Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
Okay I am an idiot. An idiot who cares a lot about his football team
from college. I bet my best friend, buddy, rival, nemesis, brother-in-
law on the outcome of the college championship game that if my team
lost I would shave the logo of his team into the back of my head. I was
so supremely confident that it never occurred to me that there might
be consequences to losing the bet. I work in a service industry and my
boss has told me to let it grow out, and fast, or he will move me to a
different position. I’m not looking to go to the Supreme Court to test
my ability to express free speech, especially since this is a cause I
would not normally be espousing. But my brother-in- law is gonna
make me eat humble pie from now until autumn. Is there an elegant
solution to this one?
Still a Believer!!
Dear Still A Believer:
There’s certainly no way to go back in time and change either the bet
or the outcome of the game. You anted up and you lost, so now you’re
going to have to pay. But something that affects your income and your
status is far too high a penalty, other than what it might teach you
about making wagers in the first place. You have two things to do.
Negotiate with both your boss and your bro-in- law.
Start with your boss. Explain, preferably over a cuppa something and
a sweet treat, that this was a silly mistake between rival relatives.
Explain you have every intention of covering your head, putting in fake
hair, painting your scalp, whatever it takes to remedy this asap. Ask
him to relent and forgive. Then shut up and hope he laughs. Then tell
your bro-in- law what you had to do. You can try to argue that you’ve
already paid up by alienating your boss, but I suspect you will need to
do something else. I’d counsel offering to wear the rival team’s t-shirt
around town every Saturday for a month (or as little time as you can
negotiate). After that, turn it into a painting or cleaning cloth and
present it to your bro-in- law next holiday season, beautifully wrapped.
Hopefully your team will win next year, with less at stake.