Betting cartoon from Charlie’s Galway Races column a few weeks ago:
“A fiver on the nose, which to me then felt like betting €25 to win today. A decidedly decent bet, which looked prettier when the nap proved the tipster’s inside knowledge.”
Click on over for the rest of Charlie’s betting tips!
Let me tell you a story.
On a rare* night out during the Galway Races a few years ago I was introduced to a friend of a friend, in Galway for the festival. Being the Galway Races the conversation turned immediately to had I studied the form and had I had a flutter. I barely know one end of a horse from another so I told him instead how mysterious I found the whole gambling affair.
I recounted how as a child my father would have me place bets for him, indisposed as he was tending to a dearth of customers in his clothes shop. The placing of the bet involved climbing a narrow back street to a door leading to a small lightless room. I’d enter, the bet money clutched in one hand, the name of the horse clutched in the other, and all my hopes and dreams clutched between my buttocks. The door would close behind me robbing me of any orientation and I’d wait.
A small hatch would snap open, confessional-style, and a shaft of light would pierce the darkness. My little hands would ascend to the shelf and I’d hand over the name-bearing piece of paper and the money. After some unseen and unknown processes rustled their way to conclusion I’d be handed a slip, the hatch would slide closed and I’d feel my way back to the door to be exhaled back into the world of light.
I recounted this experience with much of this imagery but lacking in specifics, much as you’ve just read.
Then this man I’d met 5 minutes previously asked
“Are you from Moville?”
That’s exactly where this little lightless confessional back-room bookies was. I couldn’t believe it. Of all the bookies in all the country… it turned out this chap had cousins in Moville** and had spent summers there. He’d been in that bookies. My description of the contemporary betting experience was enough for him to identify the particular north-west Donegal town in question. À la recherche du temps perdu indeed.
*I hate drinking stout from plastic containers.
**I’m actually from Greencastle, just up the road.