Monday, July 09, 2007

The S.E The Barber The Wine in the Parlour

Had lunch in Gibneys of Malahide on Saturday afternoon, I had the scampi dish as a change up which i really enjoyed and great value too. Afterwards i wandered across the street into O’Briens liquour store. Headed straight for the Italian section and looked for a bottle of my old favourite Peppoli Chianti. An eager young clerk voluntarily came over to assist and he found the Peppoli but veered me in the direction of his own favourite IL Grigio 2003. He said he bought a bottle for his girlfriends Mother for her birthday. The story seemed plausible so told him pointing my finger at him as i spoke that I was going to go along with his selection but if it turns out to be a bad one I’ll be back looking for him. He quickly he returned "Or you’ll like it so much you’ll be back for more of it!". Young punk eh but you’ve got to acknowledge the speed and quality of that verbal backhand volley. It would have been cheap of me if I decided I must have the last word in that little exchange so I just paid up and called it quits even though I knew deep down he probably got the better of the exchange.

I was overdue a haircut and quite frankly Tommy my most frequent barber has slipped down the pecking order recently as im not sure he calls upon all his skills anymore. Im not saying he's lazy but i sense his enthusiasm for the job isnt what it once was. Tommy’s barber shop can also be heavy on punter population and it would be painful if i had a reocurrance of the scenario last time with the standoff as to who’s turn it was next. So i went somewhere else ive been to just once before about three years back. This place like many barbers nowadays has in the past temporarily closed down a couple of times then suddenly reopenes business as usual. Maybe it’s a competitive market or something?. That’s what you might think but my hunch is that the greasy Italians want to muscle in on the Dublin barber shop market and our barbers wont bow to their pressure easily. They barbers arent running to the media instead they settle it gangs of new york style and we never know. They counteract the Italian pressure by closing down the shop while they go to the mattresses until the dispute is resolved. The Italians have a damn near monopoly on the fish&chip shops here and thats where they hold the power and have the muscle. They pulled the carpet right from under us when our guard was down in the 70’s opening up the chip shops and at the time any thoughts of reprisal was quelled by them installing a statue of the blessed virgin Mary behind the counter. Now what heartless Irish son of a bitch was going to break up a place after that check mate move with the statue. Clever bastards eh?, now your with me. But our barbers in the present are playing it clever at the moment so far thwarting the forward moving swarthy Italians. I dont know much but i know enough to realise theres something sinister going down in the Dublin barber scene, just see if im wrong.

Don’t get me wrong I have nothing substantial against Italians, forgive and forget I suppose. To be honest if they abandoned their fish and chip shops and the Irish stepped in I fear we may regress very quickly in this sphere. To be even more frank we would only make a bollix of it. I mean do you really think we would have the know how with the pizzas, snack boxes and battered fish and sausage?. Knowing us we would be useing the same chip oil for months until its a golden syrup consistency and caramel in colour before changing it. Its probably a good thing the Italians have that market sewn up to be honest. One good thing I will add about the Italian chippers is that they are consistent in asking if you want salt and vinegar with that regardless of the the length of the queue sometimes even giving you the choice of clear or brown coloured vinegar.

So I revisit this barber 3 years on and on entering I notice it’s the same actual barber guy as before. Last time our conversation centered around the buying & selling process on eBay and amazon marketplace back in the day I used those channels. He knew nothing of d’internet but was interested in the whole process of e-buying and selling. I remember all this but I’d bet my bottom dollar he didn’t remember me not to mind talking about eBay the last time we spoke. Im also pleased to know im the second John in line and even more pleased when another John walks in 30 seconds after me, i really socked it to him on that score as i thought of anything that might have conspired at home to delay me a minute or so for this guy to have first run on me by 30 seconds.

I give the barber the nod as i sit down but he looks through me. Thats nothing to worry about as that’s pretty standard in barber circles besides it all changes when its your turn to take the hot seat as you seemingly have exclusive rights on their small talk once in the chair. Well this time the small talk wasn’t so small at all and the principal subject discussed today included his memories of tenting down in a Feile festival some years back amongst a group of Hari Krishnas.

