Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Butterfly Goes To Turf Club

When I was younger, I used to hear my parents tell me about their day at the turf club and it was always littered with words like ‘alcohol’, ‘food’ and ‘gambling’. All that lacked, was some topless pole dancer thrown in and I swear my childhood ambition would be to work there.

Why would anyone not want to be there? After all, the place is testosterone charged, and people travel all the way to Kranji to place a bet and maybe lose a family. I won’t even begin to talk about how fucking far off the place is, because I’m glad that if anyone invades us, Kranji is going to be one of the first territory we lose.

I’ve never been an avid gambler – or at least I try to put some restraint to it – because I am gravely impulsive and I bet on hunches that fail most of the time. But I do know how horse racing is ran and how the payout system works – which is flawed and reeks of match rigging.

I had to literally drag myself out of bed because against the thought of having to drive all the way cross country to that forsaken province of Kranji, I would much rather have herpes. What was worse was that we had a wicked night before so not only was I dehydrated from puking, I was also so tired, you could do an anal probe with a vodka bottle on me and I wouldn't even twitch.

When I got there, I realized that there was pretty much nothing I could help out with at the event, except to block space and potentially throw up on random strangers. So what else is there to do, but to gamble on a couple of races.

Me: “Let’s bet on horse 6.”
DC: “Do you know how to bet?”
Me: “Ya, we pick the horse and we pay the bet.”

DC went off and then returned with a stack of betting slips that had so many boxes to fill, I thought it might be some HDB application form.

DC:So how do we fill this up?”
Me: “How the fuck do I know? Do I look like I know how to bet?

He went off again, the came back shortly with another smaller betting slip.

DC: “That was the wrong form. This is the one.”

It was smaller and had a lot less boxes to check, but there was also no option to place bets. DC looked at me, confused and equally disturbed. Then he went off again. 3 minutes later, he came back with a huge grin on his face.

DC: “This is the right one!”

It was another betting slip, even smaller than before with very distinct options on horse, match and bet amount. This was so easy to fill up, I actually believed these were custom made for spastics with brain tumor, because you cannot possibly fuck up on the betting. Unless you are blind.

When the race started I nearly choked because no.6 was actually leading the pack all the way to the 600m mark. Then it fell back to 2nd, then 3rd, then 4th and 3rd again just 200m before the end. I was about to win on my maiden bet. Life cannot get any better.

By the time it had crossed the line, there was a photo finish and no.6 had faded all the way into 5th or 6th, either of which I don’t care because it is a loser and no one gives a shit about mid placing horses.

Me: “Fuck! Let’s bet on no.9 the next race.”

While people spend hours analyzing horses on weight losses and form, I pick them by random selection, sometimes by name. DC went off to watch them parade the horse at the grounds then came back looking sufficiently drenched in revelations.

DC: “Dude, I wanted to bet on any horse if it was called Sea Biscuit, but there wasn’t. But the next horse was called Sea Cucumber and he was looking right into my soul.
Me: “What number is that?”

Was this sheer coincidence? Could this be some divine sign? Was this my Lamborghini calling out to me?

We made our way to the grand stand to watch the race. Bet slip in hand and a fist full of hope that our lives were about to be touched by a horse with a silly name. No.9 wasn’t in the top 4 for a good part of the race, which was okay since race leaders always tend to fall behind half way through the races.

By the 3rd quarter, no.9 was no where to be seen, which was still okay since there was a possibility of the front horse tripping up near the finish line, because shit happens. By the end of the race, we saw No.9 galloping in strong to overtake the last horse to finish 2nd last.

DC: “I swear it was looking into my soul.
Me: “Fuck your soul!”

The damn horse cannot run but it is able to stare into souls? I say this one belongs in Hogwarts.


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