A Bleak Future In Gambling

I admit it, I’m stuck in the past. I sit here and try to think of something to write, but because my current life is boring beyond belief, and generally involves little more than me sitting in front of this laptop typing exam notes about judicial politics in France, me sitting in front of the TV watching Beyonce’s (fine) ass, and me sitting at the dining table eating chicken rice, I need to go back to a time I had fun. I’ll tell you about Ireland.

We were there to go to the Galway Races. And according to a secret plan of Alec’s, to also make me go up in a very small plane and make some pretence of learning to fly it. I don’t think he was planning to tell me this until I was actually thundering down the runway bug-eyed, but James let it slip earlier in the day. Fortunately or unfortunately, my date with the deathtrap had to literally take a rain check when weather conditions were unsuitable for flying, but I’m sure he’ll find a way of bundling me on another one some time in the future.

The Galway Races turned out to be quite similar to the Wimbledon Greyhound Races, except the things running along the track were bigger, and the chicks were better dressed. The major point of similarity between my two experiences with gambling is that we lost every bet here too. In the biggest race of the day, I scanned the 22 horses that were running and one stood out to me: Nearly A Moose. “Guys? I like Nearly A Moose! How about Nearly A Moose, huh guys?” The general response was that me liking the name was all very well, but look at its mediocre track record. I bowed before those who I thought knew better, and bet on another horse. Guess who won with odds of 52-1.

Further reliving our creeping dejection is too painful. I turn now to our creeping drunkenness. On the way back from the races, we stopped at a number of pubs. I forget how many exactly. At some point I revealed to Alec’s organic farmer friends that he often sought out organic food in the supermarkets. This brought much ridicule for him and hearty chuckles of “Take it from us, organic farming is bollocks!” At some other point I was at the bar ordering a round when the giggling ten-year-old boy beside me asked me if I was single on behalf of the very drunk old man beside him. We left the last pub around 1.30 in the morning. The third farmer brother had to milk the cows at 6. When we stopped along the way home to drop his girlfriend off, he decided to follow her, and did so amid shouts of “But what about the cows?” Poor cows.

Going To The Dogs

You may or may not have heard the one about the dyslexic atheist who lay awake at night wondering if there was a dog, but whatever the case, they always say start with a joke. I actually prefer the one about the dyslexic devil worshipper who sold his soul to Santa, and should probably say I think both jokes rather misrepresent the problems of dyslexia sufferers, but my point, and I do have one, is that we went to the dogs on Friday night.

We went to the Wimbledon track, because Walthamstow (which is, incidentally, the first place in London I knew a postcode for – fans of early 90s boy bands should be able to figure out why) doesn’t do Friday nights. It was quite a walk from Tooting Broadway tube station, firstly because it was quite a walk, and secondly because it involved walking in Tooting. As we wandered tentatively past a breast scanning clinic on a deserted road, we remembered a very early date when Alec managed to mistake a VD clinic in Peckham for the Old Vic (a rather long and surreal story, but hey, he got the girl) and were starting to wonder if it was all going a bit pear-shaped.

But we finally got there, and got down to brass tacks. We didn’t win the first few races we bet on, but about four races in, we were starting to get the feel of things. After some discussion, we decided to bet on the trio of Beat Them Melv, Mustang Messiah and Call A Copper. I walked confidently to the counter, asked for a trio on tracks 2, 4 and 5, and was somewhat perturbed when the betting coupon named Ravilello Girl, Quick To Move and Baran Magic. It soon became clear that, tit-like, the pair of us had been scrutinizing the form for completely the wrong race. And of course, it turned out to be the closest we came to winning anything the whole evening.

I think I’m hooked.