Apparently he thumbed a lift to feile only not with a sign indicating where he wanted to go but rather with a can of beer in hand and the rest slung over his shoulder in a superquinn bag. He did get his lift by what he described as a toothless granny who quote: "was gummy like she had her teeth kicked in lol". He said he made sure when thumbing a lift that the cars seen him drinking as they drove past so it would come as no surprise to them his intentions to drink on after he got picked up. I cut in nodding appovingly telling him that it was fair enough of him to be upfront and transparent about that aspect. Anyway arriving at Faile without any money to gain entry he hung about the tented area where he said the real atmosphere was content with his cans. But later on that nite it started bucketing down rain and he hadnt got any class of jacket at all. He spotted a large tent with a narrow overhanging canopy which if he stood vertical enough underneath he would dodge most of the downpour. There was no sign of the rain abating so he unzipped the tent took a peek inside and saw in his own words"at least 6 bodies inside". He stepped inside the tent and hunkered down. All was calm for some time until he decided to get up and walk around the tent to stretch and keep warm. His presumably clumsy movements gained the attention of a semi concious body who when fully woke up blew the whistle. All hell broke loose when the other bodies were alerted. He was pounced upon by what turned out to be a bunch of shrieking Hari krishnas jostling at him and cursing expletives shouting at him to get out of their tent as they shone torches in his eyes and generally came across as very unhospitable. They calmed down after a while and somehow had either the charity or stupidity to let him stay in the tent for the night in a spare sleeping bag which he was delighted with. He even pushed his luck by gorging himself on the remainder of their curried speciality, an earlier day peace meal offering to the masses no doubt. I cut in to ask him were the Hari Krishnas wearing their pink fleshy coloured garbs but I almost knocked him off track with that needless question so i had to veer him back on topic.

All settled down after a while and the bodies went back to sleep when another interloper, this time a young attractive female entered the tent to take refuge from the rain just as he had done earlier. She was shivering and drenched from head to toe and he told her she could bunk in with him no problem at all to which she replied ok but just keep your hands to yourself. He said he lasted just 5 minutes sitting on his hands with her in the same sleeping bag before he … this stage the barber realised he wasn’t in his local pub after hours but instead was in his place of bidness where young fathers with their sons sat in line listening to every word with open mouths. So picking up on this he finished the story in a pc way leaving a big void and finished by explaining that they both hung out with eachother for the next day like. He didnt just jabber away throughout, I was subtly reigning him along Michael Parkinson style with the odd prompting comment and I think I squeezed as much of this tale out of him that was possible at 9.40 of a saturday morning which is more than Parkinson ever could.

He must have got overzealous with the sissors during the story because initially I did make a point of telling him not to cut it too short on top but what can you say when they do, it can hardly be undone. I tipped him anyway because of the story and im considering putting this barber shop on the rotation.

For a couple of weeks previous I was winning quite a bit on the sportsbook, they moved the blasted posts though so for the last week I was running very bad altogether and clutching at straws. I called it quits for the day including not going to play the S.E monthly game and had a nice fillet steak with garlic & pepper sauce with onion rings washed down with the Il Grigio from Malahide. The wine was every bit as good as that son of a bitch claimed so I shall have to swallow my pride and go back and give credit where its due. Its just as good if not better than the Peppoli I mentioned in the past and thats saying something.

Well oiled after the food and wine was over i suddenly got to thinking that playing the S.E game would be good for a change of scenery so I headed in feeling fairly pumped up. I have tried playing live in so many different ways and styles like tight, loose, laggy, weak tight, maniac, hungry, full etc. Tonight it would be half cut style with a lot of chit chat table talk and see how that works out. By the break and plenty of verbal left in my wake and 2 coronas during the break with the lads I was now probably more than half cut so on my return from the break I increased the fractions all the time on the table talk and brought it to a whole new level I think. It was fairly constant but I do mean it when i tell you that Peter Benchleys book ‘Jaws’ is quite the racey novel. It didnt last though as i petered out of verbal steam when the table broke. Basically i ran a 5 furlong race at a 5f gallop but the course was a mile.

