bets" for the royal wedding ceremony and reception. Never one to turn down the chance to pauperize my children, I figured I'd throw a few out there myself.

Now then, in addition to the expected props like the color of the wedding dress (ivory is the odds-on favorite) and the color of Queen Elizabeth's hat (yellow, most likely) are some more unusual options, such as where the royal couple will honeymoon ("Africa?") and how long their marriage will last (longer than Charles and Diana's would seem a safe bet).

I know, it's all horribly tasteless. Still, not wanting to get left out of the action, I thought I'd offer my bookmaking services to any of the major online gambling houses (those not targeted by the Justice Dept., that is) by suggesting the following prop bets.

[Standard rules apply: a minus sign (-) means you have to bet that much to win $100. A plus sign (+) means you win that much if you bet $100. All odds are for network television coverage, not TMZ or "viewer-submitted" videos.]

Celebrity Sightings Camilla Parker-Bowles -150 Kim Kardashian +250 Dodi Fayed +1000 Johnny Rotten +5000 Sarah Ferguson +7500

TV Announcers Make references to those who woke up before the ass crack of dawn to watch in America -500 Compare Kate's dress to Diana's -150 Talk about rain being "lucky" -100 Mention where the couple met (St. Andrew's) EVEN Use the expression "across the pond" +200 Draw unfavorable comparisons between the global economic crisis and the grotesque display of wealth arrayed before them +2000

The Procession Anti-monarchy protestors disrupt procession +250 Horse defecating caught on camera +500 Meredith Viera/Diane Sawyer/Katie Couric chokes up +750 Matt Lauer chokes up +300 V blows up Parliament +10000

The Ceremony Inadvertent shot of Wills' bald spot -500 Elton John cries -250 Prince Harry picks nose EVEN David Beckham picks nose +300 William slips Kate the tongue +500 Harry slips Kate the tongue +5000

Miscellaneous A network "wedding consultant" uses the expression "fairy tale" -500 Victoria Beckham is indistinguishable from a block of wood -150 The Queen falls asleep EVEN Kate has visible panty lines +350 You experience an epiphany wherein you realize sitting on your couch with a cup of Earl Gray and clutching your commemorative pillow is asinine, and you turn the TV off in order to spend time with your family/pursue a more meaningful endeavor +50000

Happy gambling.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar