A short while ago The Clumpany had an unexpectedly lucrative time down at the local bookmaker’s.
Early this afternoon I placed a few bets on horses for a bit of fun. Thankfully, I had the sense to ignore my pal Alan’s tip to back Red Rum in next year’s Grand National.
Alan said that Red Rum held the world record for most titles and was a good bet to get back where it belonged. But as I explained to him, Red Rum became ineligible to compete in the Grand National some time ago on account of being dead. Having then tried to sell me a Norwegian Blue parrot called ‘Rangers’ which looked distinctly ‘unwell’, Alan vanished, leaving me to my bets.
Now, I really don’t know much about racing, and when I realised a few hours later that I’d actually backed dressage horses who were competing in a Grand Prix in the USA to win a steeplechase, a novice hurdle and an all-weather flat race in the U.K., I naturally feared the worst for my bets.
I happened to be passing the bookmakers again earlier this evening, and I thought I’d look in to see if Alan was there. As usual, no one had seen him. The counter staff noticed me, said hello, and asked how I had got on with my bets.
Somewhat sheepishly, I explained that I had got a bit mixed up and Prancing Pixie and her dancing friends hadn’t won at Doncaster etc on account of showing their moves to Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ somewhere in Kansas.
The two staff asked to see my betting slips. Presumably to confirm that I was certifiably insane. They looked at each other and smirked. And then giggled. And then laughed out loud!
“I’ve never seen the like!” said one. “Those are definitely l…l…lllll… I mean they’re Lllll… Cough cough. Excuse me! You’ve Llll…. Llll”.
His colleague took over “Aye, they are all L L L L cough cough cough cough COUGH! L L Llllllllllllll. I can’t get the word out!”
“Me neither! What’s going on? I can’t say L L L Lllll. I say it all the time, especially given the number of mugs we get in here.”
“You’re telling me! Some of life’s real l.. l.. l… Llll…. No I can’t say it. But especially that Alan. I can see right through his sort.”
“Me too. What a l… l… l…. Ah f*ck it!”
As you can imagine, I was perturbed to hear my good pal Alan being besmirched like this by a couple of folk who couldn’t even manage to complete an insult by saying ‘loser’.
And then it dawned on me…
“So, you can’t bring yourself to say that these are losing bets, then?” I asked.
“No”, came the reply.
“That’s just as well”, I said “because my lawyer says that a set circumstances arose which made these ineligible to be losing bets. They emerged from being piss-poor punts. They are the same bet as some successful ones you have previously paid out on.”
The staff stared at me dumbfoundedly.
“Come on. Tell me that these are losing bets”, I said forcefully.
“L L L L LLLLL…”, they said in unison.
“Excellent!” said I. “Now, are you going to pay out or do I have to get my lawyer to see you in court?”.
Five minutes later, I left the shop with a suitcaseful of my winnings, and started heading back to Clumpany Towers. But then I stopped, turned back and stuck my ethereal head inside the shop once again.
“What odds will you give me on Sevco being relegated this season?” I asked.