In the game itself there was just nothing to report really as it was one of those no real hand nights. The Chief was the bb to my button and in one hand when it was folded to me on the button I raised it up nice and low as I declared that this was a classic button steal and when the sb and the chief folded I poked the 10-5offsuit in their eye. Before this in another hand I raised with 55 and got one caller. Flop 883 and I checked raised him all in and he folded quick smart. A rash move but i was certain i was good. In another hand i raised A-10 and got 3 callers, and on a drawy flop of A-10-J and two to a suit I bet it good and proper and took it down. I somehow lasted until near the end of the 300/600 level when with just 6100 left i finally FINALLY got a hand as good as AQ and after eddydeagle limped i raised to 2.6k. A new guy to the game who was next up asks me ever so politely how much chips I have behind. I show him and he bets the min raise sheepishly and eddydeagle calls. The odds im getting to ship are so good but that doesn’t mean shit when its painfully obvious the new guy has AA or KK minimum. I just know eddydeagle has a bag of shit though. I fold unhappily even though im certain he had it. When he went all in on the flop and eddydeagle folded he showed the aces.

Then with the piddling balance I couldn’t get it in first because there was always a raise ahead of me but before the blinds got to me again I got AJ and pushed. The small blind called and tabled A9 but floped a 9 and that was the end of me.

My next game is most likely going to be the GJP Drogheda monthly game this Saturday 15th July so heres hoping I can play good and run good.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I admit i pulled a fast one on you suckers. I gave you the slip and made my way to 'Silks' casino to take down their poker room opening nite tournament with €1000 added. DocFarrell was the only person from the forum i recognised which surprised me. With the comp €10 chip i made hay again at roulette though this time the wheel spinner took away the comp chip after my first winning roll. This wasnt to stop me as i put the €10 i won in play a few times to show Docfarrell how its done and quit with my 100% record in tact.

We made our way back down to the poker room and took our seats. It was a shorthanded €25 rebuy 2500 stack with a 25min clock. There was just something about the place i couldnt put my finger on. It was run by the English so maybe hearing more Londoner accents made me feel "a little bit wooooh a little bit whaaay"!. I also spotted a couple of undesirables that i dont think are alowed play in the fitz. But all in all it was a very pleasant evening of cards and the atmosphere was ok.

Chief Brody joined my table just in time for the first hand and Vera joined a few hands later adding a bit of banter to the table. The chief made his usual point by taking the opening couple of pots but he had the salmon jumper on so why not. The chief was to go on to play very conservative but he told me at the bar later that he was getting pure muck. He made just one bad call when when he limped with JJ and called a players all in on an ace high board against A6 in the bb.

By the last level before the break i got no hands so just raised in position to take the occasional pot. Then i got my first hand when Chief Brody went all in utg for 850 and 2 other guys called when i moved all in for about 1800. One of the callers folded and i was up against Chief's JJ and another guys QQ. I had AK and on a low board to the turn i rivered a K!. Just what i needed and i felt good about going deep nearing the break.

I was sitting beside a window looking out on a patio where a vietnamese guy was preparing a barbeque. He was doing burgers and chicken and it looked great. Last 3 hands before the break i look out to see how the bbq is getting on just as the Vietnamese chef is lighting up a cigarette amongst the side salads as he's flipping burgers. FFS!. Didnt stop me from feasting on a chicken burger at the break!. DocFarrell introduced me to Julian Thew's brother timfoil at the break.

After the break i got JJ and 99 which took down some limpers and the blinds but nothing of note happened until i was moved table when we were down to 2 shorthanded tables with my stack getting lower and blinds getting higher. On my new table i didnt play a hand out of my blinds for a couple of orbits when i raise from my button but have to fold on the turn to an overbet. Then on my button i open raise again with Ax and am answered by an all in bet from a rock of an old woman who earlier overbet preflop with one limper showing AA when he folded. So i folded showing and she showed KK. I stole a couple of blinds but i was slowly dying here, orbit after orbet with nothing playable. I watched Chief Brody standng up getting ready to walk before the river saved him so its safe to say he's back!.

With blinds 300/600 to hit me in 2 hands time i pushed all in utg+1 for 5k and a man who was having his first live game called. My 84s looked in trouble against his AA but i flopped an open ender which hit on the river to buy me some breathing space. So several laps later of utter garbage and blinds up i push in my sb after a limper who i know to be bad on my button. When he has a good hand he knows nothing else than to min bet so i felt safe pushing KQh that i wouldnt be in bad shape even if he called which i was confident he wouldnt. But he called quickly. I was relieved to see i wasnt in as big a trouble as the quick call suggested. He had AJ and flopped an ace, i turned a king but no miracle river this time and i was walking pavement 2 from the final table.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Day Date
The fold up bike i bought online was as usual an impuslive buy which is usually a bad idea. It was a cunning plan to beat the off site car park snag. Maybe i should have measured the trunk of my car to see if it fit before i bought it!. It no sooner arrived than it was in the buyandsell adds within days. I quickly got a bit of interest in it from the Galway man. He could dispatch a couple of his Dublin goons over to check the bike out and if it was as described he'd 'take it off my hands'.

The goons turned up and were suitably impressed but all i was thinking about was the possibility of being late for my day date, a young girl from Holland. Yeah day date how'd you like that!. Nite dates are done to death. Whatever the masses go for then i say 'bet the other way'. Your probably wondering how a degenerate like me got hooked up with a stunning young Dutch aupair in the first place?. By dressing up as Austin Powers for a 70's theme night thats how....Yeah Baby!!. Sorry!. I didnt go the full hog in the party theme dress unlike everyone else it seemed. My effort for this party was wearing an Austin Powers t-shirt and carrying an inflatable guitar and i hoped this would be enough to keep the fashion cops off my back. Barely!.

I hastily made my introduction before anyone else moved in but that didnt stop one or two encroachers. Dont you hate encroachers when your trying your best to chat up a bird!?. Those guys were soon burnt off when the realised they couldnt verbally go toe to toe with me in the entertainment stakes and cleared off after a while. She told me she was into castles, countryside, growing her own vegetables etc, all that stuff girls think they'd like!. So she couldnt believe she just met someone with such likewise tastes!!!. Moi!. I was like Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day' remembering what she liked and didnt like!. To keep in the theme of things i told her she had to see Newgrange and explained all the wonderful mystery that is Newgrange. She followed up on this later on so a Newgrange trip was casually organised for next weekend.

She looked stunning when i picked her up from the house where she aupaired. Like a tennis player on her day off. The crazy young lady of the house escorted her to the car at about in evening dress. It was midday. We set off for to the cozy confines of the burial chamber!.

On arrival we were bussed out to the site. Last time i was there you were just able to park right beside it and mosey on in. At the site we were coralled into a holding pen like cattle until our guide was ready for her next lot.
On the drive out to Newgrange i was peppered with a volley of questions like 'have you been here? have you been there? did you ever do this? did you ever do that?. Man i felt old. Older than the 10 year age gap between us. I felt like telling her i was an avid fan of 'Michael Palins' travel programmes if thats any good so i feel ive been around the world!. The worst thing was her including my name at the start and sometimes the end of every question she asked. I was damn near close to telling her to put up her hand next time she had a question!. She also made a bit of a slight at the speed i was driving. Little did she realise i had my foot bamn near the floor in this chariot!. She was hot though and i guessed no babe in the woods either!.

