Monday, March 28, 2011


A mug's game

A few weeks ago, something entirely unprecedented happened: I took a punt on a horse and it actually won. Proud was Dan as he swaggered into William Hill to collect the Saturday night beer kitty.

On the back of that, I decided to throw a few quid at the Cheltenham festival and see what came of it. Nothing outrageous, just a few pounds a day and cash my winners at the end of the week, see if I break even or even (heaven forbid) turn a profit.

First day, first race: winner; second race: winner. My goodness, I thought, how long's this winning streak going to last?

My answer came in the third race of the day when my chosen jockey dismounted his horse rather prematurely (not to mention spectacularly) and got trod on a few times by the rest of the field.

This setback notwithstanding, my spawny luck just about lasted the week and I made a profit of around £40, enough to pimp my new dive with a Playstation 2 (second hand) and a copy of Grand Theft Auto 3 (likewise).


Dan zooming across the Callahan Bridge from Portland to Staunton Island in a stolen sports car, suddenly realises he's made a classic 'Brit abroad' mistake and is in the wrong lane.

Wow, that's dangerous, I thought, somebody could have got hurt...


GTA3 is a very addictive game, but I'm more worried about the potential consequences of my Cheltenham success. The Aintree festival is looming and I may find it hard to stay out of the bookies.

Gambling is a very slippery slope and, as far as I can see, there are three stages:

1. You've got a pound change left over from your shopping so you spend it on a scratch card.

2. You take a punt on a horse you like the look of.

3. You're sitting in a piss-stained bamboo hut in the middle of some god-forsaken jungle, holding a gun to your temple with hordes of locals, screaming with bloodlust, wagering large sums of money on you blowing your brains out all over the wall. Your best mate is sitting the other side of the table with his underpants on his head and he can't stop crying.

Just before pulling the trigger, you recall that pound change in the shop and experience a moment's sadness, wondering what life would have been like if you'd bought some Jaffa Cakes instead. Then you remember that the price of Jaffa Cakes has gone up and they now cost £1.09.

You shake your head briefly, and pull.

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Stay away from Issei and Deven and make a clean break. Earn your money the old fashioned way and rob somebody
In fairness, Issei and Devin did help me with a spot of housebreaking one time. One of my favourite Japan photos is Devin, food baby resplendent, beer in hand, standing next to a pile of boosted stuff waiting for the lift to come.
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