Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Some wisecrack about going to the dogs

So there was this proposed visit to Wimbledon stadium to watch greyhound racing. More school assignments.

I knew nothing of this alleged sport I was going to watch. Except that there would be dogs running around a track.

As an introduction, our tutor gave us the book he wrote about his short and unfortunate stint as a race dog owner. All I knew at the end of it was that I still couldn't understand betting odds.

Ignoring the ethical ambiguity of what I was indirectly supporting, I trekked to the tracks at Wimbledon.

The place didn't smell of dog, but it smelled of beer and burgers. And high spirits.

Old men in tweed, elderly couples, some spiffy suits and loosened ties, and even a bunch of German school children were at the races, clutching race sheets and counting their bills. The screens continually brought up the odds.

The really serious punters, the ones who said they'd been coming here every week for over 40 years, were those that skipped the screens and instead peered at bookies through binoculars, while making illegible notes on their race sheets.

Soon, the first set of dogs are paraded.

Nunhead Jack stops to sniff a post.

(One should expect no less from a dog. "Come on boy!")

With two minutes to go for the race, the last bets are placed.

The gates open and they're off.

In less than two minutes, fortunes were made and lost. Me, I won the princly sum of 25p.

But at the end of the night, I quit both gambling and dog-racing. Quit when I was winning.

The story I wrote for University is up on our website mindZgap.

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