Our time arrived and we were lead to a large boulder type headstone situated just outside the main Newgrange tomb chamber. I had a bit of a Larry David type encounter.
Our guide was in her early thirties and loved her job. Her audience was a captive one and comprised of mainly european tourists, a couple of Americans and the odd Japanese. Our guide was a 'slow talker'. Mainly for the benifit of those whose first language wasnt english i'd like to believe but wasnt convinced of this. When i say slow i mean sloooooow and i believe she derived a bit of power by useing her slow talking method. She started off by asking had anyone in the group been to Newgrange before and my hand was the only one up. She probably asked this to see if there was any potential trouble makers who might challenge her or maybe she asked to see how much of a freeroll she would have. She said to me "Oh thats interesting, so when were you here last?" i replied "A good few years ago, i'd say i was about this high"(as i demonstrated by putting my hand up to my lower rib cage). I elaborated. "It was well before it was as organised as it is now"(i said with a smile). I was shocked when she showed umberage to what i said. No offense was caused. "Oh Newgrange was always 'ORGANISED" she said in a smacking of the wrists way. Pfffffh wtf i thought that should have been a compliment. I remember the time where you could quite easily bonk in and write on the walls if you liked. Now they had it watertight and shes taking offense. I replied in a way to downscale the whole thing "Im only sayin..." but by now i had drawn attention on myself and i thought i recieved a couple of frown type looks from the group.

Surprisingly this didnt break her stride and she went on to tell us that Newgrange wasnt the only burial chamber in the locality. There was 'Nowth' and 'Dowth' also. Nobody really cares much about Nouth and Dowth as theyre nothing more than little mounds that have no access. The money shot was inside the chamber so after a while longer of slooow talking on her say we made our way inside. The passage was tiny and you needed to stoop down on entry and all the way up the passage. We were last in so never were the words 'After You' said with greater sincerity!.

Our tour guide created the atmosphere in the dimly lit deathly still cold chamber and arranged for the lights to be dimmed to re create the solstace on how things go down once a year when the natural sunlight shines through a gap lighting up the entire chamber. I wondered how many people in recent times 'had it off' in the chamber!. I assumed the caretaker would have carte blanche to carry out such a task if so desired. Maybe our own tour guide got up to this with the light control man at the foot of the entrance. She kept making comments to the group about how cute he was. If she left that out it would have been a 5 star performance of a tour guide by her but she performed creditabllty none the less.

The tour was soon over so we broke away from the group and done a couple laps of the place. My date was amazed at the Irish language bringing my attention to signs in Irish. I treated her to 'An wil cead agum eg dull gu di an leatheras'(can i go to the toilet please) along with another couple of stock primary school sentences i dug up from the recess of my brain which seemed to impress her no end!.

We caught a newgrange operated rotation bus back to the reception centre where she asked me could we go to the gift store. She made a beeline for the jewelery section and the set up was that there were people actually making and finishing jewelery at the stalls. These people were mostly crafts people and stone masons etc but yet she asked me and not them what all the designs meant. So right in front of the open mouthed craftswomen behind her stall i explained to her "this particular broach is a celtic interlacing style broach and this over here is called a claddagh ring. You might see this same style in grave stones ect". I knew what the craftswoman was thinking that i was a complete muppet who was talking out of his arse but she couldnt outwardly display this because an imminent sale looked promising. We got to talking with this craftswoman after a while and she soon realised i wasnt the complete idiot i appeared when she told us a couple of stories about the Americans that she openly seemed to hate. One included a big American in the centre of the silent burial chamber get on his cell phone and exclaim in full voice "Im in the middle of this really neat cave honey!".

So off to Slane for a bite to eat and later on the way home she asks a question i had evaded so far "Aidan whats your favourite colour Aidan?". This time she backed me into a corner and i was forced to answer as civilly as i could "Listen Irish blokes dont have favourite colours, i dont know of one guy who has a favourite colour. The only guys in Ireland who might have a favourite colour are probably gay blokes. Why in Holland do guys have favourite colours?". She replied "yes they all have a favourite colour. My brother has a favourite colour. Come on you must have a favourite colour?". I felt like doing a Danny Glover 'Im to old for this shit' quote but thought better of it!.

Man The day date can be hard work!.

