What are the odds?

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By Emily Preble ’16

Cheeks red and face flushed, you gulp as you come to the devastating realization of the fate that lies ahead. You immediately try to come up with excuses, pleading as your hands shake vigorously and every muscle in your stomach churns uncomfortably. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, odds are, you have a serious case of the odds game.

The game that started out small has now exploded into an epidemic of mortifyingly embarrassed teenagers across high schools throughout the nation. The cafeteria, a once sacred place full of mingling and easy conversation has transformed itself into a war zone where shifty eyes and heavy tension have become the new normal.

The game operates in a pretty simple fashion: one person challenges another to an outrageous dare, prompting the proposal with the question:  “What are the odds…?” The recipient of the dare must then provide a range, one to infinity, which demonstrates the likelihood that they would perform the request. A third person then counts down from three and listens as the other two people say a number that falls in the range previously provided. If the two say the same number, the dare must be executed — no if, ands, or buts.

The dares vary based on status: novice, amateur, and expert. Newcomers to the game often ask questions such as, “Hey Katie, what are the odds that you do 15 jumping jacks right here in the commons?” or “What are the odds that you high five a stranger in Xavier hall?” While these odds questions are entertaining and light-hearted, the real fun comes from the “expert” odds players, who waste no time finding the best way to potentially embarrass their peer.

The best and most entertaining places to play the odds game all share one commonalty: lots of people.  The cafeteria is a perfect setting due not only to the amount of familiar faces present but also the added threat of catching the eye of Mr. Maxie or Mrs. Forde.

Senior Charlie Landgraf has been on both the distributing and receiving end of the odds game,  issuing and completing some of the most outrageous dares imaginable, most of which take place in the Gedrose student center in front of live witnesses every second lunch.

“I have gotten a few victims myself in the odds game,” said Landgraf. “Wyatt Nelson had to sprint from one end of the cafeteria to the other end, dodging and spinning around every trash can in his way.”

Whether you are witnessing the action from the sidelines or experiencing the thrill first hand, understand that a case of the odds game is a risky sickness, and should be handled as such. Before you have to ask Mr. Gladstone what color underwear he is wearing in front of half of the school, please, consult your doctor and talk about potential cures for the rising epidemic.