I got up late that morning, too late. My head was pounding like cannon balls being fired from an old galleon ship. Far too much whiskey was drunk the night before and far too much money was lost on that bloody poker game. The last hand could have been mine if it wasn’t for DAVE. I had two pairs, Aces and Queens. I was confident I’d take the pot. But DAVE with his fucking full house did me like a kipper. Over three grand in the pot and DAVE took the lot. Although Dave was my best mate, that morning I hated Dave. That morning Dave was a wanker!
But, that morning I decided to be positive. The dawn brought with it new possibilities. The papers arrived and The Racing Post would surely be my saviour. After an hour’s studying I had the day planned. Romford Dog Track would be the place to get my money back and a few extra quid on top. I got there at eleven o’clock, just in time for the first race. I didn’t bet in that race, just watched. Trap two, the favourite, led all the way and won by a distance. Today would be a day for favourites. I was sure of it.
I ordered a pint and wandered around the track hoping to see some familiar faces. I was looking for Old Charlie. He had dogs, half a dozen at least. He knew what he was talking about. If Old Charlie gave you a tip, you lumped on. Once, he gave me a tip for a dog at Catford. It pissed home at seven to one. I had five hundred quid on it and went home with over four grand that day. Yep, that morning I needed Old Charlie.
That first beer was hard to get down, but the second was smooth, hit the spot. A whisky chaser helped it on its way. I was beginning to feel human again and the headache was a distant memory. I checked what cash I had in my pocket. Six hundred and twenty quid. But I also had my emergency card. A card I’d never used. A card that would allow me to draw out up to a maximum of five hundred quid if I needed it. I was deciding whether or not to go to the cash machine when I spotted Randy Roger at the bar. He was with a gorgeous bird, at least ten years younger than him and with the best pair of tits I’d seen in a long time. Randy Roger was punching well above his weight these days. I wandered over.
“Hi Rog, any luck?
He had that smarmy grin on his face, he knew what I was thinking. Just to rub it in he kissed his dolly bird on the cheek and grabbed her arse at the same time. She giggled like a naughty schoolgirl. He turned, looked at me and winked.
“Get on the four dog in the next race. Mate of mine owns it. Says it can’t be beat.”
I walked away a happy man. Good old Randy Roger.
I put my bet on. Six hundred quid on trap four. The bell rang, the lights went down and the traps opened. The four dog came out last and that’s exactly where he finished. LAST.
I looked for Randy Roger and his tart. They were nowhere to be seen. Why did I listen to that pratt? The only thing he knew about dogs was how to shag them!
But that morning my luck was about to change. I spotted Old Charlie talking to a couple of blokes I’d never seen before. They were all huddled together. Lots of nods, winks and whispers going on. This looked promising. I waited a few minutes until they parted company. The two big strangers walked off and left Old Charlie on his own. I called over.
“Charlie. How you doing mate?”
Old Charlie came over. I was sure the man was worth a fortune, yet he dressed like a tramp. He didn’t answer my question. Just leaned into me and whispered in my ear.
“Those two guys I was just talking to have brought a young dog over from Ireland. It’s running in the next race. Trap three. Apparently over there it’s beating everything in sight. Some kind of super dog. Get on it!”
Old Charlie walked away. I loved that man. True gent.
I had five minutes before the start of the race. Time for another quick beer and a nice chaser. I went over and spoke to the spotty faced kid behind the bar.
“Pint of Stella please mate and a large Glenfiddich.”
He quickly served up the drinks and I paid with my last twenty pound note. I drank down the Scotch and took a swig of the Lager. Time to use the emergency card and get my five hundred quid. I walked over to the cash machine. I pushed the card into the slot. And THAT was the morning.
THAT was the morning…I forgot my PIN number.