Next day i drove to the beach to take a run. I stuck my mobile phone in the glove compartment and off i went. When i came back my passenger door had been jimmied open and i found the glove compartment wide open and my mobile phone gone. Oh shit i thought because i never switched it off so whoever took it had the run of it but worse still access to my phonebook. By the time i got home i had a message already from my brother to ring him at once. My worst fears were confirmed when he told me he recieved word from the crazy that the opair stayed with that the poor opair girl got dirty and vile text messages sent to her from my phone. She said the girl told her she had a lovely day yesterday and now this happens?. Soon after i cleared that up i learned that similar calls and messages had been given to every female name in my phone book including my mother and sister so there was loads more explaining to be done!.

A week or so later i emailed the Galway man to see why interest wained on the fold up bike. He wrote back saying he rang my mobile phone to be greeted buy an extremely rude man who verbally abused him no end!. Oh ffs the time he rings happens to be the time the scumbag was in possession of the phone!. Murphys law!. I explained the situation and the sale was made the next day.

Never leave your mobile in your car!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Regulars
There comes a time when you clock up so many hours in an establishment that you get made 'one of the regulars'. if that establishment is a bookies then being a regular means that you can exist without fear of physical harm. Ever go into a strange bookie shop on a saturday afternoon and can sense the tension in the air and get that feeling that you could be on thin ice, when thoughts of backing a winner and saving your skin from imminent attack are in equal measure. The first few moments when you enter a bookies is crucial, you have to look all tough like youre not one to be messed with then when you dont get challenged by anyone you can relax a bit and start concentrating more on why youre there in the first place, to back winners. But when your a regular you dont have these inate concerns for your safety. The day i knew i was in was when during the middle of a race a girl came in to try and collect money for charity and just as i was funking my selection she came directly up to me shaking the tin. I had to contend with this girl who didnt realise what she was interupting. So i was trance like living the race while being interupted like this for spare change when 'The seagull' turned around with arms crossed pencil perched on ear and told her half jokingly to leave me alone. I call him the seagull because his hair is the colour of seagull shit. He knew what was going on, he knew that you dont interupt someone when they are in a quiet funk. I lessened the blow of the seagulls words and told her if this horse wins i'll give her something. "Which horse" she asked and the seagull replied to a cakkle of laughs "the brown one"!. Well after that i knew i was on the inside.

It wasnt always so smooth, saturday is always a day to steer clear. The atmosphere was always very heavy on saturdays, The faces in on a saturday werent the usual weekday rogues they were hardened criminals staking their hard stolen money. One such saturday late in the afternoon i wandered in and i noticed a grade one scumbag going up to people asking them to place a bet for him. I overheard him ask random auld fellas "you wouldnt do us a favour bud and place this for us cause they barred me from doin any bets the bastards". The general reaction from the auld fellas was half ignoring him half brushing him off. I made the mistake of not looking busy and he approached me on the blind side and put the same question to me and i answered "no", big mistake. He went into a violent rage in full voice "You fuckin dirt bird, your a dirt burd you are ....ya FUCKIN DURTBIRD". Maybe my "no" was a bit to direct a rebuffal!. Just as it was looking sure to end in physical violence he backed off muttering the same bile.

Here are just some of the main weekday regulars and the take i have on them through casual observation over the years, bare in mind despite knowing them for some years i dont know a single first name!

The Evil Bloke: Doesnt speak in long sentences, but despite his voice being unaudible at times and talking in tangents i usually enjoy our snippets of conversation. Usually shows up after long periods of absense looking like he's on the tail end of a 3 day bender and slept in the coal bunker for refuge. Wears good suits despite the suits being to big for him un-ironed and unwashed. Always with a tale of some dog that just let him down for a bundle in a tricast. Specialises doing forecasts, tri-casts, trebles and accumilators. His way of greeting is to come up from the blind side to pinch you on the nipple with uneering accuracy.

Yer Man With The Eyes: Closely related to the evil bloke in some way ive yet to learn, i presume they are half brothers or foster brothers or something because they look in no way alike. Along with a forlorn look he also looks like he's undergone a labotomy the way his eyeballs are in his head. Always shabbily dressed wearing outdated jumpers and curly grey hair despite being in his thirties. Its nearly impossible to go into the bookies and he not be there. He does somehow have a job in the nearby supermarket but he must have a flexible arrangement with his employers. Is the definition of gormless, is probably one of the dullest people i know and he has yet to say anything that has remotely interested me. He has a bad habit of breaking the unwritten bookie buddie code of ethics by occasionally asking your plans for the weekend. Specialises on backing whatever the next race is and his bet types are forecasts, tricasts and accums.

The Jew
The Jew is a dedicated gambler. Looks like a young Mel Brooks. He researches formlines with a fine tooth comb and goes from shop to shop to get the best prices. The Jew is a storyteller and when he gets into one he's unstoppable. He means to be serious when talking about everything fixed but i find his stories to be hillarious, he always talks like he knows things that he shouldnt. He's a conspiracy theorist and a bad beat teller, always tales of the jockey dropping his hands, the trainer being a gangster or the horse being doped or liking/not liking the ground etc. He's an arm toucher. Arm touching is a fine art and an art that the jew has honed to perfection. He's world class at it and doesnt even know it. While he's talking to you he regularly just taps a fleeting glance to your forearm to make sure your on the same hymn sheet as him. The arm touching keeps the intended listener focused and he uses it like a maestro. He's a self employed window cleaner and is never without his push bike. He slightly exagerates the amount of money he has on his selections, when i say slightly i mean hugely, its his only glitch. He always tells of ton+ bets and 2 grand wins but i never see that kind of loot changing hands when i see him bet. Before he goes into a story he covers his mouth with a betting docket and before starting he has a quick look left to right to make sure the authorities arent listening in.
Bet types are singles, doubles, forecasts, and specialises in first goalscorer bets along with making cases to back 33/1 shots each way.

The Sailor: The Sailor is named because he looks like one with his crew cut short spiked hair and navy admiral coat. For whatever reason he always seems to be carrying a birthday cake. Looks the most affable of fellows until he starts to talk and the bitterness soon becomes apparent. Another conspiracy theorist who believes all jockeys and trainers are crooked. Often likes to talk about who he's sueing for 50 grand. His prefered way of greeting is to throw pencils at his target from an ever decreasing distance until his presence is acknowledged.


So i went in to do a bit of research into a winning distance bet on a long odds favourite later in the evening and the sailor was looking like he had a winner and was lookin for prey to tell about his good luck. My avoidance strategy was working for a while but it wasnt long until the first pencil hit me in the back, i turn around and the sailor approaches with a contented grin telling me about the win he pulled off despite the jockey trying to throw the race. He cut his story short when the prices came out for the next race and he was off to the papers on the wall. With that the jew made his entrance, i look in his direction and he catches my eye and darts over to tell me about what he's learnt. He ghosts me away from the tellers glass window before telling me hand over mouth he went to the A.U.L to watch the Ireland squads final training session before an international group game. He told me that Gary Kelly is a great bet to be the first scorer as he watched Kelly taking free kicks all morning and scoring them all with such accuracy. He told me he had already backed him at corals and ladbrokes and i should not miss this oppertunity at such a good price.

So later on that evening im on a second date with a girl i drunkenly met in a niteclub and we were eating out in temple bar and ive already backed this horse to win by any distance under 12L. The food is ordered and the race is about to start, so i make my excuses and go to the jacks to ring my brother to get a bit of commentary but the jacks was in a cellar and there was no coverage. I left the jacks and gestured to my date that im taking a call on my mobile outside and that i'll be back in a second. As soon as i was out the door and out of sight i legged it to the bookies just a few doors away and watched the closing stages as the long odds on shot was hacking up clearly by more than 12L. And like rubbing it in i look up at the tv screen on the way out to see Gary Kelly scoring a beautiful curling free kick around the wall!.

Dirt Bird!

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Evil Bloke
i havent been to my local bookies shop in ages. why sould i, they still charge 3% tax so i bet online instead. the other reason is i dont want to bump into 'The Evil Bloke' or 'Yer Man With The Eyes'. when i was unemployed for a short spell about 9 years back in the days of the board markers i used to frequent the bookies quite often and spent many afternoons waiting to pick my spot to have one good bet on the proper horse. i was like one of thoze zen monks lying on a mountain all day with bow and arrow waiting to take that one shot.

its funny the types of charachters you come across in bookies shops. ive always nicknamed charachters that i dont know names of so this fella fit the title of the evil bloke perfectly. he looks very like this young rough unshaven Jack Nicholson. no more than 9 stone but has that menacing look. i first seen him a many years earlier giving his girlfriend a few slaps in a malahide pub i used go to. but years later i knew his as one of the regulars in the bookies. we were there so often we knew each other to see but i always kept to myself and tried to avoid conversation with him if i could. however i was the first to instigate conversation with him when the second favourite which i backed with confidence one afternoon won and he was stood beside me as i funked my horse up the straight to victory. i had a brief conversation with him in my euphoria about the race and he told me 'fair fcuks to you for backing him against the favourite'. from then on the evil bloke commisioned me one of his 'bookie buddies'. from then on whenever i came into the bookies the evil bloke would come over and tell me about his winning selections and his picks for today, always winning hundreds of course!. he was always unshaven and smelled like he hadnt showered in days, looked like a fella that drank infinately more than he ate. always stories about winning hundreds here and there and horses letting him down on a huge accumilators. the evil bloke never spoke of a horse by name it was always "i backed the top one" or "the the third one". sometimes he would drag me over to the paper on the wall to point out his selection. it was around this time that i was convinced the evil bloke was illeterate. he was no dummy though and he knew the colour of money and i seen him talk in sign with a deaf bloke that was connected to him and made the odd appearence in the bookies.

i went into the bookies one morning for the early prices and the evil bloke came over to me as i was looking at the morning prices looking like he was on the tail end of a 3 day bender as usual. as much as i didnt want to be associated with the evil bloke i used to enjoy the snippets of conversation we had. when i say conversation i mean he spoke and i listened. this is the beauty of bookie buddies, they always want to talk about their tribulations and never listen to you or ask your opinion or anything about you. you just have to stand as you look as the papers and give the occasional nod to let them know youre still listening. looking at them as they speak isnt the done thing. its best to keep busy looking ahead and going about your business giving the occasional nod or 'yeah'. so the evil bloke is telling me about the kicking he gave to this bloke outside a niteclub. apparently in an earlier scuffle inside the club some bloke overturned a table full of the evil bloke and companions drink. the evil bloke told me as the this guy lay prone on the ground after the beating he took the blokes wallet out and took out the amount of money the drinks cost and put his wallet back. with that the evil bloke started coocheee cuuuing a young child in a buggy nearby as his concerned father nervously acknowledged the unkempt evil blokes coochee cuuing.

later on that day i had a nice win and somehow the evil bloke took credit for tipping me the winner which he totally didnt. before the race he just spoke his usual garbled something about a few horses in the race. anyway i collected my winnings and took the short stroll to the barbers to get my hair cut. on leaving the barbers i bumped into rooney an old school buddy and we decided to go to the pub attached to the bookies for a quick drink to talk about old times. when we got there i was greeted by the evil bloke who took the piss out of me that i ran off after giving me a winning tip and didnt as much as say 'nice one'. i disagreed while rooney looked a bit nervous at the appearence of the evil bloke but more because i even knew this charachter. there was no way of shaking the evil bloke so i got him in a pint of guiness as he continued to take the piss out of me to rooney in a jocular way that i was a bit of a tight git. as myself and rooney took our first few sips from our pints i looked across at the evil blokes glass and his guinness was all gone. thats how you know you are in the presence of a real drinker when you dont notice them taking a sip and their glass is empty. i went to offer the evil bloke another but he spotted an old man with a stick come in that he recognised and he rushed over and there seemed to be a bit of a cufuffle and with that he was gone. rooney asked me what the hell he was all about and we had a right laugh on the way home because rooney was convinced it was a sting on himself that the evil bloke and i were in on!!.